Sunday, June 23, 2013

Making Sauerkraut with a Fermentation Crock

This year I started making fermenting crocks at the request of my Farmers’ Market customers.  My wife and I wanted to see what this “new” fad was about, so after we did some internet research we began our first experiment.

The fermenting crock we chose from my stock of ceramics is a large gallon and a half model, complete with weights. We sterilized all of the equipment that we used in the process.  My wife even removed her wedding ring and scrubbed under her fingernails.
We boiled 6 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and allowed it to cool. Our “recipe” included ½ head of organic purple cabbage, 2 heads of organic green cabbage, and 1 pound of organic carrots.  We rinsed the cabbage and carrots in filtered (reverse osmosis) water and set aside 5-6 of the external whole leaves.
We covered the bottom of the fermenting pot with ½ of the whole cabbage leaves.
We used the blade attachment of the Cuisinart to cut the cabbage and used the grating attachment for the carrots. 
My wife (who does everything by the book) weighed 2 pounds of shredded cabbage in a bowl, and used clean hands to toss the shredded cabbage with 1 teaspoon kosher salt.

She then used a potato masher to mash the salted, shredded cabbage into the bottom of the crock.  She repeated the process in batches until all of the shredded cabbage has been salted and added to the crock.
The top was covered with the remaining cabbage leaves.  Then the stone fermentation weights were pressed firmly down on top.  We waited a couple hours to see if any water rose to the top, but no water appeared.  We added about 3-4 cups of the cooled salted water to the crock until it was 1 inch above the cabbage.
We covered the crock with the lid and poured the cooled salt water into the well to create an airtight seal.  We stored the remaining water in a jar in the refrigerator. Each day we had to refill the well.  In the end there was only a little water left in the jar that we kept in the frig.
The Finished Product
Two weeks later when we opened the crock we saw pretty pink liquid from the purple cabbage. There was no white mold floating in the water, like we had read in some of the internet posts. Next time we will cover the top more carefully with the whole cabbage leaves so that none of the grated pieces escape.
This is how it looked with the weights removed.

Pulling back the cabbage leaf on top revealed the pretty sauerkraut below.  My wife tasted a little bit to check for the proper tanginess. It was perfectly done and not too salty either.


Then she filled the jars and promptly put them in the refrigerator.  This was such a great experience we are now trying our first batch of fermented cucumbers (pickles) and carrots.  We will let you know how it goes in our next post!

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Amazing Chicken Throne

(a.k.a. Beer Can Chicken)
One of my most popular items at the Farmers Market is the Chicken Throne. Baking a chicken on a ceramic chicken throne will result in a succulent chicken with a crispy skin. Put beer, wine, or fruit juice with spices in the center cup and then slip the chicken (a 3-4 pound fryer) over the cup. Rub a bit of olive oil and seasoning on the skin. Put the chicken in a cold oven, set the oven to 350 degrees F and bake uncovered for about 1.5 hours. Let the chicken sit for at least 15 minutes before carving. Then carve off the most moist, succulent chicken you've ever had, with just a hint of the flavoring from the liquid you poured in the cup. 

The chicken throne is wheel-thrown by hand in a one piece construction method to make it more durable. The pouring spout allows you to pour the drippings off easily. Each chicken throne that I make is unique because it is hand made! 

To find recipes, do a search on the internet with the term “beer can chicken”.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


My friend Joy started a new business selling organic free trade loose teas. I made 30 tea sample vessels for her display at the Vista Farmers Market.

See the tea selections at

Sunday, January 24, 2010

T Handle Mug for Customer with Neuropathy

I have customer at the Farmer's Market who requested a special mug because he has no feeling in his fingertips, a condition called neuropathy. A mug with a traditional handle slips from his grasp without his knowledge, spilling the coffee. I made him a mug with a T shaped handle. This style also works well for guys with big hands.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Saturdays at the Vista Farmers Market

This is my first blog! Welcome to Falcon Hill Pottery. Every Saturday I sell ceramics at the Vista Farmers Market. I learn so much from my customers. Some customers bring in pieces of pottery to show and ask if I can create them. Custom orders have been a challenge, but are very rewarding! When I first started selling at the Farmers Market in October of 2009, I only sold coffee mugs. Now I sell bowls of all sizes, vases, berry bowls, garlic keepers, hand built platters and more! Customers come back every week to buy another piece for their collection or just to check out what new items I have on the table. Saturday mornings fly by as I enjoy conversations with friends and customers. I look forward to Farmers Market day each week. I hope to see you there: 8 a.m. - noon at the Vista Courthouse, rain or shine (we have even sold our goods during a hailstorm).