Lets ferment some foods! we all love pickles, but the pickles in the jars in the stores are not true pickles.......they are a dead food, pickled in vinegar. Often citric acid is added for that crunch and color retention. Yeah they taste good, i LOVE em, but they are not a live healthy food like a traditional fermented vegetable. basically you take a barrel or a crock or a jar , add NON -IODIZED sea salt, spices if you want, and put your pickling cukes or cabbage (sauerkraut) or other vegetables into the container, weight them so they stay under the brine and wait for natural bacteria to ferment them (Lacto Bacillus). They can be stored for a very very long time, though pickles and other veggies tend to get mushy....while sauerkraut gets better and better. I have a 1 year old jar of fermented sauerkraut in the fridge, and man it is TASTY! Hot peppers are often a bumper crop in ones garden, and they are fantastic thrown whole into a crock or similar and left to ferment. Everyone's favorite Hot Sauce, Tabasco is nothing more than ground up fresh chilies, salt, a barrel and time. this costs about $3 to make 4 large Mason jars worth of Kraut. So lets make some 'kraut. Its best to have a meat slicer to get super thin cabbage slices/strands, but if you don't , its ok, knife it as thin as you can. i put the cabbage into a big plastic bowl, added some salt and "scrunched " it all together to start the bruising process....this basically lets juices flow and flavor out. sterilize your mason jars with a bit of bleach and hot water. Rinse very well and put onto the counter. A canning funnel is good to use at this point put some no iodized seasalt , a tablespoon onto the bottom of the mason jar (if using a barrel, add more to cover the bottom) put in about 5 inches of shredded cabbage (green/red/ whatever) in and use a 2" diameter "pounding" stick to bruise the cabbage. Its ok to beat the **** out of it. (just remember glass jars break.....barrels are more user friendly). Bruise and pack the cabbage for several minutes, then add a thin layer of sea salt, then more cabbage, and repeat the pounding. when the jar is tightly packed 2" from the top, use a large piece of cabbage leaf and a little stone to weigh down the leaf. You want the shredded cabbage to stay UNDER the brine. You may have to add a little water to the jar, most times there will be so much from bruising the cabbage you will not need too. I throw more salt on top of the leaf. screw the lid on SNUG, but NOT TIGHT......there will be some pressure buildup during fermentation.....it NEEDS to escape. YOU WILL KNOW if your lid is too tight........its as loud as a flash-bang when it goes..... you may get a funky bluish color, this is nothing more than the sea-salt reacting to the compounds in the RED cabbage. Its normal, its harmless. Same thing happens to garlic. store somewhere room temp, maybe in a cardboard box in the kitchen. The warmer the room the faster the ferment. I prefer a slower , LONGER ferment. There WILL be brine that will spill out of the jars.........this is normal and a sign of a good ferment. make sure to store the jars where this is not an issue, a rubber maid tub is a great mason jar holder. give it 2 - 6 months. There will be some nasty **** on top , (normal) just skim that off.