Sauerkraut…and a Bar

I did some new things this week. For one, I made sauerkraut. (Yep, totally had to look up how to spell it correctly.) I’ve had it before as a kid and detested it, but like other foods, I’ve developed a taste for items previously not preferred.

So pretty and purple!

The recipes online all say “Oooh it’s so simple! Just add salt and voila! Sauerkraut perfection!” While the ingredients are simple, there are a few steps that require some muscle and patience. For example, the splooging of purple cabbage juice all over the counter or the having to dump it out of the sanitized mason jar back into the mixing bowl to keep working it for more brine (salt and cabbage water) to be released to cover the cabbage shreds. (If there isn’t enough brine to cover, you haven’t worked it enough and it can cause mold to grow which is not tasty.)

Just add salt! Righhhhht.
I do not own a food funnel for canning so spooning it in was a *little* messy. I may or may not have purple splotches on more than one counter.
Now to wait. Waiting…..waiting…….

In about 3 days I will be testing my ‘kraut and seeing whether it’s gross or if I’ve developed a taste for fermented fun!

Secondly, I went to a bar for a mom’s night out a few days ago. It was the first time I’ve been in an actual bar in a verrrry long time. It was also the second time in 2 weeks being around alcohol in close proximity outside of the grocery store. (The first being the hubby’s work holiday party.) I’m happy to have had both expericences under my belt. I don’t feel like I was tempted to drink at either event, but I am wary of being overly cocky. Arrogance will likely land me in a place I do not want to go ever again.

Leading up to the work party, I felt very antsy and anxious. I typically feel that way before social events like that as I play out conversations and making small talk (which I suck at) and all the other social crap that goes with pretending to adult. The dinner was a buffet so I was able to eat all of the veggie goodness, while the hubby happily chose beef. Conversation was lovely, with great people he works with and their spouses. As dinner was finished and the music started, it soon became evident who had had a bit too much to drink. There were stumbles and falling off of chairs as well as a wardrobe malfunction or two. We went home shortly after prizes were raffled off. While we didn’t go home with a package wrapped in a bow, I feel like I won. My prize was no hangover, no guilt, and no shame. WIN.

The mom’s night out was with an old friend who I was able to reconnect with after living on opposite sides of the country for over a decade. We went to a local bar and I set myself up for success, as my mother aptly put it. I knew going in there was no way I was going to drink, but I didn’t want to be a social debbie downer so I planned what I would consume – soda water and lime. Honestly, no one really knew any different. If they did – no one said anything. It just wasn’t that big of a deal. As we arrived I let my friend know that I was happy to be the DD for the night if she did want to partake. It was decided – done and done. We watched the amazing drag show, danced, hooted and hollered and had a blast. We closed down the joint and blew off steam. It was (like always) so much more fun than I had anticipated.

Another little thing I did was jot down a little private reminder:

Two years, 7 months, and 7 days

Just a little message to myself of how far I’ve come. As the bar was nearing closing time, it was clear a few other patrons were definitely intoxicated. I saw myself in many of them. It was a great moment to witness the road not taken. If there was ever a desire to detour, seeing drunk people cured it in a heartbeat.

Pickling foods and avoiding being pickled.

I’ll take that any day!

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