November 15, 2010

Test Driving My King Kutter

Of all my bargain finds, the one I was most anxious to try was my King Kutter food processor.

Besides feeling fortunate that I got such a deal, I was also pleased that I found a manual to download for it. I took a quick look at the set up and was able to choose a blade without much guesswork.

My project? Sauerruben with turnips from my fall garden. Even though I thought I planted them late, they have thrived in our delightful autumn weather, and definitely need to be harvested. Last spring I made a small batch of sauerruben in a quart canning jar. DH didn't care for it as well as sauerkraut, but I loved it. Now that I have some fermenting crocks, I can make a better batch.

The King Kutter was quick and easy to use, and the suction base worked much better than I'd hoped. I figured this would be a test batch in terms of size and shape of the cut pieces, so I didn't worry about uniformity. I'll try out different blades as I go along, and with practice my consistency will get better. I can tell you that it was a breeze to process a basketful of turnips and clean up the machine.

I have two books that I turn to when I'm wanting to lacto-ferment something:  Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz, and Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning: Preserving Food Without Freezing or Canning by the Gardeners & Farmers of Terre Vivante. Sandor's method uses only the turnip juice, obtained by pounding and pressing (right side of above photo, I use a potato masher). This is the traditional way to do it. The other book has recipes using salt water (brine) to finish covering the vegetable, if enough juice can't be pounded out. Always being one of the easier route, I opted for that recipe. Actually, I've made sauerkraut with both methods, and prefer the one with the added brine. Not sure why, it just tastes better to me.

The one thing I don't have is lids for my crocks. Those are flat, round pieces of wood, sometimes with holes in them. They don't sit on top of the crock, but rather fit snugly inside it to keep the contents submerged under the brine. This is important to prevent mold from forming and decay from setting in. This is a problem I've had using quart canning jars to make sauerkraut; it was difficult to keep the contents under the brine. Fermenting lids are available, but I found that one of my 6½ inch diameter Blue Willow dessert plates that fit perfectly. I weighed it under the brine with a pint canning jar half filled with water. There's just enough room around the rim to slip a butter knife in and lift the saucer. I placed the crock in my new pantry, and covered the whole thing with a clean cotton dishcloth.

I also remembered to label the crock with contents and date, because I'll be able to start another batch in a week or so and need to keep track of which batch is which.

My conclusion? That the King Kutter is a fabulous kitchen tool. Quick and easy to set up, quick and easy to use, and super quick and easy to clean. I'm already beginning to wonder how I ever lived without it.

Test Driving My King Kutter © November 2010 


Dani said...

Leigh - I just love your King Kutter!! Oh, to find something like that here...!

Mr. H. said...

It really is a wonderful little machine, I'm glad you like it...we love ours. I have never had sauerruben but will have to look it up as we just harvested our turnips too.:)

Mama Pea said...

I'm amazed that the suction cup on the bottom of the King Kutter holds it in place during use. But, heck, three cheers for the King Kutter! I have a feeling you'll use it a lot.

The different cones look exactly like the ones I have for the attachment to my Kitchen Aid. But your King Kutter will be much easier to bring out and use than my Kitchen Aid and attachments which (because my kitchen is so small) have to be stored away on a bottom storage cabinet shelf.

Anonymous said...

That is a great machine and no electric power needed! I have never heard of sauerruben - interesting.

Kids and Canning Jars said...

Love, love, love it! You are so dang lucky! I am such a bargin hunter myself. I should follow your example and post some of the things up that I have been lucky enough to snatch up. Friday I picked up a smoker for $12 at a yard sale. It is in awesome condition. Thanks for the update!!!

Heather said...

Oh, my friend has one of those cutters and she loves it. She uses it for all kinds of vegetables. I've never heard of Sauerruben, now I'll be wondering what it tastes like.

Nina said...

What a great little tool. It's good to hear that the suction cup part works well. I've only had a couple but both broke or wore out quickly.
I'm glad you explained about the Blue Willow plate. My first look at that particular photo before I'd read your blog was a tad confusing. I could see the plate pattern but totally wondered why it was so "artfully" framed. hehehe..

Leigh said...

Dani, I had no idea they existed until I found it at the thrift shop. When I researched online, I found they were also sold on restaurant supply sites. Maybe you have a restaurant supply place in the vacinity?

Mr. H, I can see why you like it so well. I find sauerruben to be quite tasty. Maybe try a small batch to see what you think(?)

Mama Pea, actually I was amazed too. The one on my apple corer/peeler isn't always so cooperative.

I forgot about the attachments to the Kitchen Aid. I always meant to get them but never have. I reckon now I don't need to. :)

Evelyn, I like the no electricity part and best of all, it doesn't take a lot of elbow grease!

Melissa, a smoker? Good score! Yes, do post about some of your bargain finds. I find that kind of post to be encouraging. It reminds me there's always hope of finding things we need while stretching our dollars as much as we can.

Heather, I can see why. I'm looking forward to experimenting and learning how to use all the cone blades. In the manual, it says vegetables can even be peeled with it. I'm sure it'll be fun learning how to do that. :p

Nina, I'm so glad I could clarify what I was doing with that little plate! The photo is a little odd. I'm just glad I found something to work. Next time I'm at the thrift store, I'll be looking for 6 and 1/2 inch diameter plates!

Vicki said...

Awesome King Cutter and awesome crock. I'm jealous again lol but happy for you. I'll have to keep my eye open as well for one of those.

Leigh said...

Vicki, I think that's the fun thing about thrift stores and yard sales. Who knows what you'll find! It's like a treasure hunt every time, but the treasure is always different. :)

Woolly Bits said...

it's great that the suction works with this one! maybe they should invent one that's so heavy that it stays put by itself (I found a drumcarder like that - if I didn't have mine already, I'd have gone for that, because it can stand free on any table!)...
my pot for sauerkraut looks different though, no timber involved. the lid is made from clay like the pot and there is a cover made from a special clay, two half circles with a small hole in the middle for putting in the finger for lifting. and this special rim around the pot, where water keeps air and bacteria from entering.... I remember that my mother put a big stone on top of the 2 half circles to make sure they stay down! I was rather surprised to find my mother cooking stones in a big soup pot at the time:))

Leigh said...

Bettina, you have a real sauerkraut crock! I've seen them on the internet, with a hefty price to go with it. It's a keeper, I can tell you that.

upinak said...

wow. I am NEVER that lucky to find the cool stuff. Hubby does sometimes.

Jane @ Hard Work Homestead said...

I passed up one of these for 5 dollars this summer at the flea market because I thought a piece was missing. Now I see that yours is exactly the same. ARRGH.

Leigh said...

Upinak, I have to admit that I'm rarely this lucky either. The interesting thing is, all these hit in the same weekend!

Jane, aw, don't you hate that. I have a long list of things I've later kicked myself for not getting. I'm learning to take a risk and go ahead and buy it. I ask myself if I'll regret it later on, for not buying it. Things I don't need, I just pass on!