1,000 pounds of cabbage prepared for annual sauerkraut dinner

Published 7:10 am Thursday, October 8, 2009

Lillian Flynn has been helping to organize Christ Church’s Sauerkraut Dinner for more than 15 years. But the popular annual festival began long before her time.

This Monday marks the church’s 73rd annual sauerkraut dinner, and 1,000 pounds of cabbage have been shred in preparation.

The dinner is almost always the second Monday of October.

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About 25 volunteers from the congregation, including kids and senior citizens in their 80s, helped start the cabbage-to-kraut process Sept. 13, rector’s warden Sue Grove said.

“The cabbage is shredded before being salted and set into barrels,” she explained.

It then sits in barrels in the church basement for one month, with no interruption other than to the top, which is occasionally skimmed off as the cabbage ferments.

Two days before the dinner, the sauerkraut is ready to remove from the basement, with some to be put into quart and pint containers. These are sold during the dinner for a couple dollars each.

“On Sunday, volunteers gather to make pies, about 80 of them — lemon meringue being the staple,” Flynn said.

Other members of the congregation bake pies at home and bring them to the church Monday.

The pies are not sold whole, but rather only served with dinner. They expect to serve 650 people Monday.

Pork chops with sauerkraut are the main event, but the chops can be served with gravy for picky eaters. There are chicken nuggets for kids.

There are also sides like mashed potatoes and green bean casserole available.

Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 for adults, and $5 for children under 10. The proceeds go to the Salvation Army and Christ Church’s outreach. Christ Church, The Episcopal Church in Austin, is located at 310 Third Ave. N.W. 433-3782.