Couple of Good Cabbage Recipes
April 27, 2009...just 8 months until Xmas.
Yesterday I planted cabbage plants in my garden. Usually I grow all my plants from seed, because I'm cheap. But this year I purchased my eight plants from a local garden center for a total of $3.50. According to my personal garden ledgers they should have been planted last week, but I was busy planting all of the other vegetables that can handle a late frost.
What did I plant last week? Potatoes, onions, peas, kohlrabi, Swiss chard, lettuce, spinach, carrots, radishes, turnips and beets. Cabbage plants are very hardy, which makes them easy to plant. But I still give them extra protection for the first week by taking a large coffee can, cutting out the two ends and slipping it over the plant to protect it from our strong winds and too much hot sun. The other reason I like to plant cabbage early is because it reduces insect problems, and I dislike pouring the “powdered poison” on them.
I plant cabbage for two reasons: sauerkraut and coleslaw. Well, actually three reasons, as I like a big chunk of fresh cabbage in my beef stew. But here are the recipes I use for homemade sauerkraut and coleslaw.
This is an old recipe that I adapted out of my 1970s Home Canning Book.
- Cabbage, outer leaves removed – around 6 pounds
- Canning salt – 2 ounces (3 ½ tablespoons)
- Rinse and clean your cabbage, then quarter it and and shred it finely. I shred it by hand with a good knife instead of a chopper or blender which makes it to mushy for me. Sure, it takes more time, but what else do you do when you're retired?
- Put about five pounds of the shredded cabbage and the canning salt into a large pan and mix it well with your hands. Then pack the cabbage solidly into sterilized canning pint jars to within ½ inch from the top. Fill each jar with cold water to within ½ inch from the top. Put a canning cap on each jar and screw on the band firmly until it is tight.
- I put the jars on top of my fridge where they will ferment for 3 or 4 days. You can put them in any place that is fairly cool and out of the way.
- After 3 or 4 days, when fermentation ceases, wash the outside of the jars, retighten the screw bands and process the sauerkraut in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes.
Such a simple way to make sauerkraut and so good!
This recipe is an adaptation from one I got back in the late '80s from the Black Kettle Restaurant, in Brown Deer, Wisconsin.
- Dry mustard – 1 tablespoon
- Sugar – 1 tablespoon
- Celery seed – 1 teaspoon
- Salt – 1 teaspoon
- Small onion, grated – 1
- Vegetable oil -- ½ cup
- White vinegar -- ½ cup
- Large cabbage, shredded – 1 head
- In a small bowl, mix the salt, celery seed, sugar and mustard. Add the dry ingredients to a blender, along with the onion, oil and vinegar and blend on high for about 1 minute.
- Place the cabbage in a large bowl and pour the dressing over it. Mix until it is combined.
Mmmmm Good! And remember that cabbage is good for your lower... Well, I won't go there this time.