Red cabbage, cider and other glorious things

Red Cabbage comes into its own in winter.

The outer leaves look sculptural in the garden – they have a silver sheen that makes the plant look as if it’s been cast in a precious metal.

They can be left standing in winter as I have done so far but I’m now starting to think that harvesting the remaining five or six could be a good idea.

I will store them in a cool, dark place away from mice.

Talking of storage I just checked the apples I have in trays in the shed – and removed a couple that had rotted. On the whole they seem to be keeping well and could last into the New Year – possibly until March.

Cider update

The cider is in the same shed and has been racked off the lees twice (that means siphoned into a clean container and the sediment at the bottom poured onto the compost heap!). Once about four weeks after I first started making it and again yesterday – both times I topped it up with water so there was virtually no air in the top of the plastic fermenting barrel. That’s so it doesn’t turn to vinegar.

I will bottle it up in another four weeks I think. I bought some Grolsch beer on special offer so I can collect the swing top bottles – the beer is not bad either. I’ve also been given/loaned a few by friends.

While I was racking off the cider again I filled one of the Grolsch bottles with it – adding half a teaspoon of sugar – then sealing it. It’s going to be a test to see if it makes it fizzy and a little sweeter. Fingers crossed it doesn’t explode; I’ve just watched an episode of Breaking Bad where a home brew workshop does just that – with lots and lots of bottles!

Back to the red cabbage

Yeah, so this brassica is versatile. It’s good finely sliced in a winter salad with chopped apple and walnuts or roasted sunflower/pumpkin seeds, rub in a few shakes of umeboshi plum vinegar (it’s actually a salty pink brine that can be bought in wholefood shops) and it’s ready to eat.

It can be cooked with either apple or orange,  a hint of vinegar and your choice of aromatics.

The version I made yesterday had caraway seeds – always good with cabbage; try stir frying savoy with them.

You can also try juniper berries, bay leaves, star anise, cinnamon and cloves – not necessarily all at once!

I was inspired by a German friend who posted a photo on Instagram of red cabbage with potato dumplings.

I followed this recipe but used fresh crushed garlic rather than powder. I also used about 1 tsp Marigold vegetable bouillon instead of the stock cube. I didn’t make the tempeh but did follow the recipe for the potato dumplings which were good and went very well with a vegan country pie and red wine and mushroom gravy!

 

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