Friday, August 18, 2006

Cabbage too Beautiful to Pass Up

Red cabbage phogo I know that last time I was here, I was griping about my kids not liking the red cabbage recipe I chose. Well, I was just looking through my photos and saw the ones I took for posting here, and a couple of them were just too pretty to throw away.....and seeing them made me remember how much I enjoyed that dish. Which means that I will be making it again. And who said that I needed to post only recipes that my whole family likes? That would limit my options too much. So, to kick myself out of this slump, I hope, I'm going to celebrate this glorious red cabbage even though I'm the only one that liked it.

Like a lot of people, I didn't like cabbage when I was growing up. I think a big part of that was the way it was cooked back then - boiled until it was flabby, and with little thought given to spices that would bring out its flavor. My mom also used it mostly as a wrapper for stuff that I didn't like, and that didn't help. For a long time I didn't think I could tolerate any kind of cabbage at all, until a friend pointed out that the red stuff often found in salads was red cabbage. It sure was pretty.....a tentative nibble on a bit showed it to be tasty, and not at all like chewing a rubber band, which was what I remembered from eating cooked cabbage. I started to buy salad mixes that had red cabbage when my son expressed a fondness for it. Both of my kids turned out to like it raw, but as I already said, they didn't like it cooked. Guess I shouldn't have forgotten my youthful experience with cabbage! Maybe they'll come to like this recipe for Norwegian red cabbage when they're older, or maybe they just need a cooked cabbage recipe that doesn't blend tart and sweet the way this one does. I'll figure it out eventually. But for now I'm thinking that I'll try to hunt down another beautiful red cabbage like the one pictured here, in order to make this recipe again. Who knows, they might like it this time around!

Norwegian Red Cabbage, source lost
Serves 4-6

1 medium head of cabbage, washed, cored, and shredded to your taste (I like mine medium coarse, bigger than cole slaw shreds)
1/4 C. butter
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 T. sugar
1/2 C. water
1 t. salt
1/2 C. red currant jelly Shredded red cabbage ready for cooking

Combine all ingredients except jelly in a suitable-sized pot, probably 2 or 3 quarts. Cook on low heat until cabbage is just short of being done to your taste. I prefer mine to have just a bit of bite left rather than being totally soft. It took about 40 minutes to cook the cabbage to that level. Add the jelly, stir to combine, and cook until jelly has melted and cabbage is cooked as you like it.

This is a good side dish for chicken or pork. I think leftovers would make a nice surprise topping on a sandwich made from leftover meat, because it's good cold too.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Dry (and Crumbly, and Scorched, and Inedible) Spell

I think maybe I caught it visiting Catesa....she says her cooking groove is gone. Or maybe I jinxed myself, bragging about my kids being good eaters. But I've run headlong into a dry spell.

Oh, I've been trying to cook, but nothing's been turning out well. I got a beautiful red cabbage last week, which my kids normally love (but they love even more now that they've learned how to make litmus paper), but they didn't like the recipe I chose.....the same happened with our first experiment with kohlrabi. They liked it raw, but not in the recipe I tried.

I've been doing a lot of grilling outside and have been trying but mostly failing at converting indoor roasting recipes to outside on the grill. I don't know how many times I've scorched potatoes while trying to bake them outside. Last night's mess was roasted green beans. Well, it wasn't entirely burnt, the beans were edible, but the flavor was definitely off with all the burnt onion and sugar stuff flaking off the foil.

I looked into my bookmarked recipes for inspiration, and thought I'd try Ilva's easy-sounding gluten-free chocolate cookies. But I think I converted the measurements wrong, and probably messed up substituting chocolate for the cocoa powder (can you believe I don't have any cocoa powder in the house! It's an affront to Theobroma!)....and I ended up with kind of crumbly, dry chocolate rounds. So I thought they'd make good ice cream sandwiches, but they were still too warm from the oven so the ice cream melted even though I immediately put them in the freezer after making them! The kids think they're okay even though the ice cream is on the outside of the sandwich, so that isn't a total loss.....but it's been really frustrating.

I don't think it'll take much to convince hubby to eat out tonight.....

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