Monday, September 14, 2009
Eight large cabbage heads grew in my garden this summer. Tim, being the Irishman that he is, loves corned beef dinner. The cabbages were grown especially for him. In the past week and a half, he has prepared 2 complete boiled dinners including corned beef, a whole head of fresh cabbage, yukon gold potatoes, carrots and onions. The house is filled with the familar aroma of cabbage. The first dinner smells so good but after reheating the leftovers it gets a bit strong for me and looses it's appeal. I guess my wee bit of Irish blood is not as strong as his third generation genetics.
Today Tim picked the five remaining cabbage heads before the slugs chewed too deeply into them. Since we eat only one bottle of sauerkraut in a year it is simplier to purchase a bottle and leave the fermenting process to someone else. We do not have a root celler for fresh storagge so the choices are freezing, dehydrating or pressure canning. The freezer is full so this year I will can and dehydrate some for soups. If I act quickly I won't have to endure a third boiled dinner so soon!
To can cabbage, remove the outter layers and wash with water to remove any insects or slugs. Cut into pieces that will fit into the jars and try to leave a piece of the core to keep it formed together. Blanch for 3 minutes then fill the jars and cover with boiling water. Leave 1 inch of headroom. Options: add some peppercorns, and sea salt to season. Adjust lids, process in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure . Pints - 45 minutes and quarts - 55 minutes.
To dehydrate cabbage remove outer leaves and wash to remove bugs. Cut away any brown or spoiled areas. Slice into strips and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and put into ice water. Use a salad spinner or blot with paper towels to remove excess water. Lay in a single layer on dehydrator racks and follow dryer instructions. Instructions on drying time will vary depending on model used. Once dry the cabbage will be brittle to the touch. Store in glass jars or use a food saver. Store in a dark cool place.
Cabbage is a great additive to winter soups and stews.
Blancing fixes color, flavor and stops enzyme action which otherwise would continue to mature the produce.
My posts have been less frequent this month because I have been called to care for a sweet woman who is in the final chapter of her very full life. It is an honor to assits heer but the 12 hour days leave me little time for blogging. Nap time gives me a moment to daydream new postings. They will appear as soon as I have a few alone moments. Thanks for bearing with me.