"And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress and keep it". Genesis 2:15

Monday, December 14, 2009

12 Frozen Cabbages

Well I played chicken a little too long with winter and had to run outside Wednesday night and bring 12 frozen cabbages inside. The big outer leaves were stiff and unbending, and very cold to hold in our bare hands. The cabbages covered up one side of my kitchen counter completely.

It was late and no time to do anything with them then. I just hoped that when they defrosted they would be fine on the inside and that I would be able to get some use out of them. The next morning I checked on the cabbages and they looked perfectly normal. No burned or wilted leaves. After school all three of us women got to work and started making cabbage rolls. We had never made these before and it was quite a bit of work, but fun.

There are tons of recipes for these on the net and we just picked one that we liked. We used the big outer green cabbage leaves to line the bottom of the pan. The big but light green leaves were used to roll up a meat and vegetable mixture (after blanching them in boiling water to make them pliable) and the tomato sauce was made from  my stash of ripening garden tomatoes. I used my vitamix so I did not have to peel all those tomatoes, just threw them in and blended with the spices. The tomato sauce was poured on top of the bundles and the whole thing was topped off by more big outer cabbage leaves.

The most work of this whole affair was cleaning and preparing the cabbage leaves for the dish. We had to clean off dirt, fallen tree leaves, moths and other dead bugs, plus a few live caterpillars. The kitchen was such a mess afterwards! We were left with a big pile of unusable huge outer leaves (that felt like a big waste throwing those in the compost) and twelve little round inner cabbages, about 5 lbs worth, (and water and dirt everywhere!) At least I can report that the dish was a success, yummy, and lasted us for three meals.

The next day we were gone to band until the late afternoon when we tackled the rest of the cabbage. We had decided to make homemade sauerkraut. This time only Anna helped me. We chopped and chopped and chopped until I got tired and got out my kitchen-aid attachment that would shred the cabbage. We shredded cabbage and carrots and an apple, we pounded and pounded, added spices and packed it all in a big sun-tea jar. We added whey from yogurt to start the fermentation process, and set the jar on our counter to start working. Now I need to go to the store to get some wide mouth jars to pack the sauerkraut in for storage. I stupidly got rid of mine last time we moved. I will write another post soon all about using lactic acid fermentation as a way of food preservation at a later date.

Sauerkraut in gallon jar. The cup on top is a weight to hold down the cabbage under the juice. Its hard to believe that 5 lbs of cabbage only makes half a gallon of kraut. In front are some pumpkin muffins.

I checked the garden today and the broccoli and brussels sprouts are still doing fine despite the freezing weather. I even have another broccoli to harvest and a few broccoli side sprouts coming along. The brussels sprouts are still only as big as my pinky fingernail so I dont know if we will get any of those before it gets really cold. The mustard is just fine. Next thing on the schedule is garden clean up and processing 4 more pumpkins ( I have to get them out of my kitchen before the big church Christmas party at my house this Sunday.)


  1. Wow Florence. I find it amazing to hear from people who garden. I have never been a gardener, although I think it is great. I use the shredder attachment to make cole slaw too. It is so easy that way. I look forward to reading more about your gardening.

  2. Thanks Theresa. I wont have much more to do in the garden now that winter is here, but I will be writing about garden clean up and this winter I hope to get a seed sprouting light set up in the house somewhere so I can sprout my own plants for transplanting. I am also going to experiment with a cold frame and making sprouts (to eat).