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September 2013

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Starving artists

Starving Artists in the Kitchen--Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage




Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

Yes, we're on a big cole-family-vegetable kick! I promise we will discuss other veggies. No, really. I promise...

This red cabbage dish is apparently traditional holiday fare in some parts of the world–I just like it ANY time! You can make a little or a lot, it’s easy...

Cook up 3-4 slices of bacon to render the fat, or use reserved bacon grease. We get bacon that’s preservative/nitrates/nitrites-free, uncured but smoked. It’s delicious! Sometimes we can find it at our local grocer’s, but usually get Coleman Natural Bacon at Costco. It keeps well in the freezer. Find more info about them here: http://www.colemannatural.com/

(You can replace the bacon grease with olive oil or canola oil, if you need to. You may want to add 1/4 T. ham base from Better than Bouillon* which seems to get the best reviews overall, for that smoky taste.)

Cut up ½ to 1 head of red cabbage, chopped to nice bite sizes (We get the organic stuff from our CSA at www.clarksorganicmarket.com (thanks, Lucinda!) when we can...you may find a CSA group near you. That’s Community Supported Agriculture, by the way–find out more here: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ )

Chop half a sweet yellow onion about ½" chunks

2-4 tart apples, chopped (jonathans are wonderful here...)

Some recipes call for 1/4 C. brown sugar–apples and sweet pickle juice make it sweet enough for us, but go for it!)

2-3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or to taste...

Add 1/4 to ½ teaspoon celery seed or caraway if you like

Put the cabbage into a heavy pot on top of the bacon grease, add the onion and apples, and stir to coat well. If you've cooked bacon for this, you can crumble and add it to the pot. Add organic cider vinegar or sweet pickle juice (or sweet pickle relish, that’s what I had on hand.)

Add salt and pepper to taste, cover, lower heat and simmer till tender. This is even BETTER reheated the next day...

This is wonderful with German- or Scandinavian-style meals, but delicious pretty much any time!

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We have a wonderful old pot from Lifetime Cookware that kateslover inherited from his grandmother (it really must last a lifetime!)–and to our delight, we found the stuff is still being made, by West Bend. I found it among the offerings of stainless steel cookware here.   Want MORE!

(Of course you no doubt know by now that cooking in aluminum may not be the great idea we once thought it was. There’s long been thought there was possibility of a connection between aluminum and Alzheimers’ Disease, though a true causal link has yet to be found, according to http://alzheimers.org.uk/. The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, National Institutes of Health, and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website has more to say on the connection between aluminum and human health: http://www.ehso.com/ehshome/alzheimers.htm But given aluminum’s tendency to discolor when cooking acidic foods or eggs, we’re just happier with stainless steel or good old cast iron for healthy cooking!)


* Love that Better than Bouillon--I seem to use it in a lot of things. It has a bit more sodium than J. should use, so I try to be sparing, but it does have about the best flavor...

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The art for this recipe was done using the Masquepen Masking Fluid to protect the lighter lines in the cabbage before adding watercolor washes--it's a fun little tool!


My friend and fellow artist/writer Claudia Nice discusses its use in her book Creating Textured Landscapes With Pen, Ink & Watercolor and I explored it in the North Light book I JUST sent off to the publisher yesterday--there will be more on that here!

Comments

I hope your recipes are going to turn into a book eventually! I'll be wanting a copy.