roasted cabbage and a book review: An Everlasting Meal

I just harvested this cabbage

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sliced it into wedges, placed it in a cast iron pot with salt, olive oil and a red wine vinegar.  I put the cover on it and roasted it for 30 minutes until golden brown without and tender within.  Just like Tamar Adler told me to.

It was delicious.

Read An Everlasting Meal.  Trust me.  It is important.  I almost didn’t want to publicly announce it for the secrets and the advice in this -more than a cookbook/novel, but a way of eating and enjoying life- are so great that I wanted to keep them all for myself.  But that is silly and selfish and well, I know that this book has brought me so much happiness, and it would be wrong to do anything but pass that on to you.  Each night when reading it, I would be left salivating, inspired and downright hungry by the time my eyelids got heavy.  Each chapter is centered around a specific grouping of food.  She talks about an egg or a roast or a legume with such passion and poetry you suddenly remember how beautiful a thing it is to be able to prepare a simple meal.  And how enjoyable such a simple meal can be.  There are rarely fancy expensive ingredients mentioned, she focuses more on local seasonal affordable eating.  She is realistic and relatable, and she has a way of making you yearn for sardines in a way you will never believe.  So purchase it, savor it, place it among your cookbooks and refer back to it often.

In the crock. Under the rock.

As I mentioned before, I attended an amazing workshop or “fiesta” as they called it, early last month about fermenting vegetables, at The Local Living School.

Well, I gave sauerkraut a whirl.  And guess what?!  It is fantastic.  This poor dish gets a bad reputation I should admit.   Every time I tell people of my latest endeavours I get the suspicious (if not hairy) eyeball.  I promise, this is better than any store-bought imitation you had slapped on some ball park dog when you were nine.  Well, truth is neither of my boys have a taste for it.  They were actually scraping their tounges to rid themselves of the krautiness.

Maybe it was just too much for them to handle…?

Regardless, it is unbelievable that there is no vinegar involved.  I have a hard time grasping the knowledge that this indeed is just vegetables and salt (and a whole bunch of tamping).

Here is how you do it.

1. Chop up your cabbage, carrots, turnips, horseradish, onions, cucumbers, whatever you fits your fancy in a kraut.  For every gallon of vegetables you have layer in one tablespoon of sea salt (not iodized).  I placed mine in a large mason.

2. Tamp. Tamp. Tamp.  Until the water starts to come out.  When it reaches the top of the vegetables you have success.

3. Place a weight of some sort and a somewhat snug cover on top making sure that the vegetables are indeed below the brine that it has created.

4. Wait four days, watch the bubbling goodness that will do wonders for your body and mind, and get ready to enjoy and amaze yourself with how good sauerkraut truly is.

Wallah!  The white thing is a plastic grocery bag I used because I was afraid that the vegetables were raising above the brine.  Clearly, I loaded up on the beta carotene.  You know for my night vision.

So there you have it.  This should last close to a year.  Easier than canning by a landslide and better for you to boot.