LOVELY AND LUSCIOUS…

What a shiny, lovely and luscious cabbage it was! We saw it lying on our grass, just beyond the six foot chain link fence that separates our garden from the path where the farmer passes with tractors and carts. S/he must have thrown it over the fence; it was undoubtedly, a high quality cabbage. The cabbage evoked memories of times long gone.

The chain link fence stops farm animals from wandering in to visit us. Before it was erected, the hens used to leave us their eggs in not quite secret places. A goat or two would curiously wander up to the pram in which the baby slept and snuffle at the blankets and the baby. I have memories of superwoman, who had never been near a goat in her life, taking firm hold of the rope or strap attached to the collar of the goat and take the animal for a walk in the opposite direction, chatting to it, while hubby, anxious to protect his offspring, was still jumping up and down, arms waving everywhere and shouting at the goat to frighten it off. This athleticism was worthy of Olympic status. For some unknown reason, the sheep nor their lambs ever paid us a visit.

There are still hens on the farm, Sheep and lambs. Occasionally there are young cattle for minding, sometimes also for fattening up before they move on. The farmer no longer keeps goats. And there is the chain link fence to keep the animals within the boundaries of the farm.

I peeled off five superb, large cabbage leaves and prepared them for our meal. The juiciness and the flavour all lived up to expectations. It is so big, the cabbage doesn’t look as if it has been touched

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0 thoughts on “LOVELY AND LUSCIOUS…

  1. I had never thought of the cabbage as illicit, it adds a certain je ne sais quoi to it! I shall salivate from now on. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Last year and the year before, the farmer threw over the fence a cabbage or two and swedes. We were even invited to go on to the farm, into the muddy bog of a field and help ourselves to the swedes. It is kind and thoughtful; it is neighbourliness.

    ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. In a funny kind of taciturn way, yes, they are nice neighbours.

    Once you’ve eaten a fresh swede, rather like the cabbage we were gifted today, cellophane wrapped ones, weighed and cleaned, a week or so old, are not the same. We’re coming up to harvesting food for ewes just now, some will be pregnant and the swedes, in particular, provide nutritious feed for the ewes. Swedes taste better after the first frosts have passed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Cabbage is a favourite of mine, yet when I was small I could not not stand it ! It was green, you see. And swede is another favourite too, but is generally shunned here. Pity.

    Nice gesture from your neighbour though. All we get over our fence are footballs and the like from the children next door ! And as for animals wandering in, we get foxes, occasional hedgehogs, rats and woodmice. Plus bats. We once had two sheep on the front lawn. They were being taken for a walk ! I kid you not. I have a photo somewhere.

    Supermarket run today and I need, yes, a cabbage ! It will be far from free though …

    CITF

  4. Although I can and do eat lamb, it is very occasional; it is not a dish I enjoy that much.

    I shall think of you when the swedes start arriving over the fence.

  5. Good question RDW. Yesterday, I washed the leaves, sliced them into strips and steamed the cabbage. The flavour was luscious. I may do the same again.

    There are other ways of preparing cabbage, but I am loathe to spoil the natural flavour of this one at this early stage. If I haven’t used it all up in a day or three, I shall probably make other cabbage creations.

  6. You mean you were left with free lawnmowers. What an opportunity! ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’ve had visits from foxy partnerships in a London garden; of course, squirrels galore, shrews, mice and hedgehogs. Here it is different, there is a range of bird life, we don’t have any real cover or interest for a hedgehog, brother-in-law does. He was left with the runt when the new family disappeared from his garden.

    The farmer’s grandchildren visit in the holidays and the local child, most evenings and weekends. They have provided 4 wheel motorised bikes for the kids, three of different sizes to suit their ages. They are good on them. I chat with them through the chain link fence, when the kids are here.

    Well, it will certainly be cabbage with something for our meal tonight.

  7. Lois, that sounds fabulous. We have plenty of salmon here abouts, so that would work in well. Yes, I should like the recipe.

    BTW, I haven’t forgotten your request for bog standard tabbouleh, I have your request still on the ‘to reply to’ list. Your multi-coloured one though, looked really lovely.

  8. OK: per fillet, mix together a dessertspoon of soft brown sugar and a 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon. Sprinkle on the fish and allow to marinate for at least 30 mins.

    Shred the cabbage quite finely and put in a steamer. Put new potatoes in a pan with boiling water, and put the steamer on top. Cook till the spuds are done, turing the cabbage every so often so it’s eveny cooked.

    While that’s happening:

    Melt some butter in a non-stick pan and fry the fillets gently on all 4 sides (takes about 15 mins) – being careful not to burn the sugar. Deglaze the pan with any left over marinade and some water to melt the caramel-ly juices.

    Serve the fish on a bed of cabbage with the spuds, and pour the pan juices round the fish.

    I didn’t beleive it would be nice when I read the recipe (in a supermarket mag) – but unless you hate cinnamon, it’s a really nice combination.

  9. Ah yes. I forgot the squirrels in my little list. Loads of bold grey ones that steal the birds’ seeds we put out. I presume yours are red ? I have heard that black ones are gaining ascendency in Eastern England now. Not seen one myself, except on googling pictures of them.

    Occasionally we get deer on the front open-plan lawn very early in the morning when it is quiet, particularly when there are crocuses to be munched, it seems.

    CITF

    PS cabbage : 49p (67p/kg). The smallest one I could find !

  10. Yum, Lois, thanks. I will make that recipe over the weekend. I did shred some cabbage tonight and finished it in a skillet – left short of time for getting meal on table so quick meal – seared, medium curry powder and caraway seeds together in a little oil, added sliced onion mixed it in the spices, and clarified the onion.

    Meantime, put a small quanitity of pasta shapes on to boil.

    Steam shredded cabbage. Steam a little cauliflower, whatever quantity suits, put to one side, slice 3 or four mushrooms.

    Add steamed cabbage to skillet mix with onion and let simmer for three or four minutes with lid on, check occasionally and stir.

    Add sliced mushrooms and mix in. Continue to simmer. Place lid on pan.

    Drain cooked pasta and add to pan, mix in. Add any extra flavouring desired.

    Last, add steamed or boiled cauliflower and toss in the mix in the skillet. If vegetarian, serve now. If not, finely slice some cold meats, anything will do, salami, pastrami, ham etc. and toss the meat into the vegetable mix. turn off heat and leave sweating for a minute or so in the pan with the lid on.

    Serve.

    For ‘a head’ recipe’ it went down with a wow. I’ll have to remember what I did for another time! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Erm – no, grey squirrels not the red variety in London. I can’t say I have noticed any here at home. Now that you have mentioned it, I must keep a weather eye open for the species.

    Before the fencing was erected, we did have a roe deer visit but it found richer pickings in gardens that were maturing. One or two of its friends appeared as well. I have seen roe deer on occasion, in the farmer’s field that I have a good view of, at the back of the house. Otherwise, as you probably know, we have to watch out for deer jumping out at you in the dark when they move on to lower ground in search of food. Hill sheep and lambs can be interesting to meet on single track roads.

    I note the price of your store bought cabbage! I think my broccoli and cauliflower were more expensive. That is more than offset this week, by the kind thought of my neighbours.

  12. Definitely NOT! I don’t adulterate my steamed veggies with any glazes. Only when they are part of another main dish, such as a few carrots and peas in a risotto type dish or they form the main part of a specific ethnic or creative recipe, do they receive whatever the recipe requires for the whole dish. My veggies are served ‘nude’. If people want to add stuff they can.

    I find it a huge problem to obtain plain veggies in many restaurants. I say ‘No glazes or sauces’ or ‘no sautรฉes thank you’. Invariably I get what I don’t want, the chefs haven’t read the instructions and work automatically shoving on whatever muck they usually use. Stuff goes back. On one occasion I explained carefully what I wanted “yes madam, no problem”. Up came the whole meal on different platters, totally covered in hot chilli infused oils and sprinkled with cayenne for good measure. I sent the veggies back. The original waiter sidled up to me saying, “Madam the vegetables come like that, can I offer you a salad?” I just about controlled myself from making a sarcastic comment about how his vegetables might be growing!!!

    I use black pepper and spices sometimes, but avoid over-using salt. I reduced my salt intake when I was pregnant and got used to taking less of it. I don’t need the vast quantities that have been the fad for flavouring. As a result, I think my health benefits.

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