19 September 2009

Cooking By The Garden Calendar



Ruth Matson wrote Cooking By The Garden Calendar for “gardeners who like to cook and cooks who like to garden.” Matson follows the age-old gardeners year approach of listing recipes month-by-month to correlate with the vegetables that would be in season that month. She begins with the month of February. January has little vegetables, but February is ripe for soup, Black Bean soup, Fish Chowder, Cauliflower Soup, Lentil Soup. It is also time to start talking to your fellow gardeners about what they are planning for the coming year.

We even get a lovely outline of Matson's own garden were her inspiration comes from.



In the fall, October to be exact, Matson waxes poetic about the red cabbage.

“Queen of the cabbages. I find it difficult not to grow lyrical about red cabbage. What lovelier sight is there than red cabbage ripening in the garden with misty-red veined leaves and crisp=curled heart? What more striking in the kitchen when, stripped to its red heart, it discloses whorls of crimson and white as you slice it? What more mouth-watering than red cabbage, cooked to perfection, in a heaping bowl on the dinner table?”


From the Black Forest of Germany, she offers up this lovely cabbage.

Red Cabbage De Luxe

1 small red cabbage
1/2 onion
1 big apple
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup grape jelly

Chop or shred the cabbage and onion; pare, quarter, and core the apple. Set all these to cook in 1 cup of boiling water. Add 1 teaspoon of salt, a light sprinkling of pepper, the butter and red wine, which should be of the burgundy type. Cover the pot and let the cabbage cook briskly for 1/2 hour. Then add the grape jelly. Ten minutes’ further boiling completes the cooking, and the dish is ready for the table.


Need this recipe in a few minutes? Can't make it to the Black Forest, but have a supermarket close by? Grab a bag of pre-packaged "slaw" mix at the grocery. Substitute a white wine and and orange marmalade. You can have it on the table in 15 minutes. I know, it's not "from the garden" but if you don't grow cabbage, it is really an easy side dish.

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