Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cabbage anyone?

When I am onto an interesting source, I do find it hard to move on, as regular readers probably realise (and to be truthful, in busy weeks it helps maintain the commitment to a story a day!) We have had some interesting snippets this last week from the mid-nineteenth century English monthly magazine, The Family Economist. I don’t want to bore you, but I must give you one more recipe from it before I put it (temporarily) aside.

A recipe for Cabbage Jelly caught my eye, while falling well short of tempting my tastebuds, – until I read the recipe properly. I was expecting some awful coagulated construction, such as the jellified coleslaw I gave the recipe for some time ago. But actually, I quite like the idea of this dish – and surely it would be excellent done with red cabbage cooked initially according to ‘the usual method’?

A tasty little dish, and by some persons esteemed more wholesome than cabbage simply boiled. Boil cabbage in the usual way, and squeeze in a colander until perfectly dry. Then chop small; add a little butter, pepper, and salt. Press the whole very closely into an earthenware mould, and bake one hour, either in a side oven or in front of the fire; when done, turn it out.

In another publication of similar vintage, the Working Man’s Friend, and Family Instructor, (London, 1850), I found the following recipe. Perhaps moulded vegetables are the next new/old idea?

Potato Medley.
Boil some potatoes, and mash them. Boil, also separately from the potatoes, any greens you may choose – savoys, turnip-tops, or spinach are the best. Press the water well out of them. Then chop them well up, mix with the mashed potatoes, and season with salt, pepper, and butter. Grease a pudding-mould, or shape, press your mixture well into it, and put it into a hot oven for about ten minutes. If you are careful to preserve the green colour of your spinach or turnip tops – which you may do by putting a small quantity of soda into the water – this will make a very pretty dish. If you have not a pudding-mould, a basin will answer the purpose.
N.B. Cold vegetables may be made into a dish in the same way.

Quotation for the Day.

"If you lived on cabbage, you would not be obliged to flatter the powerful." To which the courtier replied, "If you flattered the powerful, you would not be obliged to live upon cabbage."
Diogenes, ancient Greek philosopher’s advice to a young courtier


Who can be This Souperlatif said...

The Diogenes quote I am familiar has him talking about Lentils, not Cabbage. Would love to know more...
See my blog post about lentils:
I love your blog and have so much admiration for the posts you do - much effort, much value, very much loving content.

The Old Foodie said...

Hi Souperlatif - I freely admit to not checking the validity of every quote on these pages! I will see if I can find out the truth here. I love soup of all sorts. Now I can check your blog out!