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Tried-And-True Recipe

Well howdy again Grainewsreaders. So glad to have you join me. How s your summer been? I m a good listener if you d like to share something, or as I say to some of my friends come on now, spill the beans.

Also with this issue, some pictures of seldom-seen plants grown by Sheri Blaylock inside her plastic-covered hoop house. Let me know should you wish to contact Sheri.

AUTUMN IS SAUERKRAUT SEASON

Allow me to share some excerpts and a recipe I received last December 2010. Maureen Frederick, a Manitoba reader wrote: I am originally from Oakville, but my husband and I lived at Winnipegosis for 30 years, before moving to Dauphin 12 years ago. You will likely be bombarded with sauerkraut recipes, but I got one from a friend years ago and it is a keeper. Thought I would send it :

VERBATUM

Shred cabbage into a very large bread pan or canner. I use a processor to cut them up. The cabbage is sort of loose in the pan. Add 2 or 3 onions, diced. Add 1/3 cup pickling salt and mix well into shredded cabbage and onions with hands, until it makes its own juice. Now boil 1 scant cup Mazola oil (I use grape seed oil) with 1 diced onion. Do not fry onion and do not let it change colour. After oil is well heated, pour over vegetables and mix well. Pack into sterilized jars to just below neck of jar. I put most of mine in 2-quart sealers, but if a small amount is left at the end, I use a quart. Jars, glass lids and rubber rings must be dry before packing. Do not use snap lids. I usually have the lids and rubber rings in hot water before drying. Leave jars on kitchen counter 24 hours. Then store in cool place in basement. Before storing, give lids another turn to tighten. This will keep for as long as three years, but it usually doesn t stay around that long. Do not process, as it will go mushy.

I like serving this without heating at mealtime, using it almost like a pickle. Just thought you might be interested in this recipe as the sauerkraut goes directly into jars. I must add not to pack too tightly as it will build up too much pressure.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

I, Ted, had a few follow up questions that Maureen clarified for me. She wrote: Now, about the questions. Remember those big old bread pans? That s the size I fill up, with maybe at least 4 to 5 small cabbage heads, sometimes I use 2 smaller pans because when the salt is added and worked in, it shrinks to about half the volume. Remember, 1/3 cup of pickling salt is all you put on the whole thing. The cabbage is sort of loose in the pan that is why when the salt is added, it gets juicy and shrinks to about half the size. This doesn t seem like much salt for the amount of cabbage, but it works. Then the cabbage can be put into one container for the rest of the procedure. As soon as the oil starts to bubble, I put it on the cabbage. I suppose other oils can be used; I just use grape seed oil because it is tasteless.

I got this recipe from a lady friend at Winnipegosis who was a wonderful cook. She could make delicious pickles like you wouldn t believe. I ended up phoning that lady that I knew had that recipe. She said she used to make it when her family was home and never had a failure. She figured 4 cabbages to a large canner. It doesn t matter what kind or exact measurements. It just seems to turn out. Said she just heated the oil until it got good and hot. I think this recipe has been floating around for a while, but maybe just in this neck of the woods. I always grow early cabbage; try to beat the butterflies! When a person has a recipe, they get so used to making it that maybe some things aren t too clear. I guess you can mention my name. I am a little shy, but this is such a good recipe that it is worth sharing.

Maureen summed it up by saying: Once you make it, you won t be disappointed. She also mentioned: I have a fair-size garden, so like trying your pest control tips. However, I don t recommend anyone try the following.

WHITE CHICKEN EGGS AND CABBAGE BUTTERFLIES

As you know I, Ted, have a passion to keep things green and growing in the plant world and love to share with others, especially safe and natural approaches. Some recipes can work quite well. Other times a formula can result in a near flop, or be completely ineffective. Let me give you an example of what didn t work for me this growing season.

Gardeners know that cabbage butterfly moths and their worms have a voracious appetite for cole crops. I think a gardener pulled my leg by suggesting that white chicken eggs placed on the soil among cabbages would keep this pesky moth away. Not knowing whether it worked or not, I did some experimenting by placing several dozen white eggs that were past their best-before date among cabbages in the open garden.

Cabbage season came and went, but the chicken eggs had no deterrent effect at all. Butterflies continued to raid cabbages relentlessly. The chicken eggs were moved about from time to time and sat in the hot sun for weeks on end but did not break open, nor did they smell. I have no idea where this idea originated, but I found it totally unreliable.

REEMAY ROW COVER (A. K.A. FROST COVER)

& protects young seedlings from insect pests and extends the season. This lightweight floating row cover allows water and daylight through, but not bugs. When frost threatens, it s easy to throw Reemay over tender crops and flowers. Reemay helps prevent cabbage butterfly moths from laying their eggs on cole crops resulting in fewer, if any green worms and flea beetles among young broccoli, cauliflower and cabbages.

Drape it right down to soil level and firm it on the edges to prevent insects and rabbits from getting inside. This material can be easily cut to any desired size and lasts many seasons when kept dry and stored away in the off growing season. It comes 1.67 metres (5.5 feet) wide and 7.62 metres (25 feet) long in bolts, similar to sewing material.

If your garden centre doesn t stock Reemay row cover, it can be purchased as product No. 5111 direct from: NIC, RR No. 2, Stevensville, Ontario L0S 1S0, phone (905) 382-2904 or email [email protected]

ThisisTedMeseytontheSingingGardener andGrow-ItPoetfromPortagelaPrairie, Man.Thankyouforyourfaithfulreadershipto GrainewsandtheSingingGardenerpage.I m verygladyou rehereanddoappreciateevery oneofyou.Pleasereturnagainandwe llgo foranotherwalkalongthepaththatleadsto thingsgreenandgrowing.CanIwriteabout somethingthat simportanttoyou?Myemail addressis [email protected]

———

Sue Armstrong

HappyThanksgiving

Do you have a story about a farm or home-based business? How about some household management tips? Does someone in the family have a special-diet need? Share some of your recipes and some meal ideas.

Send them to FarmLife, 1666 Dublin Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba R3H 0H1. Phone 1-800- 665-0502 or email [email protected] Please remember we can no longer return photos or material. Sue

About the author

Columnist

Ted Meseyton

This is Ted Meseyton the Singing Gardener and Grow-It Poet from Portage la Prairie, Man. I salute all gardeners and farmers who help make our world a little safer and more ecologically balanced, and who toil to provide health-giving produce to others who cannot produce their own. It takes all sorts to make a world. One half of the world doesn’t know how the other half lives. The best physicians are Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet and Dr. Merryman.

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