Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Cabbages and Kings

With one eye on the weather forecast, we harvested our winter cabbages this weekend. Instead of growing our own from seed, in July we bought a dozen healthy little plants of "Tête de Pierre" from the grainetterie in the village - they have a lot of good plants there, as well as point-of-lay pullets to order, hunting paraphernalia, wreaths and gardening kit, et cetera. Tim is a pal* of the proprietor, having rescued and returned a bidon (jerrycan) that fell off his truck and landed in our ditch.

Tête de Pierre is sold in the UK as "Stonehead", and the description in the Kings catalogue reads "the heads are so solid you could stand on them". Both Kings and the French plant label indicate the harvest period as June to October. Well, by the end of January we'd only harvested five, the other seven standing healthily in the potager. None of them weighs less than a kilo and a couple weighed more than two.  You can peel the first few leaves but then the head is so solid you have to slice it. We've made loads of slaw, and garbure soup, and we eat cabbage cooked or raw on as many occasions as possible, unless we're visiting friends, when we abstain for a day or two to clear the air a little. I'm not a choucroute fan, unfortunately [#].

Seven fine cabbages... a right barrowfull!

We've stored our crop in the barn to protect them from the expected heavy frost this week.

[# But I am!... (picture editor)]
[ * That means I get smiles and waves!!]


Ken Broadhurst said...

Those cabbages look fantastic. As far as not liking choucroute, you must not have had it prepared correctly! Anyway, we once served choucroute garnie to a friend whose Irish parents had immigrated to the U.S. in the 1940s. The friend didn't know what sauerkraut was. When she tried it, she said: well, this is a lot like cabbage! Bingo, we told her.

Okay, the WV is "imealya". Got it?

Tim said...

Lots of eggs, but a bit of a climb though, Ken?
We have actually made Sauerkraut... or at least I did, Pauline stayed away from it... especially as it sat bubbling away in a corner of the cellar. But once the 'crust' had been removed and it was bottled up, it was very nice... provided it was well rinsed and cooked [in our case with beer!] And I found a Polish mandoline, with attached seat and space for a bucket under the blade, in an antique shop in Malton, North Yorkshire... he wanted £60 for it... unfortunately, I had just left the 2CV to be serviced and was headed back to Leeds on the bus... so the logistical difficulties over-rode the purchase.... and probably saved me from certain death if I'd walked into the house with it. 'She' would not have been ammused... I apparently have enough 'stuff'!
Oh, it had been sold when I went to pick the car up a few days later... ;-)