Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Of Red Cabbages and Things

It has been proven impossible to cook braised red cabbage for less than sixteen people.  D. Smith’s recipe calls for 2lb of cabbage, 1lb of apples and 1 lb of onions.  She claims this serves four.  Even allowing for cooking reduction, that’s going on a pound per head.  Even without any other dishes, that’s a big eat, and you wouldn’t want a plateful of nothing else, would you?|

As it turned out, it served the three of us on Saturday, twelve or so on Sunday (not everyone chose it from the vegetable selection on the table), and there was still some left over. And, I understand, over again.  It’s a shame, because it’s a brilliant dish.  Trouble is, you can’t buy less than a kilo of red cabbage, and if you use a quarter of one, to serve three, all you can do with the rest is pickle it.  Which is fine, but not necessarily a job for the morning of a great big, great family post-Christmas/New Year lunch.

I know, it can be frozen.  But making too much of something and then freezing the remainder is all very well, but you don’t want it forced on you, do you?  Especially when your freezer is already crammed full.

In other things:

I saw a sign on my way to Norfolk, outside a café, which actually said ‘NO ARTICS’, but which I read as ‘NO ANTICS’, which momentarily put me off.  And coming back into Reading, one of those sanctimoniously patronising homilies they display when there’s no real traffic information asked ‘ARE YOU VISIBLE ENOUGH?’  You have to think about that, don’t you?

And, I’ve had my first try at Sudoku.  Or three tries, to be honest, all at the same puzzle, all ending in failure.  I’m good at deductive logic but bad at spatial connections, which means that, in this case, the latter frustrates the former.  So I’m going to persevere, in order to improve the latter.   I’ve gathered together the essential ingredients – a pencil and a rubber.  Oh, and a functioning brain.  One thing I’ve learnt (or re-learnt) recently is that one must keep on learning.



  1. Was the first sign actually in Norfolk? If so, it could well have read "NO ANTICS". You will have to learn the Norfolk ways!

    Re Sudoku - I am an expert. I had to learn and practice a few years' ago as part of a "problem solving" start to a sponsored walk/race organised by the company I worked for. I was nominated to do the puzzle and, out of 30 teams of 4 people each, I finished the puzzle FIRST! I haven't done many lately but perhaps I should brush up my skills for your next visit.

  2. I'm with you on the red cabbage. I've got a similar, delicious, recipe which makes far more than is ever needed. That's a problem with cabbages generally though isn't it? There are currently 2 bags of left-over cooked green cabbage in my freezer waiting to be turned into bubble and squeak.

  3. In fact, the cabbage we cooked was much smaller than two pounds and I scaled everything else down too. The last spoonful defeated me last night and was thrown away.

    You know the quote from Juvenal (I think) - occidit miseros crambe repetita magistros? I think one more outing might have killed the wretched Z.

  4. Btw, the way I'm putting on weight, I'm becoming more visible every day.

  5. And, as I said, I immediately bought the book you recommended at the time.

  6. I suspect Sudoku and I are not going to get on. I get and like the idea, but the frustrating thing is that if you make a mistake early on, you can't go back and correct it. Any hints?

  7. Put down options in small print until you're sure, but if you make a mistake when it's too late to correct it, just shrug and move on. It's only a game, innit?