Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Of Cabbages and Things

As the garden winds down preparing for winter sleep; the oak and beech around us begin to drop their leaves, floating ever so quietly, blanketing the ground. The dogwood trees are especially lovely, their leaves turning a beautiful purple, fading to red and finishing so slowly they cling until they can hold no more. Their red berries have been snached away by squirrels, chipmunk and crows so it's usefulness in our garden landscape serves many purposes.

This is my favourite time of year. The robust earthy smells of composting, the crisp cool air reminding us winter is but weeks away, the hurt your eyes blue sky that only autumn seems to display and often, days full of the sound of wind and rain..."time to sleep, time to sleep".
Over the years we've noticed how much more purple we see in the garden especially this time of year. Purple Cabbage is one vegetable garden plant that has not performed really well in the past, and yet other brassicas do alright. But I couldn't resist a few six packs of transplants last spring and in they went. Was the secret this year, a long wet winter and short spring? The result has been a grand harvest.
We forgot how crisp and sweet, cabbage can be when it has been touched by frost, and shredded for slaw or braised with apples, sultanas and malt vinegar. A sprinkling of caraway seed is a nice addition.
Even on overcast days, the autumn colors glow; a good time to re-evaluate the bones of the garden. This year, we've made some tough decisions about what should go and what should stay. As I prepared to put my bulbs in, I felt I had lost my initial vision of a perennial bed surrounding the veg garden. Grasses had morphed into monsters, baptisias were failing, bee balm that is work year after year and this year, totally out of control....needed attending. So while the weather holds time to get the shovel, rake and barrow out, and get dirty. Well, at least there will be a nice rustic cabbage soup waiting for me after a long day if I make it before I go out ;-).




9 comments:

  1. Those cabbages look wonderful! The Great Dane loves red cabbage in the Danish style - braised with apple and vinegar and a little red currant jelly.
    Such a lot of work showing in that last photo............All of your photos are lovely.
    It is obvious that the writing gene is strong in your branch of the family - the first paragraph is really beautiful.

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    1. I will try it with red currant jelly. I wonder if quince would go as well? Thank you for your kind comments re the photos and most especially for the writing gene comment, strong in our branch of the family. Strong in your branch of the family also x

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  2. It is such a wonderful time of year isn't it. I love the smell of the air...and the chill.

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    1. Today is a warmer day Erin, so looking forward to another day digging. Thanks for your kind comment.

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  3. I love braised red cabbage and we often have several batches of it stored in the freezer. I must admit the spring is my favourite time of the year when everything is just coming into life and the whole of spring and summer is spread out in front of you.

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    1. Does it freeze well Sue? Thanks for the suggestion. So good to hear from you. Thank you.

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    2. Very well - it just needs reheating

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  4. I'm glad your Red Cabbage did so well. I hope you enjoy eating it a lot, because it seems to go a lot further than green / white cabbage. We love braised Red Cabbage as an accompaniment to the traditional Lancashire Hotpot.

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  5. Yes, the purple cabbage have rewarded you well this year. I do like it, but find it a little hard to cook with creatively, but I have used it in Bubble and Squeak in the past and a filling for spring rolls, so it has potential.

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