We have the most beautiful cabbage this year; the slugs have infested the Arrowheads, though they are still usable (the Arrowheads, not the slugs), but the Kraut Man heads are nearly perfect. About a week a go I harvested about 18 pounds and started a crock of sauerkraut.
Yesterday, I brought in another 25 pounds or so, and spent the day slicing cabbage and thinking about millipedes, slugs and sauerkraut recipes. The slugs and millipedes didn’t fare well. They either met their maker in the salty brine I soak the quartered cabbages in (for exactly that reason: it dispatches any insects that ride into the house from the garden), or they were divided in two a la Solomon, which is the quick, merciful and reliable way to send these critters on to the great garden in the sky.
The demise of insects is a sad fact of life when gardening organically. The “friendly” (garden-friendly, that is) ones are left alone, of course, but the others … Well, I needn’t go on about this.
The pondering of recipes, on the other hand, was less troublesome. Of course the first crock was plain — nothing but cabbage, salt, a bit of pounding and time. For the second large crock, I added caraway seeds, a traditional kraut method that adds a mildly different flavor to the finished product.
The third crock, however, was small, so I decided to try something straight from the leaves of my inner cookbook. Cumin (think curry) and cayenne pepper flakes, two of my favorite food flavorings. Now I have to wait for about six weeks to see if that was a stroke of brilliance or a fancy way to augment the compost pile.
I just love cooking.