I picked the last of my red cabbage a couple of days ago. You may remember, I was only growing it because I bought it in error, not noticing the hand written amendment to the printed label which simply said rouge (red)!!
I have however been very pleased with the dozen plants I had. I have enjoyed red cabbage in various ways over the past few months particularly liking the leaves shredded and pickled.
I decided to cut the last couple of heads and pickle them, hoping they'll last a few months longer....
To pickle red cabbage I use a mixture of 50% water and 50% vinegar and boil it with some pickling spice. I now make my own spice blend for pickling.....
Pickling Spice Mixture
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1 tsp Chilli Flakes
1 tsp Mixed Peppercorns
1 tsp Yellow Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Ground Ginger
2 Bay Leaves
I use this quantity for 5 litres (5 US Quarts) of vinegar/water, just crushing the bay leaves and then mixing all the ingredients together. For smaller quantities, I use a tsp per litre (US quart).
I then bring the vinegar, water and spices to the boil and let it simmer for a moment or two.
I put the shredded cabbage into jars and add a teaspoon (probably slightly less) of sugar to each jar before pouring on the hot spiced vinegar and sealing.
I use some conserve jars that are readily available here in France called Le Parfait. They are really excellent and available in all sorts of sizes and forms. I like the screw top jars best.
These jars use a disposable capsule to seal the jar and then the screw cap lid holds everything in place. The problem, nowadays, is that these capsules are getting very expensive and add significantly to the cost of home preserving. You need to use a new capsule every time you seal a jar.... and they now cost about €0.75 (US$1.00) per capsule. Today I have modified the capsule in an attempt to make it reusable although the seal will probably only last a couple of uses but even that halves the cost.... I have drilled a small hole in the middle of the capsule which I have then sealed with wax. I'll tell you all about it in the future if it works out OK.
Today, 18th April is St Parfait Day...hence this piece.