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Improved Cabbage

Agnes Jekyll has a simple and good way to cook cabbage that is worth quoting in full:

“Use no soda in boiling your freshly gathered cabbage, and when half done, cut the leaves apart, shred them, and simmer gently for some 10 minutes in one to two cupfuls of milk to which has been added a heaped tablespoonful of flour dissolved in half a cup of water, and worked to a smooth paste, adding one tablespoon of butter, and one of margarine, and a good pinch of salt. Pile of CabbagesTwo or three tablespoons of cream would improve this sauce, and coarsely ground black pepper is the best flavouring, added at the last. This improved form of cabbage is welcomed by many who have hitherto looked with hostility on its homely virtue.” Kitchen Essays 136-37

Notes: With apologies to Aggie, there is no need to preboil the cabbage and it is easier to shred the cabbage before cooking it in the milk; do not use too much or the sauce will be watery.

Especially if you use Wondra, there is no need to make a slurry of the flour; after 5 minutes of simmer, sprinkle it directly over the cabbage and stir it to marry instead. The cooking time usually can be shorter than the original recipe specifies; one cooks undercooked cabbage is another cook’s joy.

By all means improve the cabbage with cream, once the flour has thickened the milk.

Ditch the margarine for another ounce of unsalted butter.

We use Savoy cabbage when we can get it.