COOKING CABBAGE, SOUR-KROUT, ETC.
Cabbage when boiled with salt pork, as it is mostly used, is the food for strong and healthy digestive powers; but when eaten in its raw state, served with vinegar and pepper, it is considered one of the most easily digested articles of diet. In the process of cooking, even with the greatest care, a large portion of the sweetness is lost.
To Pickle, select hard heads, quarter them, soak in salt and water four or five days, then drain and treat as for other pickles, with vinegar spiced to suit.
For Cold Slaw, select hard heads, halve and then slice up these halves exceedingly fine. Lay these in a deep dish, and pour over vinegar that has been raised to the boiling point in which has been mixed a little pepper and salt.
Sour-Krout. Take large, hard-headed drumheads, halve, and cut very fine; then pack in a clean, tight barrel, beginning with a sprinkling of salt, and following with a layer of cabbage, and thus alternating until the barrel is filled. Now compact the mass as much as possible by pounding, after which put on a well-fitting cover resting on the cabbage, and lay heavy weights or a stone on this. When fermented it is ready for use. To prepare for the table fry in butter or fat.
The outer green leaves of cabbages are sometimes used to line a brass or copper kettle in which pickles are made in the belief that the vinegar extracts the coloring substance (chlorophyl) in the leaves, and the cucumbers absorbing this acquire a rich green color. Be not deceived by this transparent cheat, O simple housewife! the coloring matter comes almost wholly from the copper or brass behind those leaves; and, instead of an innocent vegetable pigment, your green cucumbers are dyed with the poisonous carbonate of copper.