common white garden cabbage is one of the oldest of cultivated
vegetables. A variety of the plant known as red cabbage was the delight
of ancient gourmands more than eighteen centuries ago. The Egyptians
adored it, erected altars to it, and made it the first dish at their
repasts. In this they were imitated by the Greeks and Romans.
Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, considered the cabbage
one of the most valuable of remedies, and often prescribed a dish of
boiled cabbage to be eaten with salt for patients suffering with
violent colic. Erasistratus looked upon it as a sovereign remedy
against paralysis, while Cato in his writings affirmed it to be a
panacea for all diseases, and believed the use the Romans made of it to
have been the means whereby they were able, during six hundred years,
to do without the assistance of physicians, whom they had expelled from
their territory. The learned philosopher, Pythagoras, composed books in
which he lauded its wonderful virtues.
The Germans are so fond of cabbage that it enters into the
composition of a majority of their culinary products. The cabbage was
first raised in England about 1640, by Sir Anthony Ashley. That this
epoch, important to the English horticultural and culinary world, may
never be forgotten, a cabbage is represented upon Sir Anthony's
The nutritive value of the cabbage is not high, nearly ninety
per cent being water; but it forms an agreeable variety in the list of
vegetable foods, and is said to possess marked antiscorbutic virtue. It
is, however, difficult of digestion, and therefore not suited to weak
stomachs. It would be impossible to sustain life for a lengthened
period upon cabbage, since to supply the body with sufficient food
elements, the quantity would exceed the rate of digestion and the
capacity of the stomach.
M. Chevreul, a French scientist, has ascertained that the
peculiar odor given off during the boiling of cabbage is due to the
disengagement of sulphureted hydrogen. Cabbage is said to be more
easily digested raw than cooked.
and Cooking.—A good cabbage should have a well-developed,
firm head, with fresh, crisp leaves, free from worm-holes and decayed
portions. To prepare for cooking, stalk, shake well to free from dirt,
and if there are any signs of insects, lay in cold salted water for an
hour or so to drive them out. Rinse away the salt water, and if to be
boiled, drop into a small quantity of boiling water. Cover closely and
boil vigorously until tender. If cooked slowly, it will be watery and
stringy, while overdone cabbage is especially insipid and flavorless.
If too much water has been used, remove the cover, that evaporation may
go on more rapidly; if too little, replenish with boiling water.
Cabbage should be cooked in a porcelain-lined or granite-ware sauce pan
or a very clean iron kettle. Cabbage may also be steamed, but care must
be taken to have the process as rapid as possible. Fresh young cabbage
will cook in about one hour; old cabbage requires from two to three
Cabbage.—Prepare and chop a firm head of young white cabbage,
boil until tender, drain, and set aside until nearly cold. Then add two
well-beaten eggs, salt to taste, and a half cup of thin cream or rich
milk. Mix and bake in a pudding dish until lightly browned.
Cabbage.—Carefully clean a nice head of cabbage, divide into
halves, and with a sharp knife slice very thin, cutting from the center
of the head outward. Put into boiling water, cover closely, and cook
rapidly until tender; then turn into a colander and drain, pressing
gently with the back of a plate. Return to the kettle, add salt to
taste, and sufficient sweet cream to moisten well, heat through if at
all cooled, dish, and serve at once. If preferred, the cream may be
omitted, and the cabbage served with tomato sauce or lemon juice as a
and Tomatoes.—Boil finely chopped cabbage in as little water
as possible. When tender, add half the quantity of hot stewed tomatoes,
boil together for a few minutes, being careful to avoid burning, season
with salt if desired, and serve. If preferred, a little sweet cream may
be added just before serving.
Celery.—A firm, crisp head of cabbage cut in slices half an
inch or an inch thick, and then again into pieces four or five inches
long and two or three inches wide, makes a quite appetizing substitute
Hash.—Chop fine, equal parts of cold boiled potatoes and
boiled cabbage, and season with salt. To each quart of the mixture add
one half or three fourths of a cup of thin cream; mix well and boil
till well heated.
Cabbage or Cabbage Salad.—Take one pint of finely chopped
cabbage; pour over it a dressing made of three tablespoonfuls of lemon
juice, two tablespoonfuls of sugar, and a half cup of whipped cream,
thoroughly beaten together in the order named; or serve with sugar and
diluted lemon juice.
Cabbage.—Cut a fine head of cabbage into quarters, and cook
until tender. A half hour before it is done, drop in three good-sized
potatoes. When done, take all up in a colander together, press out the
water, and mash very fine. Season with cream, and salt if desired.
Cabbage. Chop nice cabbage quite fine, and put it into
boiling water, letting it boil twenty minutes. Turn into a colander and
drain thoroughly; return to the kettle, cover with milk, and let it
boil till perfectly tender; season with salt and cream to taste. The
beaten yolk of an egg, stirred in with the cream, is considered an
improvement by some.
Head for the Top of Cabbage
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