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fall and winter foods

Posted by on Dec 14, 2011 in Blog Posts | 7 comments

It’s that time of year when the root veggies beckon, and are cheaper than the summer items, now flown in from more exotic and remote (expensive) climates.

Last night our dinner had two purple sides, beet salad and red cabbage. (My goodness, as I search now, I realize I have never written up our traditional German red cabbage recipe. I will have to remedy that soon!)

About the red cabbage…
It’s something I refused to eat as a child, I was pressured to like it, and though I liked most foods, chose this one to make my stand. I didn’t try it until I was in my twenties, but now I love it, and M has always loved it.
A funny (to me) story. There are cloves in it. M loves counting out 8 cloves and putting them in the pot. A few times I have crunched on the cloves and found it really off-putting when eating it. So, the first time I served her and didn’t search it for cloves and she found one, she got a little upset. I blurted out, “You found it, that’s good luck! The person who finds a clove gets to make a wish!” Now she can’t wait to find the cloves, and even offered me one the other night when she had three and I had none!

Do you have cute or funny food stories? Do you have any other dishes that are purple?

A note on beets. They are scrumptious! They are so sweet. I tried roasting them, but found the extra hassle wasn’t worth it. I boil them with the skin on until I can pierce pretty easily with a knife. This can take some time, and with larger beets, I cut them in half. Be careful, the water will stain, and your fingers will stain, so don’t peel them before an important meeting! Let them cool, peel and slice. I made this salad this weekend while we were doing Legos and chilled it in the fridge and ate it the next day. It was so yummy! It will turn your pee and poop pinkish red, which is alarming if you aren’t ready for it, but some kids think it’s really cool!

Here is one of my favorite photos of M, enjoying some plain, boiled beets at around 8 months. I think this was with the baby-safe feeder which was always good to keep her busy for a bit and introduce her to new flavors and textures.

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  1. Natasha

    We love the winter root veggies – adding parsnips, celery root or turnips to a potato and meat stew or roasted root veggies creates such nice variety of flavors and textures. One of my personal favorites is rutabaga, a little sweeter and mellower than turnips. I love that they work well both in the slow cooker or oven roasted – our “lazy man” recipes over the last couple of years. I’ve gotten to where I sometimes use parsnip instead of carrot in soups and such.

  2. Jennifer Hansen

    Oh! Cute and funny purple foods!

    We never had a high chair for our kids because we didn’t have the room for one. Having tile floors, we found it easy to just park the kidlet at his or her own tiny table (homebuilt from four pre-made legs and a piece of oaktag) with an activity cube or converted potty chair for a stool. When they were done, they got up and we mopped around the table. However, there were limits. When our oldest was a toddler, she insisted on feeding herself even though she could not yet handle a spoon. Combine this with a toddler’s love of sensory play, and you can see why some foods were temporarily off limits. She loved blueberry yogurt, loved it loved it loved it, and was furious that she couldn’t be left alone to enjoy it. One day my husband had a brian wave and put her in the bathtub with about half a cup of yogurt. I have no idea how much actually went into her, but she was a lovely shade of lavender from her eyebrows to her knees!

  3. Jennifer Hansen

    Beef stew (some beef shank or stew meat with Alaska potatoes, Alaska carrots, yellow or sweet onions, homemade broth of some kind, and lots of garlic and other seasonings), served with toasted garlic bread–the kind that’s just Italian bread with garlic cloves baked into it. Bonus if the fat used to brown the floured meat pieces and onions is bacon grease. If you have a slow cooker, you can make this in the morning and come home to it after a day in the cold. Amounts? Enough beef pieces to cover the bottom of the pot, enough quartered potatoes and carrot chunks to cover the meat, and enough broth to just get the vegetables’ feet wet. Finely chop some more carrots with the onions and pour in with the broth. Seasonings? Garlic plus whatever you got. If in a hurry, just use Season-All. Season the flour used to coat the meat pieces and also season the broth.

  4. Nicole

    Red cabbage recipe? Please? 🙂 I’ve tried numerous times to duplicate the Central European red cabbage and have not succeeded!

  5. Twistie

    I always loved cabbage in nearly all forms from early childhood. Funny thing, though, I kept avoiding sauerkraut. I tried it once when I was pretty tiny, hated it, and never tried it again… until last year.

    It suddenly occurred to me that I love cabbage, and I love pickled things, and sauerkraut is just pickled cabbage, so why was I so determined not to eat it again? I took a small bite off Mr. Twistie’s plate in a restaurant (with his permission and encouragement, of course), and found that I actually quite like it.

    Duh! Took me long enough!

    • Natasha

      I like sauerkraut mixed in with other things, and love cabbage in soups. But by far my favorite pickled cabbage is kimchi – it’s the spicy korean style of pickled cabbage (usually napa cabbage, I think). Have you tried that?