Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup

Another recipe that I had neglected to move over from a previous web site.

This is my Grandmother’s recipe for sweet and sour cabbage soup. Unlike most of the recipes in these pages, you can get all the ingredients at just about any grocery store.

Ingredients:

1 2-3lb green cabbage
1 lemon
1 onion
1 cup sugar or to taste
1 14oz can of Bavarian Sauerkraut
1 12oz can of Tomato Paste
1 28oz can of Sliced or Chopped tomatoes
1 TBS salt

Instructions

Slice the cabbage and put it in a large pot.

Chop the onion, and put it in the same pot.

Cut the lemon in half, and squeeze the juice and pulp of the entire lemon into the pot.

Add the sugar, salt, and all of the canned ingredients to the mixture.

Take each can, fill it once with water, and pour the water into the mixture.

Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower heat to a simmer. The soup should be cooked for several hours, until it no longer smells of cabbage; the cabbage should be soft and translucent. The soup will cook down a fair bit in volume; the longer it cooks the more pronounced the flavor will be. If you cook it down too much (either the first day or when reheating it), just add some water and cook it some more.

Ingredient Notes

You may substitute normal saurkraut for the Bavarian Saurkraut if you like.

If you want to use meat, put a tablespoon or so of olive oil in the soup pan first, and sautee a soup bone in it. Then follow the rest of the instructions as written.

Unlike baking recipes, the sugar in this is just a sweetener rather than giving structure to anything, so you can use sweetener substitutes of your choosing.

Betty Katz’ Sour Tomatoes

                   Growing up, our next door neighbor would make these pickles every summer. My mother had gotten the recipe from her, and I’ve made only one minor change. The original recipe called for the use of Alum directly in the brine, something that is no longer recommended practice in pickling. Instead, I use Pickling Lime (which serves the same purpose) in a bath first, which stiffens the tomatoes but is washed off. These are not shelf stable pickles, and must be refrigerated.

Ingredients

Liquid

  1. 3 qts. Water
  2. 1 qt good Cider vinegar
  3. 1 cup Kosher salt (233 grams of any non-iodized salt)

In Sterilized Jar                

  1. 1 t pickling spice
  2. 1 T honey
  3. 1 dried hot chile pepper
  4. 1 bay leaf
  5. 2 – 3 pieces peeled raw garlic

Method

  1. Bring liquid to a rolling boil. 
  2.  Place dry ingredients in each sterile quart jar
  3. Scrub green tomatoes. Cut into halves or quarters
  4. Add tomatoes to jars.
  5. Pour in boiling liquid to top of jar. Seal.
  6. Let cool to room temperature.
  7. Refrigerate. These are not shelf stable.

Additional Notes

For crisper pickles, use a Pickling Lime (like Mrs. Wages) on the tomatoes prior to starting. Follow the instructions on the package of Pickling Lime for proper handling.         

Reflections on Another Era

It was the mid-1990’s. In addition to the major television networks, there were also shows directly into syndication.

The thing about syndicated shows was that they didn’t have a universal time slot (or a single release of an entire season). Instead, the local stations had a window in which to air the shows. This becomes important later.

Television programs were also mostly episodic. The move towards the more plot heavy story arcs was going on (X-Files being a notable example), but in general, at the end of any given episode, things had basically returned to the status quo ante. Sometimes you had to wait for the conclusion of a two-part episode with a cliffhanger in between. This will also become important later.

In Denver, where we lived at the time, Babylon 5 aired at the end of it’s programming window, so we were almost always just shy of a week behind the first viewers. And then, the television station made a mistake. They aired The Coming of Shadows a week early.

Watching the episode, I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, and trying to figure out how they were going to get to a reset point. And then I realized that they weren’t. They were breaking the setting, and nothing was going to be the same after this episode.

This isn’t a post about the 1990s.

When we get to the other side of this, those of us who survive, we are going to be different. The world is going to be different. I don’t know the shape of those changes, it is far too soon to tell. But there isn’t a reset point ahead, the world after Covid-19 is going to be very different then the world that rang out 2019 a few months ago.