Four vegetables are the result of the cabbage plant by cultivation. As the rose changes its character under the hand of the floriculturist, so it is with cabbage at the hand of the gardener. First is the cabbage, which is the leafy bud that stores up food for a flower the next year. Second, the cauliflower, which is a cluster (corymb) of forced cabbage flowers. Third, Brussels sprouts. The leaves are picked off, and small buds form along the Stem; and fourth, kohlrabi, which is the leaves turned into a fleshy tuberous-like vegetable. In these results two of the phases, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts, are much esteemed, and are given rank with the best vegetables, while cabbage and kohlrabi have little favor, and are considered coarse and vulgar foods. The cabbage, however, if properly cooked, will be found an exceedingly palatable vegetable, which very closely resembles cauliflower.
If this receipt is exactly followed, this much-despised vegetable will be found very acceptable, and its odor will not be perceptible through the house. Cut the cabbage into good-sized pieces, take off the outside leaves, and cut away the hard core. Wash it well in two changes of water, and place the pieces, open side down, on a colander to drain. Have a very generous amount of water in a large saucepan or pot; let it boil violently; add a tablespoonful of salt and one quarter teaspoonful of baking soda; put in the cabbage, one piece at a time, so as to check the boiling as little as possible. Let it cook for twenty-five minutes uncovered and boiling rapidly all the time. Push the cabbage under the water every five minutes. Turn it into a colander and press out all the water. Put into a saucepan one tablespoonful of butter, a heaping teaspoonful of flour, one half teaspoonful of salt and a dash of pepper; add slowly one half cupful of milk, and stir till smooth; then add the cabbage. Cut it into large pieces with a knife, and mix it lightly with the sauce. If the cabbage is free from water the sauce will adhere to it and form a creamy coating.
This receipt of Catherine Owen has been found most satisfactory.
(Very Good.) Boil the cabbage as directed above. Press out all the water and chop it. Make a white sauce of one tablespoonful each of butter and flour, one cupful of milk, one half teaspoonful of salt, dash of cayenne (see page 277). Spread a layer of cabbage on the bottom of a pudding-dish; cover it with white sauce; then add a layer of grated cheese. Make a second layer of cabbage, sauce, and cheese; cover the top with a layer of crumbs moistened with butter, and place it in the oven. When the sauce bubbles through the crumbs it is done. Serve in same dish.
Slice the cabbage into thin shreds as for cold slaw; cook it in a generous amount of rapidly boiling water for fifteen minutes; then drain off the water; cover it with milk; add salt, pepper, and a bit of mace, and cook until tender, and until the milk has boiled away so that it only moistens the cabbage. Add a piece of butter, and serve.
Cut the cabbage into thin shreds as for cold slaw. (Use a plane if convenient.) Boil it until tender in salted fast-boiling water. Drain it thoroughly, and pour over it a hot sauce made of one tablespoonful of butter, one half teaspoonful of salt, dash of pepper and of cayenne, and one half to one cupful of vinegar, according to its strength. Cover the saucepan and let it stand on the side of the range for five minutes, so that the cabbage and sauce will become well incorporated.
Remove any wilted leaves from the outside of the sprouts, and let them stand in cold salted water from fifteen to twenty minutes, so that any insects there may be in them will come out. Put the sprouts into salted, rapidly boiling water, and cook uncovered fifteen or twenty minutes, or until tender, but not until they lose their shape. Drain them thoroughly in a colander; then place them in a saucepan with butter, pepper, and salt, and toss them until seasoned; or mix them lightly with just enough white sauce to coat them.