I’ve never been a woman, at least not in this life, so it stands to reason I’ve never been pregnant. I do however currently nurse a craving, a food craving. Nothing so severe as Whiskas on toast on a bed of Marmite but a craving none the less. Pickled red cabbage. Yep, mainstay of many an English Christmas larder. Larder? I haven’t used that word since I was about 15… Anyway, it’s now mid September and I have this craving – pickled red cabbage with Cheddar cheese. So what? you reply. Go to the supermarket and buy some. Ha! Too simple, this is Switzerland and I can’t find any. Anyway, what I actually want is that my Mum made years ago. So, following a week of this craving I decided to make some…yes, you read me right, make some!
Actually it was a spur of the moment thing. I saw the cabbage in the supermarket, thought about it for a few seconds, put it in the trolley then went in search for vinegar. That’s another thing, I can’t buy malt vinegar for love nor money, although if truth be told I’ve only ever tried with money, so I bought wine inegar instead. Then I thought about spicing said vinegar, and after visiting 48,324 different websites came up with the answer. And so it began.
On Monday, I chopped the cabbage, laid it in a bowl and smothered it with salt and left it 24 hours. Tuesday came round, I rinsed it well and let it drain while I prepared my spices – whole peppercorns, cloves, dried chili, bay leaves and fennel – just that which I found at the back of the cupboard. Cutting up an old, clean tea-towel I laid the spices inside, tied itup and laid it in the now-simmering vinegar for five minutes before taking the latter off the heat, leaving the spices in and putting it out on the balcony to cool. Then the jar sterilisation; jars in the oven at 150 degrees for 10 minutes while boiling the lids for the same amount of time.
With both the jars and vinegar now cool, I initiated my first pickling, ever. Here is the result. I’ve never been a woman, hence I’ve never been pregnant, but I can’t wait for these babies…