Monday, 3 November 2014

Seasonal Cooking and a Spooky Walk through the Woods

We had a fun filled night at the Dead of Night Dance in Tehidy Woods on Friday evening.  There was something magical about wondering through the woods in the dark.  They sent us through the woods in small groups following a winding path where we were invited through the gates to the otherworld, along the way meeting lost souls who told us their stories.  Many of our fellow travellers had come along dressed in all sorts of wonderful costumes for the occasion, carrying lanterns and baskets of food.  As we progressed we could hear previous groups screaming, we soon found out why when a 'werewolf' scuttled through the woods and jumped out at us.  We then came to a large tent where we sat on hay bales to watch the entertainment.  Scary stories were told through song and dance, followed by a cauldron of woodland stew and various brews.  The actors and audience then danced the night away to Thriller, Ghost Town, Ghostbuster, Bat out of Hell and all the other spook themed tunes they could find.

I love the change of seasons and the change in food that they bring.  I have a weekly Cornish veg box delivery that only supplies things grown or produced in Cornwall.   The contents of the veg boxes mark the changes of season as there is no out of season veggies.  If you go into to any supermarket it could be easy to not realise there are seasonal food as things are shipped in from all over the world.  This weeks veg box contained the first red cabbage, I get excited about these things!  I have just finished last years braised red cabbage from the freezer, so time to start making some more.  I love eating it with a roast dinner and we always have some with our Xmas dinner.  In fact give me a plate of veggies, roast potatoes and all the accompaniments and I'm happy.  You can keep your Turkey.

 I thought I would try a different recipe this year based on a Felicity Cloake recipe out of The Guardian, however I always cook my braised red cabbage in the slow cooker rather than on the stove.  The cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg are wintery warming spices that I love at this time of year.

Braised Red Cabbage

50 g butter
1 red onion
1 cinnamon stick or 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 grated or ground nutmeg
1 red cabbage cut into chunks and washed
1 cooking apple
3 tbs muscovado sugar
150 ml balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons cranberry sauce

In a saucepan melt the butter and soften the onion for a few minutes.

Add the spices and cook for one minute.  As the spices hit the pan the kitchen is filled with their wonderful aroma

Tip in the red cabbage and stir to coat everything with the butter so it glistens.

You could carry on cooking in the saucepan at this stage but I tip it all into my slow cooker along with the apple, sugar and vinegar.

Give it a good stir and I cook it on high for about 4 hours, adding the cranberry sauce half way through.  Every slow cooker is different, my high setting isn't very hot, or you may prefer to put it on low for longer.  You can drain off any extra liquid if you have any.  Season well

I freeze my braised red cabbage so I have some throughout the year.  Defrost, and heat adding some butter to serve.  I have just tasted it and think I prefer it to last years recipe, so this will go into my recipe book I am creating with all my favourite recipes.  I often find a lovely recipe only to forget where I got it from so it's time I got organised!

This afternoon I made some chutney, I will include the recipe in my next post.  The whole house smells of spices now.

Do you have any favourite seasonal tastes and smells?

Chickpea xx

Welcome to Jeannette :)


  1. Cinnamon in the winter, vanilla in the spring.

  2. I'm not good at choosing favourites, there are too many good things out there and I'm indecisive!!

    That sounds like a great evening out in the woods :)

  3. I love braised cabbage, especially at this time of year! xx

  4. You've set me off now. I have three red cabbage left in the garden and will cook one tomorrow now!

  5. This looks wonderful.
    I love anything with cabbage.

    cheers, parsnip

  6. I love red cabbage, but had never thought to do it in the slow cooker. Will do now though! X

  7. Your spooky night sounds fab. We keep saying we will take a night time walk through our local forest to look for the owls we hear. Must do that!


  8. The Woodland dead of night dance sounds great.
    The Autumn smell for me is chutney and pickles wafting through the cottage or a walk through fallen leaves in the woods.

  9. Thanks for your comments everyone, sounds like there are a few red cabbage lovers out there.


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