Tag Archives: recipe

Zingy Krautsuppe: German Cabbage Soup

I love making soup, and this adaptable variation on a traditional German cabbage soup manages to pay tribute to the German ancestors while cleaning out my refrigerator at the same time.

Cabbage soup

Cabbage soup cooking

I will give you a recipe, but please don’t feel bound by anything you see.  Well, except the cabbage and the vinegar and caraway, because that puts the ZING in this Zingy soup.

I used pieces of bacon and some leftover cooked ham.  Browning the vegetables in the bacon grease adds depth to their flavor.

cabbage soup in bowl closeup

A bit of vinegar makes your vegetables zippier.

And caraway gives this soup a unique flavor.

Zingy German Cabbage Soup

Serves 6-8
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 1 hour, 15 minutes
Total time 1 hour, 35 minutes
Meal type Soup
Misc Serve Hot
Region German

Ingredients

  • 6 cups cabbage (chopped)
  • 2 large carrots (peeled and chopped)
  • 2 stalks celery (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 Bell pepper (red or green, chopped)
  • 1 large potato (cubed)
  • 3 rashers of bacon (cut in 1)
  • 2 cups cooked ham (cubed)
  • 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 6-8 cups broth (chicken, beef or vegetable)
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Directions

1. Brown the bacon pieces in soup pot . Add ham cubes and stir to brown slightly. Take meat out of pan, but leave bacon grease.
2. Add chopped carrots and celery and pepper and potato and stir to brown and slightly soft. Add cabbage and continue to stir until cabbage gets a bit soft.
3. Add broth and meat, vinegar and caraway, and stir to combine.
4. Simmer for an hour or more.
5. Serve with dark or rye bread. Store leftovers in glass jars in refrigerator for up to a week. (One quart makes two large servings.)

Note

I did not add salt because the ham and bacon added enough salt.  You might make it with ground beef, in which case you probably would want to add salt.

The soup can be made vegetarian by using vegetable broth and no meat.

I used a sweet potato instead of a regular white potato.

If your potatoes are thin-skinned and organic, don't bother to peel.

I did not add onions, but leeks or onions can also be added. In fact feel free to use whatever vegetables you want.  The recipe is very adaptable.

 

Hannah Glasse and Seed Cake or Nun’s Cake

On page 164 of the 1805 edition of The Art of Cookery by Hannah Glasse, I discover this simple(?) recipe for Seed Cake.

Nun's Cake

Nun’s Cake in a 1920’s version, once baking powder had been invented.

To make a rich Seed Cake called the Nun’s Cake

You must take four pounds of the finest flour, and three pounds of double refined sugar beaten and sifted; mix them together, and dry them by the fire till you prepare the other materials.

Take four pounds of butter, beat it with your hand till it is soft like cream; then beat thirty-five eggs, leave out sixteen whites, strain off your eggs from the threads, and beat them and the butter together till all appears like butter.  Put in four or five spoonfuls of rose or orange flower water, and beat again; then take your flour and sugar with six ounces of caraway seeds, and strew them in by degres, beating it up all the time for two hours together.  You may put in as much tincture of cinnamon or ambergrease as you please; butter your hopp, and let it stand three hours in a moderate oven.

You must observe always in beating of butter, to do it with a cool hand, and beat always one way in a deep earthen dish.

My Notes

Why so many eggs?  Because that is the only leavening available, except for cakes that called for using the yeast from making ale.

Four pounds of the finest flour: 4 1/2 cups of cake flour.

Beat the butter with your hand:  Obviously since electric mixers had not been invented, this is not the same as our instructions today to “beat by hand”, meaning use a spoon.  Would somebody tell me if this really means just using your bare hands?? I have to believe that is what it means, since she warns that you must have cool hands.

“Strain off the threads” of eggs: I learned something here.  If you Google Strained eggs, you will learn that after beating eggs, if you strain them, you will get airier omelets and smoother puddings!

Ambergris/ambergreese/ambergrease:  I linked an article above that gives a short information. For more than you might possibly want to know, go here.

Unfortunately, Hannah does not tell us how large a hoop to use for the seed cake, but it should not be more than 3/4 full, so use that as a guide.

And after beating the butter, then beating the 35 eggs, then beating everything for two hours, you may skip your visited to the gym today.

Try a Smaller Seed Cake

If you are intimidated by the size of this recipe, consider cutting it down to size as I have done with my Emily Dickinson Black Cake Recipe. I have not had time to try this recipe for Seed Cake yet, but I might try a 1/4 size recipe which would call for

  • One pound flour
  • 1 1/3 pounds sugar
  • 1 pound of butter
  • 5 whole eggs plus 4 egg yolks
  • one spooful of rose or orange flower water (or orange zest, orange flavoring or orange liqueur)
  • 1 1/2 oz caraway seeds
  • Cinnamon to taste

Combine these ingredients with an electric mixer, bake at 350 for an hour and a half–or until a toothpick/broomstraw inserted in the center comes out clean. Adjusting the ingredients makes the whole things sounds doable and delicious.

Let me know if you try it before I do.  (Or try the Williamsburg version of seed cake, here.)

Chocolate Swirl Bars–A Slice of my Life

Most kids love to cook. Once when I was a Cub Scout den mother, I asked the boys whether they would rather do a science experiment or cook something–cooking won by a landslide.  This recipe for Chocolate Swirl Bars meets the kid-friendly test.  The measurements allow you to work a bit on math if you want.  Relatively few ingredients means it is easy to mix up.  And best of all, they LOVE the action of swirling the chocolate into the peanut butter dough.

chocolate swirl bar

Bar cookies with peanut butter and chocolate chips.

Note: If you’re making chocolate swirl bars with grandchildren or a group of kids, be sure to check for peanut allergies before you start. Unfortunately, one of my grandsons and one of my great-grandsons would be unable to eat these.

I know they are popular with kids, because my youngest son started making them when he was in eighth grade.  He liked making the chocolate swirl bars, and turned it into a business.  We discussed the cost of the ingredients, which he had to figure out and then return to me from his earnings.

The inspiration for starting a business could have come from Junior Achievement–a school program that helped kids in high school start their own business.  His older son had quite a company going, supervising a group of kids who made macrame’ plant hangers back when macrame’ was all the rage.

At the time, my husband also acted as an advisor for a J.A. group at another high school.  I still have a spatter guard for a skillet and a hamburger press, both made by teens, as reminders of those projects.

But COOKIES! A much better business, in my humble opinion.

My son baked a batch and took small samples of the cookies door to door in our neighborhood, fed them to the neighbors and took orders for a dozen cookies.  I don’t know how long before his interest flagged, but it may very well have been the beginning of a lasting talent in salesmanship.

Whether you cook them yourself, or find some kids to do the baking, you’ll find that the only problem with these chocolate swirl bars is waiting until they are cool enough to come out of the pan. The smell is heavenly. The taste likewise. Can you eat just one?

Other kid-friendly cookie recipes:

Peanut butter cookies

Pumpkin Cookies

Rhema’s Raisin Bars

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Swirl Cookies

Serves 24
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 40 minutes
Total time 1 hour
Allergy Egg, Peanuts, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Easy to make Peanut Butter- Chocolate Chip Swirl Bars look great and taste as good as they look.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar (tightly packed)
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 10-12 oz chocolate chips

Directions

1. Beat well the first four ingredients.
2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
3. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in separate bowl, then beat into the peanut butter mixture.
4. Spread into greased 9" x 13" pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top, as evenly as possible.
5. Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, and draw knife through batter to make marbled effect with chocolate.
6. Return to oven and bake for 30-40 minutes in preheated 350 degree oven, until brown on edges, and almost solid in center. (Will continue to firm up out of oven.)
7. Cool on wire rack for ten minutes, then cut in squares. Put cookies on a cooling rack until completely cool. Freeze or store in airtight container.
8.

Note

You can use either semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips and either smooth or crunchy peanut butter in these delicious cookies.  Kids love to make them and get creative with the marbleing.