Family Weekend Wraps Up With Cooking Cabbage

The long Labor Day weekend took us on family visits,
to see celebrate with 105 year old Great Aunt Iris
and to see my brother Robbie’s new home. He is all grown up with his own place and most importantly, has a teaching job within a hour’s drive of the farm. He is teaching full-time at a middle school and coaching any sport they throw at him which already includes soccer, volleyball and basketball.
Over the weekend, we took a few determined bike rides down the gravel road to Great-Grandma Nola and Great-Grandpa Sonny’s house.
Well, one rode while the rest of us walked.
College football season kicked off and just when we thought we had every ESPN television channel to watch every game, we did not. Grandpa had to turn on the trusty radio to listen to his alma mater the North Dakota State Bison knock off the Kansas Jayhawks.
It was a weekend full of fun…and a couple bubble baths.
This afternoon we made it home during a much needed rain on the prairie and just in time for me to tackle cooking with cabbage for the first time. 
Now if my husband had caught a large quota of walleye on his four night fishing excursion, I would have held off on this cabbage meal. But…sorry…Nathan…I am going to share with the blog world…that you caught one 3 lb. walleye and that is only enough fish for Jesus to feed thousands. It doesn’t feed our family. My husband is over my shoulder right now telling me all sorts of fishing details to tell you. I can’t comprehend them all but he said to tell you he was with a professional guide and no one else was catching fish. He wants you to know…he is not a fishing idiot. Okay, he now has got me totally distracted. He is still talking but I am going to get back to cabbage cooking.
I decided not to follow a recipe to cook my cabbage. 
I chopped up the cabbage.
Thawed out some home-grown, hunted and locally processed venison brats. 
Chopped up potatoes.
Loosely, based off of Miss Verna’s recipe she handed me when she forced encouraged me to buy the cabbage, I added 2 cups of water, 1 TBSP canola oil, season salt, fresh ground black pepper and some honey…not sugar because our friends are bee keepers/ honey farmers. Thanks to them I have a nice bear of honey smiling at me on my counter.
Then I added a few Juniper Berries which Penzey’s says are for venison, pheasant and other wild game to tame the “wild flavor”. Our venison is well-grazed on all of my family’s grain fields. It is not wild tasting but I threw a few Junipers in and then fully dosed Cajun seasoning and stirred.
I added the brats to the top of the cabbage/ potato mix and put it in the oven at 350 degrees.
One hour later, it looked like this and I turned it down to 250 degrees and forgot about it for another 1 1/2 hours. 
By supper time tonight, the cabbage concoction was perfect. It was a huge hit with my German husband Nathan, son Hunter (who rated it a 9 out of 10) and even the little girls were chowing down on the cabbage and brats. I made a quick Caprese salad with garden tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and the basics of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper along with some Grandpa-grown corn on the cob.

Cabbage success. It was my first cooking with cabbage meal after living behind the “Sauerkraut Curtain” of the prairie for the past three years. 
I loved the cabbage meal so much I think I am off to Miss Verna’s on Tuesday to buy myself another cabbage. Oh the possibilities of cabbage on the prairie.
What’s next? 


  1. Sounds like your family had a great Labor Day! We did too. My brother and dad joined us with friends to grill chicken on a beer can, – a 1st for us, as your cabbage was for you. Being a German Wisconsinite, I’ve made cabbage a fair number of times. Glad to see you eat yours with brats. Venison brats are super popular here too. Thx for the post. Cheers.

  2. Way to go Katie. And you thought no one would like it!

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