Cabbage Reinforcement

“Gather round, class! I’ve got something special for you guys!”

Sitting on the tabletop, bagged purple and red cabbages waited in a row, like fat soldiers.

The chef threw some questions at us. Proper responses earned us… well, cabbages. An interesting positive reinforcement technique–we’ve dubbed it Cabbage Reinforcement.

Thanks to my chef, there’s a round, vibrant red cabbage sitting in my refrigerator at the moment. I’m a broke college kid, free food (even cabbage!) is something I’ll never turn down! It’s like that scene from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. “Nothing goes better with cabbage than cabbage!”

But what does one do with a random red cabbage?

I’m glad to tell you I have an answer. This recipe was on my practical exam and earned me full marks. I’m here to share it with you! In case you get the hankering for a German delight, or you happen to have a random red cabbage in your refrigerator the way I do, here’s a way to make a delicious side dish from this vibrant veggie.

Maybe after a recipe like this one, Cabbage Reinforcement will catch on. No more candy treats for correct answers–cabbages for all!

And, just to brighten your day, here’s a great Pocahontas/Cabbage crossover I found online. I love Disney fan artists.

* I do not own this photo! Found on Pinterest, linked to

* I do not own this photo! Found on Pinterest, linked to

German-Style Braised Red Cabbage with Bacon


1 small onion, diced

1 clove garlic

1/2 green apple, diced

1/4 red cabbage, very thinly sliced

4 oz diced bacon

2 whole cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1/4 t allspice

2 oz (4 T) red wine vinegar


1. Saute bacon with a little butter until crispy. Add diced onions and minced garlic and cook until they just begin to color.

2. Add raw cabbage and salt well. Let cook down slightly.

3. Add red wine vinegar, cinnamon stick, cloves and allspice.

4. Cover the cabbage in water (just enough to cover the top of the cabbage, don’t drown it!) Bring to a simmer and let it cook down until almost all liquid has reduced.

5. Add the apples at the very end, cooking just until apples are tender.

6. Taste and season to your preference. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves (if you can find them) and serve warm. Enjoy!

Additional Notes: If you prefer the warm, homey taste of the cinnamon and allspice in this dish, feel free to add a pinch of sugar to help bring out the flavors. If you’re not fond of sweeter cabbage, salt and season to your personal tastes.


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