I’m not fond of the smell of cooking cabbage so I waited to make this recipe until it was warm enough to open some windows. Today was the day to open things up and cook some cabbage. Mrs. D. Forsyth contributed a recipe for Baked Cabbage to the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I had half of a cabbage left so I decided to try this recipe using half the suggested amounts. I cut the end from the cabbage and put the entire head in boiling salted water for 15 minutes. I let it drain in a colander and then started chopping the leaves. I also finely chopped the onion and fried it in some butter as directed. I wasn’t sure what burning yellow meant but I fried them until golden brown and added the onions to the cabbage mixture. The bread crumbs, salt and pepper were next. Nutmeg is an interesting spice to add to cabbage. I sprinkle it on carrots all the time but I’d never thought of using it with cabbage. Next I mixed in the egg and spread it all in a baking pan. I baked it in a 350 degree F. oven and it was a “nice brown” after 40 minutes. However, I should have baked it a little longer.
David Forsyth was born in Scotland and emigrated to Canada when he was a child. His wife Augusta Clothilde Mylius was born in Berlin Ontario. The couple married in 1882 and had two children Dora and Otto. The 1901 census reveals that Augusta’s heritage and faith is German Lutheran while David’s is Scots Methodist. Mrs. Forsyth is in her early 40s and the children are in their teens when the Berlin Cook Book is published in 1906. Mr. Forsyth was a well-known high school science teacher. His contributions to the teaching of science are recognized in the Waterloo County Hall of Fame. In 1911 census the family are still living at 31 Margaret street, the family are now all Lutherans, and 21-year-old son Otto is working as a traveller for a wholesaler.
Baked cabbage tastes okay but next time I would boil the cabbage longer or use a fresher one so that I don’t have the hard bits. I would bake the dish longer so that the top is even crisper. I’ve discovered I like the combination of nutmeg with cabbage and will use that in my regular cooking in future. A modern cook might want to add a little more onion. This recipe makes a good inexpensive base for experimentation for any cook and especially for vegetarians.
Mrs. Forsyth’s Baked Cabbage takes a vegetable used in the cooking style of both her own and her husband’s heritage and makes an interesting and inexpensive dish for her family.
Boil a head of cabbage, a loose head is preferable, very soft, in salted water, drain dry in collender [sic] and chop very fine, fry a small onion chopped fine in a heaping spoonful of butter, when just burning yellow add to cabbage, also a cup of bread crumbs, pepper, salt and nutmeg, and two eggs; mix all together and spread smooth in shallow buttered pan; bake in oven a nice brown, cut out in squares and serve in hot dish.