You have filled my heart with greater joy than when their grain and new wine abound.  I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.  –Psalm 4:7-8

As a trained chef, I realize that I speak two languages:  English and Food.  I hope you will feel welcome and enjoy reflecting in my kitchen.

Cooking is a beautiful and truth-revealing process when we take the time to reflect on what’s happening before our very eyes, ears, nose, and mouth.  If God truly created plants for us to eat, enjoy, and be nourished by, how then does the cooking process connect with Him and His words?  Looking for God in the everyday activities like cooking brings the fullness of joy.

As you make your plans to gather around a Thanksgiving table, may I suggest that you volunteer to bring “Red Wine Braised Cabbage” and consider it an exercise to reflect on the Lord’s safety.

While you are cooking, consider some thoughts:

What if our hearts were placed safely in a heavy cast iron pot with the intention of turning our bitter and sulfur smelling self into something tender and healthy?  What if we think about the Lord himself as having the ability like the cast iron pot to evenly distribute heat so that our bottoms do not burn! What if we think about the Lord providing His protection to us from ourselves through that enamel coating? We would rust without it!  Because we can’t properly “season” ourselves, he put His “coat” around us. What a visual for his promises of true safety as we give thanks at Thanksgiving.

Red Wine Braised Cabbage:

1 head of red cabbage, outer leaves removed, quartered, cored, and

sliced thinly

4 large firm and sweet apples

2 lemons, juiced

1 bottle of dry red wine

3 red or yellow onions, peeled and sliced thinly

6 tablespoons butter

¼ cup brown sugar

1 cup red wine vinegar

4 coriander seeds

1 teaspoon cinnamon (or a small cinnamon stick)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large, heavy stew pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onions.  Stir while onions caramelize.  Once they are golden brown, add sugar and continue cooking and stirring until onions become dark brown but not burned.  This process should take about 15 minutes or so.
  3. Add the sliced cabbage, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the vinegar, and cook until dry, about 5 minutes.
  4. Pour the red wine into the pot and bring everything to a boil.  Add the coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon (or whole stick), thyme, and the juice of the lemons.  Add a generous pinch of salt and pepper.  Cover, and bake in oven for 1-1 ½ hours, until liquid is almost absorbed.
  5. While cabbage is cooking, peel, quarter, and slice apples thinly (about 1/8 inch thick).  Place the remaining 3 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over high heat.  Once butter is melted, add apple slices.  Sprinkle lightly with salt.  Allow them to soften and brown a little.
  6. Remove cabbage from the oven and toss with the cooked apples.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serves 8-10. I’m eager to hear thoughts or questions you may have as you reflect and cook. ~ Lauren