What began out presumably as freaks of nature have developed into world-wide competitors. I’m talking of the enormous greens now entered in fashionable annual contests, that are actually mind-boggling.
A brand new document was just lately reported after the annual Half Moon Bay weigh-off in California, the place a large pumpkin tipped the scales at 2,749 kilos.
That’s lots of pumpkin pie potential.
In accordance with one associated information report, that record-setting pumpkin was doused each day with a thirst-quenching 150 gallons of water. Assume irrigation system on this case … not sprinkling can.
The dedication, dedication (and, sure, coddling) wanted to domesticate such news-worthy veggies is typically powerful to understand. Understanding how pumpkin vines may be unpredictably finicky — keeling over and shriveling up in a single day or succumbing to some invasive pest — provides to the thriller and mystique of how on the planet one grows a vegetable requiring the usage of a forklift or front-end loader to reap and transfer.
Out of curiosity, my web search on big greens turned up data together with a 28-pound beet, an 18-pound onion, a 19-foot-long carrot (which might feed lots of rabbits!) and an 8.6-pound tomato. Most of the record-setters are grown in the UK, the place cultivating outsized squash, leeks, eggplants and the like is one thing of a nationwide sport.
Having simply lugged in from our backyard a number of good-sized neck pumpkins, my awe for somebody having grown an 8-pound pod bean or a 29-foot-tall gourd is means excessive. And people have been additionally grown by high-achieving UK gardeners. They make my largest 16-pound neck pumpkin a laughable none-entry within the contest realm.
In fact, none of those document setters make claims about how edible or tasty they’re, ought to anybody ever select to eat them. A byproduct of record-setting veggie cultivation is extra more likely to contain the chance to market seeds to different wanna-be winners somewhat than seem on the household dinner desk.
On a extra private notice, what on the planet does one do with an 18-pound cabbage?
Birthday presents can vary from tear-jerk-touching to hilarious, relying on the mindsets and relationship of the gifter and the giftee. So when our daughter just lately offered me with a birthday present of an 18-pound monster of a cabbage — with the scale and heft of a big watermelon — it generated nothing however laughs.
Now, this overachiever didn’t originate in the UK, or from giant-veggie-famed Alaska, however from a roadside farm stand in central Pennsylvania. Kudos are due the grower who cultivated it.
So … no matter does one do with a cabbage the scale of a seashore ball and paying homage to these weighted train balls they sometimes made us toss round again throughout highschool health club lessons?
“You making sauerkraut?” was the instant query from a couple of pal upon listening to of the enormous veggie that was briefly homed on our cool entrance porch, being means too outsized to slot in any fridge.
Sauerkraut making was not in my plans, however one other thought promptly offered itself. A church covered-dish lunch was scheduled quickly after the cabbage arrived. My contribution could be coleslaw.
However how does one go about dismembering a 14-inch diameter cabbage? A chainsaw appeared extreme, so I tackled it with the most important butcher knife within the kitchen drawer.
It took a little bit of sawing and wrestling to even maintain on to the enormous pale-green sphere. However after some struggling, the monster had been cut up into two hemispheres. (At the least these match within the barn fridge.)
A day earlier than the appointed luncheon, a part of one cabbage half was shredded down, together with some shredded carrot for coloration. It was combined with a boiled vinegar-sugar dressing and some spices, then refrigerated for the flavors to meld collectively.
The remainder of one half — and a portion of the second — bought chopped into workable items, briefly blanched, chilled and unfold out to freeze on cookie sheets. Packed in plastic baggage after freezing, the sections could be simple to take away in no matter quantity is required. (Word: This will not be an formally permitted freezing approach.)
The dwindling uncooked portion was returned to the fridge for a breather from cabbage. Since then, we’ve loved extra coleslaw in addition to cabbage in a casserole and cabbage in vegetable soup. A piece of the monster lingers, tightly wrapped for extra near-future use.
It has lengthy been my opinion that, no less than at this mature stage of life, meals is likely one of the finest items one can provide or obtain. A meals present doesn’t must be walked, displayed or dusted — simply shared and loved with household.
Though cabbage for trick-or-treat guests in all probability wouldn’t be appreciated.