Getting back to my canning roots- Roht Kohl style

I have some red cabbage that has over wintered in my garden from the fall;

At this point too bitter to eat but I did not want to waste it– I seem to have recalled a red cabbage pickled dish my Oma (grandmother in German) would make.

I had to call my mom to ask her what this was called- “ROHT KOHL ” my mother answered with glee- apparently this is one of her favs

I recently received from the Masontops company COMPLETE MASON JAR FERMENTATION KIT – 4 PICKLE PIPES, 4 PICKLE PEBBLES, 1 PICKLE PACKER a pickling set- check out their new take on canning and fermenting click here 

what a great opportunity to try this new product out- if you enter the code MARSHA10 at check out or just click here : ttp://

Here is the recipe I came up with – filled 4 32 oz mason jars
1 large head of red cabbage
1/8 cup Kosher Salt
2 cups brown sugar
8 cups of white vinegar
2 heads of fresh bronze fennel (also from my garden)
1 tablespoon of dried fennel seed
1 tablespoon of mustard seed
1 tablespoon of coriander
2-3 pinches of spicy sea salt (optional)

First I cut the red cabbage into shredded pieces, placed it in a glass bowl and let it soak in water for 24 hours- I placed a heavy plate on the top of it to prevent anything getting in- I love purple color the water turned- I wish I could make it my hair color♥

Then I boiled in a saucepan the vinegar and brown sugar till it became syrupy.

I then added the spices to the boiling mixture.

I sliced the fennel and mixed in with the cut up cabbage- placed them in the jars using the wooden pickle packer from

One note before you fill the mason jars be sure to sterilize them!

I poured the hot mixture into each jar then place the glass pickle pebble on top making sure that the contents stayed completely immersed.

I then carefully placed the silicone pickle pipe on each jar along with the metal screw ring.

The jars are sitting in dark cupboard waiting for their debut of delicious “Roht Kohl” later this month….stay tuned

Be sure to check out all the products Mason Tops has to offer and save 10% by entering MARSHA10 at the checkout– let me know how you make out/



My Busman’s Holiday-

the term busman holiday refers to “doing the same thing on your day off as you do all the week at work”
In recent years I have seemed to neglect my own garden; too busy working on others. This past Spring as the cold weather still lingered on through April, I was itching to get out there to clean up my raised vegetable beds and start cool crops. Now with a mobile 2nd Little One at home the task of getting out in the garden is even more challenging. This past spring was a testament to our time in the garden as we spent an hour and a half in the dirt–what a delight he had discovering the nature around us, digging in the soil , putting earth in his mouth, finding sticks and pulling up grass. And how pleased I am to have a ‘nature baby’. Marsha



The phrase Busman’s Holiday originated in the 19th century when the  horse driven omnibus drivers in London were so concerned about their  horses well being that on their days off from work they would ride as passengers on their own bus, to make sure that the other driver treats his horses well. This practice became so widespread that the term busman holiday referred to “doing the same thing on your day off as you do all the week at work” or “a vacation during which a person engages in activity that is the same or similar to his or her usual employment”.



Share your Busman’s holiday story—

Hello Yellow

Spring is here, and so are the yellow blooms in my garden.

The color yellow seems to show much earlier than the other colors in the garden, like the first triumph of the season.

Did you know that a flower’s pigments help to attract possible pollinators, such as honeybees. There are two major classes of flower pigments: carotenoids and flavonoids. Carotenoids include carotene pigments (which produce yellow, orange and red colors). Flavonoids include anthocyanin pigments (which produce red, purple, magenta and blue colors).

So why yellow—The honeybees are emerging from their winter sleep and are out trying to find the first pollen of the year to feed on. The bees cannot see red, and prefer the colors yellow and blue. So these caroteniod flowers provide the perfect snack. We just have to make an effort to keep these flowers in our gardens- most are considered weeds–

So this Spring when you see the dandelions

and wild strawberry emerge, could you think twice about pulling them out right away?

Consider adding some native plants to your garden- Zizia aureu (Golden alexander) is great choice