How to make Sarma – cabbage leaf parcels

This is batch cooking. Great for winter nights and   freezing. Give yourself a good few hours to do this.

Amounts are to your own taste – there is no measuring here.

You will need 1 very large pan -the kind with handles. They are usually enamel-coated or stainless steel. Here is a Griswold example:

This is to steam your WHOLE hard white cabbage in. So pop it in to a pan of water and bring to the boil. Add a drop of vinegar if you like. Gently simmer it on a low heat for about half an hour, then leave in the pan over night and the entire cabbage will soften.

The following day take out the whole cabbage and drain away the water. Cut the stalk  off and gently peel away each leaf from the bottom and layer the leaves on to a plate -go as far as seems sensible. Then in the same pan drizzle some olive oil and a splash of water. Chop up the remainder of the cabbage and place in the bottom. This will act as a safety layer and stop the parcels burning during their slow long cook.

The Stuffing:

1 large onion

6 garlic cloves

Vegetable stock or better still Vegeta


Arborio rice

Turkey or pork mince – not beef

If vegetarian/vegan just use mushrooms/lentils

In another pan, chop all your onion and garlic and lightly fry in olive oil, add the stock and finely chopped carrots and mince and stir til browned through, Add the rice and some water and bring to boil and simmer for a while til the rice and meat is done. Dot in some tomato puree and paprika – preferably Hungarian and not Spanish

Take each cabbage leaf and cut out the tough stalky bit. Spoon some stuffing on to the leaf and wrap. You’ll get the hang of it as you go.  Keep on going til all parcels are made.

Lay them in the big pan on top of the chopped cabbage. Add some water, paprika and tomato puree. Bring to the boil and simmer on very low for around 2 to 3 hours.

Serve with Polish rye bread. The parcels will last 3 to 4 days or freeze if you’ve had enough. You can also add sauerkraut in to the pot and smoked sausage if you want!

This dish is sometimes served prior to a main course at a winter slava or a big get-together.

Tomorrow…and the day after – People-centred social economics

We have created a life that should sustain us, but it seems that excess has the better of us.

We have over-created. Perhaps we have become accustomed to creating for the sake of it and forgotten about what we really need and instead go for what we want -whatever kind of consumerism that may be. There is a glut of some things and now suddenly we are realising that what we need – food and water – may be about to run short.

Without a doubt there will be issues around water and its storage and availability.  Something that has no boundaries and should belong to us all will become a product – I suppose we are already there in our land. Regulated provision of  drinking water and paying for it.

Food – we are now used to supermarket shelves burgeoning with food from across the world. How will this change in coming months? Will we see more of food that adapts to climate change and less of a variety. Or will some fresh produce become exclusive. Remember the days when nuts and satsumas at Christmas were a real treat? When huge Spanish oranges appeared on the stalls and you relished taking off that peel?

And apples from across the countryside, berries, oats and wheat. Think about what really matters and ask, what we really do need to focus on now.

What new types of food will we create or will we re-visit old ones, for instance watercress which seems to thrive in our sodden world at the moment.

And what of the writer who writes of the future -what is their vision?

I wait to see.


Yes I can, because my father said so.

Though I have noticed the revolutionary impact artists can have on society, I have not yet explored the mystery of creativity itself. It appears to be the case that humans make art in its multitudinous forms almost helplessly out of the imperatives of their own nature. There are many names for the source of this impulse, but the best one is the need to play. One of the most interesting books of the 20th century was a slim volume called The Comedy of Survival, by the human ecologist Joseph Meeker, published in 1974, towards the end of the Vietnam War. Meeker compared the tragic with the comic way of life. He said humans were tragic creatures because they pushed their disagreements to extreme and deadly conclusions. By contrast, the other animals followed what he called ‘the comic way’, which enabled them to divert potentially deadly encounters into harmless play. Richard Holloway Roanne Dodds

Article 27.

  • (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
  • (2) Everyone has the right to the protection of the moral and material interests resulting from any scientific, literary or artistic production of which he is the author.

UN Articles – Human Rights 1948