Bloody cabbage

Tonight it was supper for one.

There were a few new potatoes left over from dinner last night. I fried two red onions with garlic and a courgette, chopped fine, with the potatoes.

Then I cut up half a large cabbage to steam it. Supper for oneself means not having to worry about anyone elses’s taste! I love cabbage, sometimes topped with a fried egg and black pepper. It’s my standby for a solitary supper.

Meanwhile, I was watching an old Poirot on ITV3, using my new sharp knife to slice the cabbage. But I didn’t pay enough attention to what I was doing on the chopping board. The pain of slicing through the top of my finger was intense and excruciating. The amount of blood pouring out all over the cabbage was reminiscent of the ‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’. And it refused to stop.

I began to feel dizzy and faint. I made myself go over to the sink and put on the cold tap. I watched a red stream flushing down the hypnotic plughole. Eventually I put some kitchen roll tenderly around my damaged finger and held it tight.

No point in watching Poirot now – I’d lost the plot on all fronts. And John was away, eating dinner elsewhere. I wiped up blood from the floor. The house was eerily silent.

Something told me I needed to eat.

When you get a small cut, your natural reaction is to suck it. I do, anyway. There was a lot more blood than that on the cabbage. A great deal more. Red and green are complementary colours.

Although it made me feel slightly queasy, I put the bloody cabbage in the steamer.

It was common sense really, I told myself. The blood was my own. I had no diseases I knew of, it was fresh and it was protein, so why shouldn’t I reclaim it?

The cabbage tasted only of good, sweet greens. The fried potato melée was a perfect match. The food restored my equilibrium.

Most people were rather horrified when I told them about recycling my blood. ‘Eating your own blood – ugh’. I admit it does stir up some sort of visceral repulsion. But why should this be?

I won’t be adding this to my list of favourite recipes but – reporting back – I’m none the worse for it. And I’m not showing any cannibalistic tendencies to date.

A bloody beautiful cabbage ...

A bloody beautiful cabbage …

‘Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood

Clean from my hand? No, this my hand will rather

The multitudinous seas incarnadine,

Making the green one red.’

Shakespeare – Macbeth Act 2, scene 2


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