Today I parboiled red borecole (kale) and when I poured off the hot water I could see that it had turned smurf blue. I guess my reaction tells quite a lot about me.
Did I scream? - No.
Did I curse those organic methods that clearly had gone too far? - No.
Did I think that the farmer had used smurfs as fertiliser? - No.
Instead I pondered over those blue streaks in my sink "probably the red colour of the leaves turns blue when diluted with water - I wonder if it works as red cabbage too?" If you didn't know it, red cabbage can be used as pH indicator: when the cooking water is basic it turns blue (however not smurf blue), and when the cooking water is acidic it turns red. I found some vinegar and dropped a drip on the blue floods on my chopping-board. Bingo! They turned barbie pink.
I've sometimes pondered to use red cabbage when testing my soil. True, you don't get that colour scale with a head of cabbage like you do when you buy a lithmus paper or one of those kits Patti Moreno is using. On the other hand it's cheap and you can bask in that warm and fuzzy feeling of using only natural stuff.
If I ever run out of lithmus paper I'll try the cabbage method, and I will use borecole. Say watever you like about smurf blue and barbie pink - the colours do cheer you up.