"No matter how terrified you may be, own your fear and take that leap anyway because whether you land on your feet or on your butt, the journey is well worth it."
-- Laurie Laliberte
"If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."
-- Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
-- Anais Nin

Monday, September 1, 2014

I'm Polish, of Course I Like Cabbage!

Every time I see cabbage on sale at the grocery store, I fondly remember my grandmother who slaved over a hot stove every day to feed a horde of family members. Since that side of my family was Polish, and descended from farmers, the food was simple.

Babcie's cooking rarely utilized complex seasoning and layers of flavor. It was plain, peasant food prepared with few ingredients. Often fruits and vegetables had been picked from my grandfather's garden earlier that day and that freshness made all the difference. When produce is that fresh, it doesn't need layers. This is the best time of year to raid your own garden, or head to the local farm stand. You won't regret it.

This was a staple in my grandmother's kitchen, but is not exclusively Eastern European. If you're Irish, you've probably had a similar dish.

Just Cabbage

1 stick of butter (real butter, not that processed oil crap)
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped into chunks
4 ounces of fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium to large head of cabbage, chopped into chunks (discard harder parts of the core)
salt and pepper

Melt butter over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold all of the ingredients
Add garlic and onions and heat until the onions begin to get translucent
Add cabbage and mushrooms and heat, uncovered, stirring about every 10 minutes
Allow to cook over medium heat until the mushrooms and cabbage have cooked down and the cabbage is al dente
Taste and season throughout cooking time, but go easy on the pepper as it expands the longer you heat it

The prep time of this dish is only about 15 minutes, but it takes about an hour to cook.
Babcie would sometimes slice kielbasa (Polish sausage) and throw it in to cook with the cabbage

Admittedly, this dish isn't for everyone, but I made it for friends a couple of weeks ago and there weren't any leftovers to take pictures of. 

Happy Cooking!

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