Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts

“You like cabbage. Brussels sprouts are just like cabbages, only smaller.”
I was slicing a large cabbage last night to make my family’s favorite St. Patrick’s Day side dish. I know I am more than a week early but I had time over the weekend to cook the corned beef and it was already on sale at the grocery store. So why wait! Maybe she’s right, I thought. My daughter returned from college with a love for this vegetable. She prepares them by roasting slices on a tray drizzled in oil and topped with salt in a hot oven. I do like them when she makes them.
Yet I never think to buy this vegetable. I’m more of a corn and green beans cook. Maybe it was my college experience. My own mom never served me brussels sprouts and I recall during my freshman year they being a regular choice at the dining hall. They were boiled and looked like little brains and many jokes were made about them. Those snide jokes stuck and for my whole life I never bought or cooked brussels sprouts.
As I sliced the cabbage last night, I started to see brussels spouts in a new light. I love coleslaw. I love this dish my mother-in-law taught me how to make that I’m preparing now – fried cabbage with egg noodles.* Maybe I’ll start to buy brussels spouts. “They’re just a small member of the cabbage family,” my daughter reminded me.
Now I wonder what I can tell my daughter to change HER present mindset about raw tomatoes and anything seafood?!
*Click HERE to see the recipe for Galusca, the cabbage/noodle dish in my March 16, 2014 SOL post!

Last Night’s Dinner

“We need broccoli and one onion.”
“OK, I’ll get that and meet you in the cheese aisle,” I told Anne, my daughter who is gathering items at Whole Foods to replicate a favorite meal she often cooked while in France last year. Then, she was living in Chambery while teaching English for TAPIF (Teaching Assistant Program in France).

Why make this meal this weekend?
A former TAPIF friend she roomed with while in France is visiting us for the weekend.

Fast forward 24 hours….

“Do you have a cutting board?” asked Hannah.
“Sure, right here,” I replied and handed her our bamboo cutting board.
“Use this knife,” suggested Anne.

After opening a bottle of wine and pouring myself a glass, I walked out of the kitchen, leaving it in good hands. An hour later my husband and I joined the kitchen-duo for their meal.

“What do we have here?” asked Brian.
“It is basically a French mac&cheese casserole with pancetta and as Americans, we added broccoli. Instead of elbow macaroni, we used Crozets, the pasta Chambery is known for making.”
“Wow….so cheesy…so good….very filling”
“It’s best to eat after a day of skiing on the French slopes!”
“It’s pretty great here on President’s Day in VA!”

As I loaded the dishwasher after dinner, I thought my husband and I have done an OK job as parents. Not too bad having our youngest cook us a meal which helped her and her friend relive their amazing year of teaching in France.



March 16 – St. Patrick Day Recipes

I married into an Irish/Hungarian/Polish family. I am grateful Bob Donnelly and Marilyn met, married and raised a big Catholic family, my husband being the youngest son of the five kids. While dating and then onced married, we would celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with my husband’s family, the menu always the same: Corned Beef with Galusca. Finally I asked Marilyn how to make this meal and learned it is so simple. You just need time, something that our generation does not always spend when preparing meals. Here are the recipes:

Corned Beef
Boiled for 3 hours on the stovetop.  Then place in a baking dish and bake in the oven with a brown-sugar glaze added to the top for another hour. Once warmed, slice thinly.

Galusca  (a Hungarian cabbage and noodle dish):

6 cups or one head of cabbage           1 tsp salt
2 tbsp Crisco or margarine                8 oz package broad noodles

Grate or food process cabbage until fine. Put 2 tbsp crisco or margarine in frying pan. Melt. Add cabbage and salt. Fry slowly until browned (takes at least 15-30 minutes) Cover, stirring often.

Boil the noodles, following the directions on package. Drain. Add cabbage to noodles. Salt to taste. Serve warm.

My own girls LOVED this dish growing up. I will be making it today so I am ready to serve it tomorrow.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!