Kohlrabi slaw and flounder with lemon and garlic scapes (the rest of the meal!)

July 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

In spite of having a substantial dose of the type A in my personality, planning is not one of my strong suits.  Particularly not the detailed kind.  When I plan, checklists, and spreadsheets, and timelines usually fail to make an appearance. Instead, I make a broad sweep through the general idea of what’s going on, or what I’d like to have happen, and then I have a tendency to assume it will just fall into place.

I have been known to forget to order chairs for an event, or to reserve a room for a meeting, or assign tasks to people.  Sometimes I think it’s because I don’t try hard enough.  That if I were more patient and focused, I would be able to keep track of details.

But really, often it’s not for lack of trying that I don’t plan adequately, it’s because sometimes it simply doesn’t even occur to me to think about the things I miss.  I try hard, but they never make even a cursory appearance in my brain.   It has a bit of the same sticky mental feeling about it as the way, no matter how hard I think about it, I can never spell guarantee right on the first try.

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Sweet and sour slaw

April 7, 2010 § 6 Comments

What the hey??!!  Is that more cabbage?!

Yes sirree, it is.  More cabbage.  (Come on, I had to use up the rest of the cabbage that I didn’t just use in the Thai cabbage salad!)  Actually, I’m, uh, considering renaming this blog something along the lines of “500bazillion Ways of Eating Cabbage: Some more creative than others, but all quite palatable.”  I think it has a ring to it, don’t you?  And I’m only on number, what, 6, or something?  Which means I could keep going for a looooooong time :).  I’m not advocating eating only cabbage or anything, but what can I say, I do eat a lot of the stuff.  It’s cheap, healthy, and tasty.  It feeds my Norwegian soul/appetite while also leaving room for experimentation with other flavors.  It’s just a beautiful friendship.

I adapted this from another one of the recipes I tested for the Revision House Urban Farm cookbook I’m working on.  It just screams “lovely spring picnic day” to me (which is funny, because it would probably be more appropriate to say a phrase like that demurely, not scream it – note to self, cabbage needs lesson in manners.).  This is quite excellent, because I love picnics.  I’m particularly obsessed at the moment because we had an unbelievably perfect picnic day this weekend!  And, I love foods that seem like picnic foods, whether I actually have them at a picnic or just as part of a regular meal that allows me to pretend I’m picnicking.

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Thai-style cabbage salad

April 5, 2010 § 1 Comment

When I was little, I used to totally lose my marbles at holidays.  All my favorite foods!  Desserts!  Fun activities!  I would go totally nuts with excitement – especially over the food.  Now that I’m a “grown up”…I’m pretty much exactly the same.  In general, I really do try to keep my diet pretty healthy and fresh and I especially try to keep it low in sugar.  So, then when it’s a holiday and I’m surrounded by sweets and yummy foods, I may let myself just a little too loose – particularly if whipped cream is involved (which, if I have any say in the planning or implementation of whichever holiday it is, there always is).  I seem to basically have some sort of animal instinct to make sure that not a single speck of whipped cream anywhere in a 10-mile radius of me ever goes to waste. (I feel somewhat duty bound now to note that, if I’m wearing my nutrition cap, this is exactly what we advise people not to do – it’s best to try to eat about the same amount on a holiday as any other day, eating slightly less of the meal, perhaps, to make room for dessert…easier said than done, that’s for sure, but worth a try).

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Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage (rødkål)

December 29, 2009 § 10 Comments

Remember a couple of weeks back when I was writing about browned cabbage?

Aw shucks, you flatter me, you know could have just said ‘yes’ instead of telling me how you hang on my every word…  Okay okay, fine, just kidding.  I’ll remind you then.  I mentioned that my delicious red cabbage recipe was a family secret, and that I was still deliberating about whether to share it.  Well, I have consulted with my mother, who is the supreme keeper of all family traditions, and she has resoundingly said that, in fact, I must share it.  Apparently she instantaneously decided that getting people to eat more cabbage by sharing our delicious recipes for it will be my family’s contribution to improving the health of the world (we’re not prone to exaggeration at all). « Read the rest of this entry »

Buttery Browned Cabbage

December 17, 2009 § 1 Comment

Mmmm, cabbage.  The food of my people.  For centuries Norway was a poor country, perched up at the top of the globe – the last stop before the North Pole.  If it hadn’t been for cabbage, cod, and rutabagas, (and various uplifting drinks, I’ll admit) Norwegians would never have survived their long, dark winters. (Then they discovered oil in the North Sea, which allowed them to become obnoxiously wealthy…but still loveable, I like to think).  Norwegians still eat a lot of cabbage now.  I know I, for one, have an affinity for cabbage set deep in my heart.  And, in Norway you can actually buy pre-cooked and spiced red or green cabbage in little plastic pouches that you heat and eat.  Talk about a culturally specific convenience food!

I’m pretty easy to please when it comes to cabbage, too.  You can do a lot of different things with cabbage, and I like most of them (except boiled.  Just say “no!” to boiling vegetables, especially cabbage!): coleslaw, sweet and sour, stir-fried, kimchee, sauerkraut, braised…This is great because it’s one of the cheapest veggies you can get throughout the winter, and it stores for a really long time in the refrigerator.  Though I love cabbage, I have a sneaky suspicion that there are many people out there who, shall we say, do not harbor quite such fond feelings toward the vegetable.  I know that if you really, truly, absolutely detest cabbage, I’m not going to be able to convince you otherwise.  But, I would like to think that a lot of the distrust toward cabbage out there is either due to not really giving it a try, or to suboptimal preparation.  I mean, otherwise how could you not want to eat a vegetable that looks kind of like a crazy green or purple brain when you cut it in half!  I used to do food programs with children, one of which consisted of preparing and sampling cabbage.  I would coax the kids to taste it, usually by acting like a total wacko and making up weird names for it like “purple power plant” and “fried green brain.”  And, to the shock and amazement of the parents, every child who actually tried the cabbage liked it.  I like to flatter (translation: delude) myself that I’ve really enriched some people’s lives as a result. « Read the rest of this entry »

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