Cabbage, Our Most Under-rated Vegetable
I'm telling you all what: If I get any more popular, y'all are going to have to tie me up and throw me off the cliff!
That next-to-last write-up about my walloping Cloris Bell in the head with a drum leg, and then the one about my cutting up in a cabbage leaf in the Garden of Eatin,' opened the floodgates of praise. And of all kinds of questions and requests.
I've had people write in and ask me if Eve had long hair and Adam had blue eyes. I've had people write in and complain because I gave out the Devil's phone number, which I did not. It was just his area code (666).
And besides, there's plenty of y'all out there who know his number, have his email, and his mailing address. You're not fooling this old bag for a minute.
And then there are those who just want to know how I make my famous cabbage rolls. That girl who helps me out said I'm going to have to hire one somebody just to dish out words of wisdom and another to write up how to make cabbage rolls, stuffed peppers, and cathead biscuits!
Miz Kitty, who is one of my chickens, not that fast-tailed, big-headed, Tammy- Faye-looking thing who hopped in the bed with Matt Dillon on Gunsmoke at the drop of a hat--just wrote me, and here's what she said:
"Trixie I was wondering if you could tell me how to make them cabbage rolls for my man. I don't believe I ever ate cabbage rolls, but they sound pretty good. I think stuffed peppers sound good too, but I never have made them either. I'm ready to experiment a little bit."
Well Miz Kitty, first let me tell you that this whole uproar over cabbage got started when Amanda notified me about her Cabbage Patch Stew, which I believe Scarlett also makes, and I believe it's Scarlett who told that tale lately of losing her cabbage, which tale I do treasure.
And second, let me tell you that if you cook something the way I do, you WILL experiment because I've hardly ever used anything resembling a recipe in my life, except maybe for a pound cake. And for my chow chow. Sometimes.
As I've always said: It is a reckless thing to do as I do. But Miz Kitty, if you're ready to jump in, I'm ready to show you the hole.
Besides, I'm happy to promote cabbage in any way I can.
Time and time again I have said, and all you out there in the national press who are following me are free to quote me: Cabbage is our most under-rated vegetable. Cheap. As good for you as broccoli and asparagus, though not as hoity toity, I'll wager.
I'll tell you how I make cabbage rolls, and it's easy:
Take a head of cabbage. (You knew that was coming, didn't you?) Get one with big green leaves if you can.
Cut the bottom and a good bit of the inside core out. Wash the head of cabbage good and put it in a big pot and cover it with a lid.
Pour a couple of cups of water into the pot.
Bring it to a boil, turn it down, and let it boil about ten to 15 minutes. Leave the lid on and let it sit there until the cabbage is cool.
All that does is make it easy to take the leaves apart. Best to do it a good bit of time before you make the rolls, or the day before, truth be told. Or the morning of the night you want to have them. That way they're nice and cool!
Pull the leaves apart. You'll have a lot of leaves!
Take some ground meat--beef or pork or both--and add some cooked rice and salt and pepper and chopped onions to it.
Moosh it all up good. Some people add an egg, but I don't.
Wrap little wads of the meat into each leaf and hold together with a toothpick.
Lay the rolls in a big pan and cover with however many cans of diced tomatoes it takes to cover them good. I add a good bit of sugar to the tomatoes, myself.
Some people take some of the tomato juice and thicken it with cornstarch and a little vinegar, but I don't.
Some people also add tomato sauce. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.
Cover it all up with aluminum foil and cook for about 350 degrees for close to an hour.
When it cools down some, take out the toothpicks. Don't want anybody choking on toothpicks. Not anybody we care about, anyhow.
I think they're even better the next day.
That's how I do it, honey. I think. With my head in the pantry half the time, how do you expect me to remember every little thing, anyhow???
If you want a real strict recipe, they're all over the Google.
And if you take them to a church supper, be on the lookout for Cloris Bell.