Friday, May 8, 2009

The Cabbage Patch

Last weekend I decided that I was going to emulate one of my favorite bloggers, OHMommy of Classy Chaos. Not in a Single White Female way, but in the I am starving and I'm going to make the stuffed cabbage that she blogged about way. (By the way, I really hope that "emulate" means "copy" and not "vivisect" or something weird. Because I didn't mean anything weird by it. Hey, have you ever noticed that the more you explain how you didn't mean anything weird, the weirder it sounds?)

I quickly reviewed the recipe and emailed her a few million questions about it, hoping that she'd say "oh, it'll be easier for me to make it for you. And an honor, to boot," but she was completely insensitive about that and just answered my questions. Polish people, what are you going to do?

So I put on a leotard and got to work.

Fortunately, I had some rice in the house already, in a container whose size suggested that I was directly responsible for the rice shortage worldwide.

I just had to get some meat and tomato sauce and cabbage.

Trip to the store, part one revealed that when I told the meat hacking guy that I needed 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef, half a pound of ground swine and quarter pound of ground veal, and gave him my blessing to put it all together, he would put it all together and charge me the price for the ground beef for everything. Now, normally this is ok with me if the ground beef is the cheapest of the three, but what if it isn't? What if they were having a special on Mexican swine and I could have gotten the whole thing for like $1? There was just absolutely no way that I could get to the bottom of this international math conundrum, so I didn't even try, but rest assured that this will bother me for the rest of my life.

Then, came the tomato sauce dilemma. In the future, food bloggers, I would appreciate it if all recipes had instructions like:

Go to the store, to aisle 3, and on the third shelf from the bottom, about three inches to the right, there's a can of tomato sauce. Buy it and take it to your leader.

Because in my store, there are ten million cans of tomato sauce. How can a mere mortal decide? Fortunately, Young Ladrinka was with me and said "Just take ANY ONE. Who cares?!" so I grabbed three different ones and we left.

Sadly, we left without the cabbage, which, and I'm no Julia Child, but appears to be an Ingredient of Importance in the stuffed cabbage preparation.

So I had to go back to the store and I hope that I don't have to spend a lot of time explaining how draining that is. Also, and feel free to try this out, if you go to a supermarket and the only thing you're buying is a head of cabbage, people will comment. "Ooh, a cabbage patch!" Yes, I am making a cabbage patch in the NYC apartment. But I don't want anyone to know, so I buy only one cabbage at a time, going to different stores for more single cabbage heads. Because I will build that cabbage patch if it's the last thing I do!

With the shopping taken care of, the rest of the preparations went smoothly. Well, except for the part where I didn't read the part of the recipe that the cabbage that is stuffed had to be in the oven for two hours, so that dinner was ready at approximately 2 a.m. Apparently, I thought that cabbage leaves, when wrapped around raw meat, had magical powers to cook the meat instantaneously. Which is why people really like cabbage patches.

Thanks, OHMommy, for broadening my culinary horizons!

It was super yummy (as a midnight snack).



Anonymous Christy said...

Oh my god--I KNOW! I hate how you can spend 5 hours going round & round in the grocery store and not find what you're looking for...and you're sure that it's the weirdest grocery store in the world because they obviously don't carry tomato sauce (in my most recent trip in was Crisco...don't ask.)

You're a far better sport about it--I would've given up!

May 8, 2009 at 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

I can't even count the number of times I get to the bottom of a recipe and have to say something like "Ok, go ahead and order the pizza, I hope this will heat up well for dinner tomorrow."

May 8, 2009 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger mo.stoneskin said...

I just think it is brilliant that you went to the store in your leotard. Photos?

May 8, 2009 at 11:27 AM  
Blogger TMCPhoto said...

Nice to see I'm not the only one who wants to make something last minute only to find out that said dish will be a midnight snack instead of dinner.

I think I'm going to invest in a cooking leotard, If it has enough support and a nice slimming effect I may alter my whole wardrobe

May 8, 2009 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Pseudo said...

All I could think about was the super cool market on the block where we stayed when we were in NYC. The Milbourn (SP?). Upper West side. I'd go to market twice. Bring me to NY and I'll do your shopping for you. But not in a leotard....

May 8, 2009 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

The moment I read the words 'stuffed cabbage' in this post, I was in awe of the fact you apparenty have two children who would eat that. Then I wept a little bit, for I will never know how wonderful that must be.

We're having pizza tonight.


May 8, 2009 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I wouldn't obsess too much contemplating $1.00/lb Mexican ground swine until that price spreads to American swine.

May 8, 2009 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Lynn C Mama to 3 said...

Hey, FYI, you can get it frozen at Sam's Club. Just a thought.

May 8, 2009 at 12:40 PM  
Blogger I'm Nate's Mom said...

I once saw a woman at the store with a cart FULL of cabbage. No joke. Was it you?

p.s. My mom always cooked the meat before rolling. That might cut down on the time-consuming nature of cooking raw meat in the oven. Maybe you could have grilled them. Polish hamburgers? I might try that.

May 8, 2009 at 12:43 PM  
Blogger blognut said...

And now you have hit on the exact reason why I do not go to the grocery store if I can avoid it. (And I usually can because Mr. Blognut is happy to do that for me if I... never mind.)

Anyway, it's all worth it. I hate to grocery shop and I can't find anything in there, no matter what.

May 8, 2009 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger Everyday Goddess said...

So you don't like to cook or clean which leaves only one other important room to be happy in...

May 8, 2009 at 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Sophie, Inzaburbs said...

I would have probably tried to get by without the cabbage. Maybe used a lettuce or something (hey, surely that would cook quicker?).

To the cabbage commenters I would have just said "Shh. It's to put the baby under. But I don't want him to realize!" with a nod towards Ladrinka.

... actually I wouldn't have said that because I wouldn't have thought of it until ten minutes after I arrived home.

May 8, 2009 at 1:37 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Estridge said...

Buying a head of cabbage makes New Yorkers say, "Ooh, a cabbage patch"?

That really undermines my view of New York sophisticates.

May 8, 2009 at 1:45 PM  
Blogger CSY said...

You are SO brave! I would NEVER go to the grocery store in a leotard! You're my hero! ;c)~

May 8, 2009 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger Andy - Instafather said...

I had a Cabbage Patch doll as a kid. True story.
I got made fun of by boys all my school years.
True story.

May 8, 2009 at 2:36 PM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

I was so hoping there was a video blog of you doing the cabbage patch dance at the end of this post.

May 8, 2009 at 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

I probably would have gone ahead and eaten it raw. I mean, all that work only to wait 2 fecking hours?

I'm glad it was delicious!

May 8, 2009 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Momo Fali said...

This is why my children are eating bratwurst and canned corn for dinner right now.

May 8, 2009 at 5:34 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

You are such a domestic goddess.

May 8, 2009 at 5:36 PM  
Blogger Vodka Mom said...

I make KICK ASS stuffed cabbage. All you had to do was ask.


May 8, 2009 at 7:00 PM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

why do i have the feeling that your mother-in-law will pull this blog out from her purse the next time she's visiting, and say, "no that's alright, sweetie, i'll cook"? then head to the kitchen, rolling up her sleeves with the kids following behind her shouting, "yay!"

May 8, 2009 at 8:54 PM  
Blogger Pop and Ice said...

Nope, I'm not trying that recipe. 1/4 of the household is vegetarian, 1/4 hates cabbage, 2/4 hate rice.

It doesn't matter, anyway. My hubbie does all the cooking and shopping so I'm off the hook. He even offered to bring me a snack to bed tonight. And he meant a homemade BROWNIE people!

I do agree, however, that this should have been videotaped for posterity.

May 9, 2009 at 12:40 AM  
Blogger Bea said...

haha this post made me laugh so hard! especially the swine mince and your secret cabbage patch.

i'm glad it tasted good!

May 9, 2009 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger musingwoman said...

I love reading about cooking. It's the doing part I have trouble with.

May 9, 2009 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Elenka said...

Oh my god, you crack me up.
Not enough to shy me away from this recipe!
Now a question for you....I haven't made stuffed cabbage in like, forever, but I don't think I've ever cooked ANYTHING for 2 hours, ever!
Why 2 hours???
(somehow I think you may not know why...)
Thank you.

May 9, 2009 at 9:45 AM  
Blogger jeanie said...

I make stuffed cabbage (thanks to my MIL and her amazing cooking handdown) and was wondering why you needed tomato sauce/soup - then I read Oh Mommy and realised that the Polish version is different from the Croatian version (Sarma).

You still need the hours, but you only need tomato paste, which is easy to find!

May 9, 2009 at 6:34 PM  
Blogger bernthis said...

you see that is what you get for trying to be a good mother. Have I not taught you anything? Next thing I know you'll be hiking over to a craft store

May 10, 2009 at 2:01 AM  

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