Weekend Cooking Warrior


So, I have been reading this blog for awhile now, I find it inspires me to eat more veggies, not to mention gives me a few ideas of what to do with the $200 worth of funky flours I have stockpiled in our deep freeze. The neatest thing to me though is the idea that you can find one great fresh local ingredient, and then throw together a great meal out of it. Kind of like Iron chef, right? I have been learning how to cook this past year out of necessity (as opposed to baking or stirring together crap from a box) and so anything new is welcome.

The weekend before this past weekend (yep, posting late) Craig and I were wandering through the Independence farmer’s market (not quite the same as California, I am guessing) and I came across a vendor selling baby cabbage sprouts for a dollar. Now, I can guarantee you that this would never have registered on my radar a year ago, but the new me says- why not? So for a dollar, I bought a sack full and decided to challenge myself to make good meals out of this stuff for the entire weekend.

I immediately ran into problems because of the very basic fact that I am not a cook. I can follow a recipe, but that is as far as it goes. Creating a new meal idea from scratch is just not going to happen, especially with an unknown vegetable. So I grabbed my barely used copy of The Joy of Cooking and looked up Cabbage. The first recipe I found sounded easy enough and I had some young potatos so we gave it a go- Boiled Cabbage and Potatos, with turkey bacon.

I realize that my photos are not the most appetizing but this is not a photo blog so you will have to use your imagination. This isn’t a cooking blog either so really, go easy on me. The verdict? It was quite edible- Craig really liked it. I couldn’t get over the fact that it needed some sort of sauce. Some sort of fattening sauce.

For our next effort I decided to go Chinese and attempt to wing it with no recipe. Here is where you can definitely tell that though I was inspired by Something in Season, I definitely did it the Elizabeth way. Because I took our fresh, local ingredient and chopped it up and threw it in with a big ‘ol bag of frozen mixed Chinese vegetables and canned bamboo shoots. We did whip together a homemade GF stir fry sauce and were fairly happy with the results. It tasted like take-out, and looked like it as well so I didn’t bother with a picture.

For the last recipe of the weekend I returned to the Joy of Cooking and decided to take on a cabbage gratin. I have to say, I didn’t know what half of the ingredients were and found myself calling Mom from the cheese isle at the grocery store with some questions. When I got home I realized I also had neither coriander or cardamom so I followed my first rule of cooking- if you don’t have it, omit. There may be reasons why not all of our meals turn out like I am hoping. In the end, this recipe was our favorite. The cabbage was really good, and you can’t go wrong with cheese. Though again, the picture of it looks gross, I promise it tasted wonderful. I would even make it again.

Overall, it was a fun experiment- I did try something new and learned just a bit more about cooking. Since we make nearly every dinner at home, I like to think that in a few years I can’t help but be a decent cook.


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