Sunday, September 21, 2008
Creamy Cabbage and Potato Stew
I don't particularly enjoy buying grocery items in gigantic bulk quantities. Sometimes it's necessary, for economical or logistical reasons, but I don't really like wrestling with a 24-roll package of paper towels that is bigger than I am, wondering all the while if I should ask the paper towels to drive the car home, given that they overwhelm me in both number and stature.
The same applies to grocery lists pages long, with the unspoken threat of monopolizing an entire afternoon, no matter how much I truly do enjoy grocery shopping.
So I behave inefficiently. I shop for groceries frequently and in small quantites, picking up a bit of produce on Sunday, a box of cereal on Monday, cat food on Wednesday, and so forth... Such a procedure might seem imprudent given the current cost of gasoline, but we are fortunate to live nearly walking distance from several grocery markets, and accepting the routine of multiple trips immures me to the other contributing factor - namely that I am just absent minded enough to forget at least one item on every single trip, necessitating a subsequent journey within a 48 hour time period.
At the store yesterday, I remembered the last item on my mental list - 5-grain tempeh - right as I was carrying my basket to the check-out isle, and I resorted to dumping the basket in line and running at top speed back through the refrigerated produce section. Unfortunately, I'd chosen to wear my favorite jeans that day, which are way too big for me, and when already low-rise jeans are too large, well... Let's just say that I was flying among the lettuce and pears trying to find the tempeh without losing my clothing. Some wise people might have just slowed down and maintained an aura of A Dignified Shopper, but I am blessed (or cursed) with a complete disregard for embarrasing myself in front of strangers.
Yes, the fact that I have to return to the grocery store sometimes twice in the same day when I'm being especially absent minded (usually trying to talk on the phone or read my notes for an upcoming test while grocery shopping) can be occasionally annoying... but it also reminds me to be thankful - in a world where so many have so little, the fact that we are able to regularly visit a well-stocked grocery store and buy nourishing food, and even have enough for dessert, reminds me that even when times are challanging, we are still truly blessed.
For a glorious bowl full... I'm thankful.
Creamy Cabbage and Potato Stew
4 slices turkey bacon, chopped; bacon, chopped; OR smoked tempeh, chopped, plus 2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
6 cups shredded cabbage
4 potatoes, baked in the microwave and cut into bite sized pieces
1 1/2 cup low-fat milk
1 cup beef broth OR vegetable broth
Salt and lots of pepper to taste
~ In a large stockpot over medium heat, brown the bacon or tempeh. If you used bacon, drain off the drippings.
~ Stir in the onion, and saute until limp and translucent.
~ Stir in the cabbage, and cook until the cabbage just begins to wilt, stirring occasionally.
~ Add the potatoes, milk, and broth, stir well, cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most, but not all, of the liquid is absorbed.
~ Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve warm! Simple and soothing...