Sunday, February 08, 2015

The vegetable challenged

Sometimes it seems like I am surrounded by vegetable-challenged people. My two sons-in-law are the worst offenders, with a long list of vegetables (and other foods, like tuna salad) they won't try. Megan, who was vegetable averse as a child, eats almost any vegetable, and Jordan is getting much better, eats asparagus but still no spinach. Jacob adores broccoli but isn't adventuresome about many other vegetables.
Last week my neighbor, Jay, announced he was NOT eating cabbage. The only vegetables that I can think of that I won't eat are parsnips (my dad loved them, not sure I ever tasted them) and okra (it's a texture thing). But I love most vegetables--including spinach, turnips, and eggplant. Okay, I don't much like turnip greens but love raw mustard greens in a salad and steamed beet greens.
Tonight I fixed a cabbage casserole. When I announced that a few days ago, Jay said he had decided he had to "man up" and try it. Actually it's much like stuffed cabbage but without all the work. I once or twice fixed original stuffed cabbage where you soften the leaves in hot water, stuff and roll. Got the recipe from someone who grew up with that cuisine--eastern European. My younger son really liked it, and I found a recipe where you stuff a whole head of cabbage, hollowed out, and serve it in wedges. Made that several times because it was easier.
But this casserole was really easy and has the same ingredients: ground beef, chopped cabbage, chopped onion, rice, and tomato juice. Because the first time I made real stuffed cabbage, I was told to use lamb, I substituted it for beef tonight. Even Jay said it was good, and he'd eat it again. I worried about a side since the main dish had all the food groups, but I had broccoli and cauliflower left in the fridge, and I cut them into sizeable pieces and roasted them together with olive oil and a bit of white balsamic vinegar. Good meal, if I do say so--and hearty.
After dinner we sat around talking about the Kardashians and Bruce Jenner--I couldn't believe the conversation at my dinner table had gotten so trite (and boring!). Then, poof! everybody had to rush off to get home in time for "Downton Abbey." I threatened I might never cook for them again, and they said I should just cook earlier. Are they spoiled or what?
Of course I'll cook again--tomorrow night. I'm making my version of sloppy Joe while Jay and Jordan move furniture and unpack the new TV which is to arrive tomorrow. Jay invited Phil and Subie to join us, but Subie said she had an absolute aversion to sloppy Joe because when her mother made it, it had all that orange grease on it. I told her (repeatedly) that this recipe is really a wine casserole, and I just call it sloppy Joe. She finally allowed that she might come, especially when I reminded her there would be leftover cabbage casserole. See? I really am surrounded by picky eaters--need to find new guinea pigs.

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