Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Wednesday Wisdom - Sometimes Life is Like Raising Cabbage


"It's never too late to change the direction your life is going."
Wayne Dyer


I've come to cabbage late in life. I didn't care for cabbage when I was young and we never grew it in our garden back in New Mexico. But since I got back to gardening nine years ago when we moved to Harmony, I serendipitously discovered I have a way with cabbage, a super green thumb when it comes to raising them. For reasons beyond my understanding, I often end up with these massive heads.
One good thing leads to another. When you grow something this beautiful, you have to find interesting ways to eat it. Thus my success in raising cabbage has led to my finding and learning to cook some great cabbage dishes. Who knew - Scott Farnsworth the Cabbage Chef!!?? Two of my favorites are Scott's Cabbage Steak* and Scott's Cabbage Stew**. (See recipes below.) Trust me, these are absolutely easy to prepare and so delicious!


So what do cabbages have to do with life? One thing I've learned from my adventures in Cabbage-Land is that you're never too old to develop new interests, learn new skills, and discover new talents. Just because you weren't a child prodigy in cabbage-raising or cabbage-cooking or anything else doesn't mean you can't become proficient at any age. Just go for it! Late-in-life blooming doesn't require anyone else's approval - you can just do it for your own enjoyment. 

Staying alert to new opportunities adds depth, breadth, and length to life. When we close the door to new learning, exploration, and innovation, we condemn ourselves to an early demise, even if our body is technically still alive. Being over the hill is strictly a state of mind, which I intend to resist as long as possible until someone finally pulls the plug on me. And then I'll be on to the next big adventure, this time in heaven.

*Scott's Cabbage Steak

1 head of cabbage
8 teaspoons canola oil
4 teaspoons butter
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425°. Cut 4 (1 ½ inch) vertical slices from a head of cabbage. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil and 1teaspoon butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 cabbage steak; cook 4 minutes. Place, seared side up, on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat with more oil and butter and remaining cabbage. Bake cabbage steaks at 425° for 15 to 20 minutes. Serve hot. Serves 4.

**Scott's Cabbage Stew

1 ½ to 2 lbs. lean ground beef

1T extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small cabbage, chopped
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
2 14 oz. cans diced tomatoes
½ cup water or broth or V-8 juice
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sea salt
Cook beef and onions in olive oil. Drain. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add all other ingredients, bring to a boil, then simmer 20-30 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Serves 6 to 8.

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