Thursday, October 16, 2008

Theme and variations

Sometimes, it's just a matter of what you have lying around. And how much energy you have. I had little energy for real cooking tonight, but didn't have a whole lot the would have made an acceptable instant dinner. I'd had a big lunch, and didn't want much anyway. But a peanut butter sandwich wasn't going to cut it.

There was this head of green cabbage sitting in the fridge, patiently awaiting the call from the bullpen. And a new utility player I'd just acquired, waiting in the dugout for an opportunity to be tried out. I'd been playing around with the idea of cabbage and tempeh stir fry, but I really didn't want to "cook". But chopping up some cabbage into a cole slaw....I could handle that.

It's just been this summer that I realized that I could play around with cole slaw. I'd been making it the way that Bertel taught me: cabbage and carrots, grated very fine; olive oil and white vinegar; dill -- fresh if you have it; salt and pepper; scallions (but I'd been leaving those out for years due to family preferences); and the secret ingredient -- sugar...just a little. Over the years, Eleanor had been put in charge of getting the proportions for the cole slaw just right.

But lately, I've been doing some experimentation. Parsley instead of dill. Some creamy dressings from the bottles in the fridge instead of the vinaigrette. Some of these variations work with roughly chopped cabbage rather than the finely grated cabbage -- finely grated is critical for the vinaigrette version...somehow it just doesn't taste or feel right unless the cabbage is fine.

So, for tonight, a combination of things I might not have thought about putting together before:

Cabbage, roughly chopped
Carrot, grated
Green zebra tomatoes, chopped
Jalapeno peppers, a few, chopped
Olive Oil
Thai fish sauce.

I'd bought the fish sauce a few weeks ago, but hadn't ever used it. It was a bit salty, but overall, the taste was nice. Together with the last leftover chicken leg from the freezer and a warmed up Lamajeun from Eastern Lamajeun Bakery in Belmont, it was a meal.

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