Sunday, April 6, 2008


As I've said, I'm about to leave on a Carribbean cruise, so I haven't had as much time for cooking and writing as usual. Tonight's dinner was actually our last meal at home before the trip. I found a head of cabbage in the fridge while cleaning it out (Poor thing looks empty now) and decided to fry it up for dinner in some leftover bacon grease.

Back up a bit.

Today's breakfast was bacon with homemade sweet potato waffles that I had made earlier in the week and frozen. I'd been eating them for breakfast in the mornings when I got to work. My husband does most of the cleaning up after I cook, so I asked him to leave the bacon pan alone. I do this often. Bacon grease is full of flavor and the small amounts left in the pan after I'm done with breakfast are usually just enough to dress a pasta or fry a few potatoes.

So I used the grease from today's breakfast to fry up the aforementioned cabbage. Fried cabbage is a simple dish. I did this one with just the cabbage, grease and a touch of kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Sometimes I'll add sliced onion and garlic. If I'm making it as a side dish to asian food, I'll do a shot or two of soy sauce instead of the salt. Some recipes call for vinegar, but my husband complains that I add too much, so I just skip it.

This cabbage went with some kielbasa I pulled from the freezer.

I love saving bits of food that would normally be discarded and turning them into treasure. I'm fascinated by "poverty food", or the dishes created by very poor societies to glean every last bit of nutrition from their food. Cassoulet, red beans and rice, bread pudding, these are all beautiful dishes created by people who couldn't afford better.

But it all starts with saving the bacon grease.

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