A Quandary of Cabbages

by Darcie Friesen Hossack

Nouns of congregation are one of my favourite elements of language.

A murder of crows.

A suit of snails.

A gang of elk.

A pontification of priests.

And now, because there doesn't seem to be a collective noun for it, I submit for your consideration, a quandary of cabbages.

Because that is what I have before me now.

Much like zucchini, which has its National Sneak Some Zucchini onto your Neighbour's Porch Day, (celebrated this year on August the 8th), cabbages, when they come into their summertime fullness, can number so many, no one knows quite what to do with them all.

And that is where we find ourselves now.

Today, just after a trip to fetch up the organic produce orders for Stone Peak Restaurant, the Jasper East Store and ourselves, Chefhusband stood back to consider or cabbages, one the size of a large exercise ball, while trying to decide what to do.

It was already clear that a single recipe wasn't going to be anywhere near enough to help dispatch this Peter Rabbit's dreamscape of cruciferous veg.

Soon, cabbage rolls, sauerkraut and braised cabbage with schnitzel all find themselves on our upcoming to-do lists and menus. But it will take still more than that to go through all of these leafy greens.

Cabbage borscht came to mind, but then, we've always preferred a borscht that's made with beets. And we have those, too.

Finally, we decided that not everything in the cabbage family of dishes needs to be cooked.

Simple, shredded cabbage on fish tacos (like those we used to buy at the Tacofina food truck in Vancouver) therefore make their way onto the list. And for tonight, we settled on tossing together a saucy batch of coleslaw, made with my favourite add-in of sunflower seeds.

Meanwhile, for your own weekend cabbage plans, there are organic cabbages for sale at the Jasper East Store, and we didn't even get around to talking about Korean kimchi! Which reminds me, we also have a cauliflower that's asking to be tempura-fried, slathered in gochjang and served alongside a dish of bulgogi.

But that's a story for another day.


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Coleslaw with Sunflower Seeds

1/2 small-medium cabbage, finely chopped into ribbons
2 medium carrots, grated
2 green onions, green parts thinly sliced
2 sprigs parsley, chopped
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs white wine vinegar
1 Tbs sugar
2 tsp celery seeds
salt, pepper to taste

In a large bowl, toss together cabbage, carrots, green onion, parsley and sunflower seeds.

In a small, separate bowl, whisk together dressing, then toss gently into slaw. Season to taste.


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