10 April 2009

Memories

When our Gramma passed away earlier this spring, my sister decided to do a blog event in her honor. I was touched and happy that Laura decided to remember our Gramma this way since we all associated cooking with her. I will be honest though, I have dreaded participating and posting to her event. I don't think I have had an opportunity to process her death and battle with Alzheimer's Disease leading up to her death yet. I am a fairly private person when it comes to emotions, and this is an exceedingly emotional topic for me.
Anyone who has had a loved one with Alzheimer's understands the daily struggle to remember the person pre-illness. One of the few ways I have been able to remember my Gramma pre-illness is to cook food that reminds me of her. I think food is one of the best memory triggers. When freshly homemade applesauce hits my lips, I can picture myself running to my grandparents' house, the way the mudroom smelled, the sound of my Gramma and Mom laughing while they prepared apples for apple sauce. It reminds me of playing under the Weeping Willow tree that was my Gramma's pride and joy in her backyard - it made the best fort. There, of course, are other foods that bring my Gramma back into my mind and I am entirely grateful for the memories that they bring forth. My Mom and I have sat down to plates heaped with Strawberry Shortcake and a generous side of thick cut bacon in honor of Gramma, who loved that meal for dinner. Everytime I eat a pancake or waffle, I know my Gramma lives on in me (and my sister) since I opt for brown sugar instead of syrup.


After all of those examples, I bet you are expecting something sweet for this post. But you are wrong. The dish that most reminds me of my Gramma is her Sour Cream Cabbage. It was a side dish that my mom and her siblings grew up eating. I think my Gramma created it because it was economical and incredibly flavorful. You can serve it with just about anything, but I think it pairs beautifully with pork. I made a trip home from college to watch my Gramma make this recipe and write it down since no one else in our family knew it. I loved spending that time in the kitchen with my Gramma and I am happy I had it. Naturally this would be my submission to my sister's blog event, Grandma's Recipes. Visit her blog to read more about our Gramma and other grandmas.


Sour Cream Cabbage
Jane Weaver

1 head cabbage, shredded
3/4 cup butter
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water or apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
16 oz sour cream
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large heavy bottom stew pot, add shredded cabbage and enough water to cover the bottom of the pot by about one inch. Turn burner to high and add butter. Steam cabbage until tender. Combine cornstarch and 1/3 cup water or apple cider vinegar in a jar, shake to make a slurry. Lower burner to medium-high, add the cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil to thicken. Once thickened, add the apple cider vinegar and salt and pepper. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the sour cream. Serve with plenty of salt and pepper on the side for additional seasoning.

3 comments:

Laura said...

thank you,honey. i love you, mom

Laura said...

Uh yeah that was mom posting on my computer. Anyway, great post Josie and thanks for doing it. :)

HoneyB said...

For me remembering my Grandmother is still very emotional - especially as I sit here on Easter morning reading. My gram has been gone for 6 years already and there isn't a day go by that I don't think of her or miss her. I am really happy that Laura sponsored this blog event. I think it's great to honor our grandmothers.

BTW, I love the photo with the pork chop and cabbage. It looks like something I would be happy to have at my table!