Growing up I remember eating cabbage in one of two ways – either in mom’s coleslaw or in New England Boiled Dinner (a.k.a. Corned Beef and Cabbage). The former is a family favorite, made by my Grandma Pat and passed down to mom (who thankfully honored the recipe, onions and all). It’s cabbage the way it should be: crisp, crunchy and playing the leading role. The latter recipe, on the other hand, was a crime committed against all vegetables involved, but most egregiously against the cabbage. Boiled for hours on end, whole carrots, turnips, potatoes and the occasional parsnip would emerge from the pot liquor beleaguered but recognizable. The root vegetables managed to retain their shape and a hint of their original flavor, but the cabbage was a complete loss – a limp and lifeless jellyfish of a vegetable. With no internal structure, virtually no color, and only a hint of flavoring from the broth, I’m convinced that the cabbage was given top billing in the name of the dish only as some sort of booby prize.
You just can’t go wrong with a stuffed mushroom. In this version, savory and earthy cremini mushrooms pair nicely with a creamy, garlicky filling. The walnut topping gives them a little crunch, and the nutritional yeast imparts a cheesy / buttery flavor reminiscent of the classic breadcrumb stuffed mushrooms that so many of us grew up with.
Being from the Boston area means three things:
- I can never date a Yankees fan
- My driving isn’t bad, it’s just regionally inappropriate for Alaska….or most places
- On Saturday nights I feel compelled to have baked beans.
Baked beans on Saturday night is a long time New England tradition. In modern times it seems somewhat incompatible with the popular “date night”, but considering that the colonists ate them cold on Sunday morning to fortify them for their solemn church service, it’s hard to say which generation was more at risk for embarrassment.