Religion, Family & Cabbage

So she didn’t make my religious choice a bone of contention. And she certainly could have. She was a strong woman from some very strong women. In my family, the matriarchs have always stood out.

“Our religion keeps reminding us that we aren’t just will and thoughts. We are also sand and wind and thunder. Rain. The seasons. You learn to respect everything because you are everything.” ~ William Least Heat Moon 1939-

I was blessed with a mother who wasn’t overly religious although she was a faithful woman. She grew up Catholic, then raised my sister and I in the Episcopal faith. She attended the Methodist church with her second husband while beginning her drift back to her childhood faith of Catholicism. She allowed me, albeit regretfully, to leave the Christian path without making it hard on me. She didn’t like it. I know this. I also know that she wanted me to be happy and secure. So she didn’t make my religious choice a bone of contention. And she certainly could have. She was a strong woman from some very strong women. In my family, the matriarchs have always stood out.

My Mama had a German-Scot Mama and a Scot-Irish Papa. While her mama, my Grannilu, was not someone I remember as a good cook, Mama said there were good cooks in her family. She passed her love of starchy potatoes and stinky cabbage on to me with this dish. It’s one she found later in life. Like her, I’m a collector or recipes. I even cook some of them. 😀 She made this for me for one of my homecoming meals and I loved it then as I love it now. Even die-hard cabbage haters will fall for this treat!

Because it’s something I closely identify with Mama, I knew this one had to be a Queen (the Empress was already taken, sorry Mama!). The Queen of Cups might seem like the perfect choice but my Mama was a sharp edged Scorpio. She was funny–brilliantly so at times and almost always pointed and sharp insightful humor. I knew her as a widow most of my life (she remarried when I was in my early 20’s). Her friends were classy, stylish women (when they weren’t being redneck haints). She was a a classy, stylish woman and I adored her. She wasn’t the cookie-baking, soccer mom but she was the take-you-to-the-library, defend-you-tooth-and-nail mom. I’m lucky to have had the time I did with her. So she is the Queen of Swords to me.

Queen of Swords Cabbage Au Gratin

1 head cabbage, shredded
4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs (divided)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 beaten egg
1-1/2 cup grated cheese (divided)
1-1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 pound bacon

Brown bacon, set aside

Cook cabbage in water 10 minutes. Drain.

Beat egg, cream and seasonings together.

Layer cabbage in casserole pan with egg mixture and remaining ingredients,except bacon. Reserve some of the bread crumbs and cheese for topping.

Place chopped bacon on top of casserole, dot with butter and bake in a preheated 350° F. oven for 30 minutes.

6 servings

Arwen says: Mama didn’t do the bacon and I don’t either. Just a sodium overload!

I hope you will let me know if you try this. I think I’ll make some this week. If you are Catholic, maybe you’d like to light a candle at Mary’s altar for my mama. Her name was Marilu. 😀 I’ll light a candle on my own altar. Don’t let religion come between you and those you love. It’s really not worth it. Instead, share a meal and a blessing that you have friends and family who care about you enough to worry about you.

Here’s to all of us. We are blessed to have the ability to choose who we call family. “You learn to respect everything because you are everything.” Thanks to William Least Heat Moon for that.

4 thoughts on “Religion, Family & Cabbage”

  1. Ooh. This one made me a little choked up. How beautiful, Stephanie. Especially the part about not letting religion come between you! That goes for families, nations AND the world! Let’s just love each other and be done with it!

    I like cabbage. I am afraid I would be the only eating this so not sure if I would make it but I might and if I do I will be sure and let you know!
    🙂

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