Sunday, January 29, 2017

Halushki: Who knew?

     On swim meet nights, the swimmers stay at school, do their homework (supposedly) and have a team meal together before boarding the bus to whichever local high school is hosting the meet.  The meals are catered in by a wonderful local chef who makes some great tasting, healthy meals at an incredible price.  At last week's meet, the "Dad" in charge of the booster club was telling us about that evening's menu.  "He brought these great Chicken Caesar Wraps.  Most of the boys ate an entire one while the girls ate half.  Oh, and I had him bring a Caesar Salad for Cate as I know she doesn't like sandwiches."  Good grief!  After only a few months, a man I barely know...knows that my daughter does not eat sandwiches.

     It is true.  She also won't touch hotdogs, will only eat a hamburger without the bun, despises the thought of ham and cheese or a club sandwich but will dip a grilled cheese (the only sandwich that is worthy enough for her) in her tomato soup.  But then again, she loves duck confit, can make the best mushroom risotto and knows the difference between Prosciutto di Parma and Prosciutto San Danielle.  So, who really cares if she likes sandwiches.  She is hardly starving.

     For several weeks now, I have had a head of green cabbage in my refrigerator.  This is not something that I would go out and buy.  Rather, it came in my Winter CSA shipment.  I could not throw it away (like I did recently with the turnips...just couldn't bring myself to cook them...much less eat them).  I scoured the Internet for recipes.  What do you do with an entire head of green cabbage?  Then, somehow I stumbled upon Halushki.  It sounded vaguely familiar so I asked Jamie about it.  Of course, he had it numerous times while growing up in Western Pennsylvania.  A Eastern European dish, it is famous at festival and church potlucks. Finding a recipe, it looked super easy to make:  cabbage, onions, egg noodles, butter and bacon...hey, it can't be bad if it has bacon.  Some recipes called for kielbasa and some did not.

     So, I made it the other night for dinner.  It was super easy.  When Cate came downstairs to inquire what was for dinner (it is the one of the only times we see her), I was amazed at how excited she was that we were having Halushki for dinner.   I had been bracing for that downtrodden look when she hears that we are having something that is not quite her favorite.   "When have you ever had Halushki?" I asked.  Evidently, she had and she loved it.

     That night for dinner, she had three platefuls.  She asked that I put it in her lunch for school the next day.  She came home the next night from a swim meet and ate all of the leftovers.  She asked me to make more.  Today, after volunteering for her service hours, she helped me out in the kitchen just to make sure that I was actually making more.  While I asked her not to eat too much of it as it was already nearing 5pm, she assured me that she would be hungry for dinner.  In fact, she asked me why we were just not having Halushki for dinner.  Good point.

     So who knew...and now I have two massive containers of Halushki cooling on the counter.



1 head of green cabbage sliced thinly
1 yellow onion, diced
6 slices of bacon, sliced and cooked
1 stick of butter
1 package of egg noodles, cooked to directions.
salt and pepper
kielbasa, optional

1.  In a large skillet or dutch oven, cook the bacon over medium heat until the fat has rendered.
2.  Add the onions and cook for two to three minutes.
3.  Add 1/2 stick of butter.
4.  Add cabbage, stir to mix and cover.  Continue to cook for fifteen minutes, uncovering every few minutes to stir.
5.  Add the cooked noodles and a bit more butter.  Season with salt and pepper.  If using, add the kielbasa and cook until warmed.
6.  Serve.

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