Thursday, March 01, 2007

of cabbage and cast-iron

I finished The Faith Club and heartily recommend it. Though it examined Judaism and Christianity, the best thing it did, (and much needed) in my mind, was to express the great meaning, diversity and depth of American Islam. I studied a lot about Islam in college and graduate school and have great respect for it, but that religion's beauty is so often lost in the media terror alerts these days. My small gripes with the book are, well...small. One is theology: I think ritual, especially Jewish ritual, is underserved here, but this is based on three writers' discussion, so not everything can be examined. The last thing is an editing mistake. Instead of saying Reform, Conservative, Reconstructionist, and Orthodox Judaism, it says "reform Judaism." The capitalization is wrong. This bothers me because Episcopal is correct, Sunni is correct, but not Reform. That's an editing mistake, but it irked me.

Now, back to our regularly scheduled household program. Today, I celebrate cabbage. A fresh sweet cabbage is a wonderful winter veggie. It's always underrated. It makes great homemade sauerkraut over time, but I wanted immediate satisfaction. I made Asian Garden Rolls: (Note the damp paper towels, to keep the rice paper rolls moist til dinner time.) Contents: cilantro, tofu, cellophane mung bean noodles, a bit of chive or onion, and cabbage/carrot mixture. With hoisin sauce, it's great stuff.

Then, since once you use the cuisinart to shred all that cabbage, well, I can't help myself. I like slaw. When you make it at home, you can eat more than that one little paper cup that comes with 'que. (BBQ, of course.)

Every so often, there is a deal at a local store that I can't resist. This week, I saw an ad for a Lodge Cast-Iron 5 Quart Dutch Oven on sale for $18. Well, as everyone knows, in Hebrew, 18 represents Chai, which means Life, and it's the ultimate in lucky numbers, and well, it was also half price. What Jewish Southerner who loves to cook could resist? I use cast iron for baking bread, for stews, and it does a great job of browning meat. On days without electricity, it can make your whole meal work out well in a fireplace or on a woodstove. Once, when my oven housed live mice (gross, believe me) I baked in the dutch oven, on top of the stove, for several months! So, here's my new dutch oven, on the left, after its first seasoning. It will grow up to look like its much older sibling on the right one day, if it produces lots of good food.

The professor's sweater is growing. The back measures 17 inches long and I've been knitting on it (not obsessively, though) for 2 weeks. When it reaches 19 inches, I can start the armholes.

Our entire area is under a tornado watch for the rest of the day. Ahh, spring in Kentucky...I've learned how to tell if the tornado might be coming...a) sirens b)the sky gets greenish gray and dark and c) the dogs go nuts, leaping, pawing, and begging by the basement door. So far, according to Harry, there's no storm coming, but he'll keep me updated as conditions change. Who needs a TV weatherman? Not me...


Blogger sarah said...

Tornadoes? You get tornadoes? I don't know why I find that nerve-wracking -- we get them too. But still. Do the dogs try to get out of the house, or are they heading for the basement?
We had mice living in our refridgerator once, or at least in the insulation. I remember being grateful they weren't rats, which says something about where we were living at the time!

March 2, 2007 at 6:54 AM  
Blogger Denise said...

Your Asian Garden Rolls look delicious, Joanne. I love cabbage, usually just steamed with a tiny bit of butter and salt. yum.

The subtle color in the yarn your using for the Professor's sweater is wonderful. Can't wait to see the whole thing!

And tornados? Yikes. Stay safe. I know we have earthquakes out here in the PNW but I'm glad we don't have an 'earthquake season'.

March 2, 2007 at 11:15 AM  
Blogger June said...

Hey Joanne, the sweater is looking mighty fine so far! Can't wait to see the end result!

My silly dogs don't really give good indications that a "bad" storm is coming, since they just kinda hunker around us no matter what! I'm so glad the earth has dried out though!!

March 4, 2007 at 1:05 PM  
Blogger Barb said...

I love the dutch oven. Our's is an outdoor version (with legs) so I'd like to get one for in the oven/stove top. The sweater is looking great! I love how that color is working up.
Hooray for Harry, the tornado dog! His eyes are open, he must be on duty in that photo.

March 5, 2007 at 8:46 AM  

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