January so far has been icy and dreary in my part of the world

photo by author

As usual, 2022 moves along despite our misgivings, predictions, or plans. The sun continues its apparent travel higher up into the sky and the minutes of daylight ever-so-gradually increase. We here in Maine have had lots of rain, ice, snow showers, and cloudy skies. The holiday hubbub has abated and we are left trying to find some kind of joy despite the dreary days. I am clinging to my routines and to-do lists limpet-like. Hoping to be pulled back to the time when it all seemed to be fun. As a result, I have written some poetry, a story, or two recently. I even made a plan and timeline for publishing my next book. Good for me. I hope your New Years’ goals are on target, too.

In cooking, I am focusing on using things I’ve stored in the freezer and whatever fresh vegetables I can purchase. I was glad to remember the red cabbage in my refrigerator when it came time to think about a recipe for this newsletter. It certainly cheered me to see it sliced across the center and shredded. So vivid and pushy. Its health qualifications are equally strong.

In cooking, I am focusing on using things I’ve stored in the freezer and whatever fresh vegetables I can purchase. I was glad to remember the red cabbage in my refrigerator when it came time to think about a recipe for this newsletter. It certainly cheered me to see it sliced across the center and shredded. So vivid and pushy. Its health qualifications are equally strong.

In Cooking This Week

Recipe of the Week

Wilted Red Cabbage

thought it might be fun to focus on a particular vegetable that is beautiful, really good for you and also tastes delicious. My job is to make it taste good enough that my husband will eat it for dinner and I can use leftovers for breakfast with –a nice egg. 

But this day I wanted a warm side dish to go with a turkey and noodle casserole I was planning. I hit upon one idea that suggested wilting the cabbage. I think this does something toward making the vegetable more tender without cooking it a long time. I wanted it to remain more like a salad. Since the weather has been especially frigid and bleak this week, here in Maine, a warm salad-like side dish seemed a good idea.

Warm Wilted Red Cabbage Salad

I began by slicing the red cabbage on a mandolin in the finest possible shreds. I used most of a cabbage, to make about five cups. Then I sliced one red onion as well. I peeled then chopped several large cloves of garlic. 

Next, I heated a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large wok (I recommend the wok to keep the strands of cabbage inside the pan as you toss them) or saute pan, then added the onion and fried for a few minutes. When the onions were wilted, I stirred the chopped garlic around in the pan a half a minute then piled on the red cabbage. I began to flip and stir the cabbage and took about five minutes in all to wilt it nicely. Now, I stirred in the juice of a lemon, and a handful of parsley chopped. If you have any dill or fresh oregano, they would go nicely, a few tablespoons fresh and chopped. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat and stir another minute, then serve. You could crumble a piece of feta or goat cheese on top of this for a more substantial dish. The cabbage went well with our meal of turkey tetrazzini, giving it a jolt of bold color and a crunchy texture to contrast with the noodles and creamy sauce.

I also used this salad in a vegetable scramble for breakfast the next day with some sautéed onion, sweet potato, and sliced brussels sprouts. And, finally, used the rest of it mixed with a bunch of baby spinach, a garlic clove mashed with salt, some olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a salad with dinner the next day.

In My Seventies, I’m Remembering All My Favorite Things. Birds Are One of Them.

There is evidence all over my house

I am an amateur bird watcher and have loved birds since my childhood when I was first given a Little Golden Book of Birds. I treasured that book, carried it with me along with a notebook and pencil when I went out to watch the birds in our Southern New Jersey neighborhood. The woods where we lived had a wet area where a little brook ran through. I learned recently that its official name is Cordery Creek.

If You Love Colors or Are Color-Sensitive You Can Use Them as a Resource for Improving Your Mood, Managing Your Eating, and Helping You Reach Your Goals

I find that I am eating better this week. Yesterday we gave the remaining cookies to the birds, put the candy away, and gave away the second half of my only stollen this year to a good friend. Despite my sincere intentions to stop eating the wrong stuff and to give things away whenever I had the opportunity, I found myself almost mourning the loss of this little fruit-and-nut-studded half-a-loaf. What is up with that? Giving bread to a friend needn’t be painful, but it felt that way. The Stollen I make at Christmas is a symbol of the joys of the season, is carefully sliced and presented, mainly from me to me, as a treat each morning of the holiday

Read the story here

Published by Jean Anne Feldeisen

I was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, raised in Galloway Township, and graduated from Oakcrest High School in southern New Jersey.I attended Cedar Crest College in Allentown, PA, and graduated from Stockton University in Galloway, NJ in 1974 with degrees in Philosophy, English Literature, and (almost) music. After that, I taught piano to local children and adults in the 70s and 80s, had a catering business "Jean's in the Kitchen" from 1980 to 1992, then went to graduate school at Rutgers Camden to obtain my Masters's Degree in Social Work. Since 1996 I have worked as a therapist and counselor first in New Jersey for five years and then, when our family moved to Maine, in Augusta, Maine for five years. For the past 17 years, I have had a private psychotherapy practice in Gardiner, Maine, During the pandemic, I packed up and moved my office home to Washington, Maine. In the year of my seventieth birthday, I decided to write and self-publish a memoir about our parents' World War II romance, Dear Milly. I began blogging on Medium in earnest in 2020 and have posted more than 240 stories including a block of stories about my catering career which I hope to turn into a book in the next year. I have been writing and collecting poetry since childhood but never showed it to anyone. Recently, I learned how valuable it could be to join a group for feedback and support for my writing. I have taken several courses and written many poems and recently had my first poem accepted for publication. Off in a new direction, again.

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