So cabbage is a thing I didn’t think much about in my young life until my family moved to the South. Here, cabbage is quite important because of, you know, coleslaw, but you can also do many other interesting things with cabbage, like saute it with kielbasa. But without a cabbage-rich background, I admit I’m a little at a loss, so when I saw stuffed cabbage rolls, I thought I should learn how to do it. Plus err’body on Pinterest was saying stuff like, “It’s slap-my-dead-grandma delicious!” So, ya know.
Plus, the picture totally made it look easy. (Famous last words.)
Basically, you just need meat and cabbage to do this. I mean, yeah you need some tomato sauce and spices and stuff, but mostly just meat and cabbage. I like it already.
Now you’ll note that my cabbage is really white and not green like the cabbage in the picture. I don’t know why that is. There are probably other varieties of greener cabbage that I should have bought, but guys, it’s fucking cabbage. It didn’t seem that important at the time.
I tried to follow the directions and, like, steam the cabbage and stuff to make the leaves all pliable, but I never quite got it to work right.
I tried all the methods (or at least the ones that sounded like they wouldn’t take too long) (and by “all” I mean “two” out of the many). I’m here to tell you that all the microwave method does is make the leaves slightly warmer. And also the method where you jab a sharp knife into the veiny thing of the leaf really only leaves you with knife marks on your cabbage and, in my case, a nice cut on my finger. (No picture of that. Thank me in the comments.)
So I ended up with some cabbage carnage.
I kind of wanted to quit, but I was already like an entire goddamn hour in, and hungry, so I forged ahead with the meat sauce.
(Do I know how to take appetizing food photos or what?)
So the stuffing of the cabbage leaves seems like the most important part. It, therefore, made me pretty upset when this step went horribly. The leaves were not even a little bit pliable and by the end of the pile, I ran out of fucks.
Fine. Cabbage lasagne it is.
The recipe said to saute some more of the cabbage, so I did.
And then I made a sauce out of it.
(There were bright red spatters all over everything in my kitchen when I was done making this.)
I put the bed of cabbage sauce on the bottom because if you’re making cabbage, it should really be on top of more cabbage. I don’t know.
And then I had this:
I was not confident that this would, by the magic of heat and chemistry, transform into anything edible. I was also pretty convinced that it would spill over and start a fire in my oven.
It didn’t catch on fire, but it didn’t magically turn into something delicious-looking either.
My husband and I gamely ate some for dinner. I thought it was mega-gross. He actually said he liked it, but that may have been a lie (probably because he thought I’d have sex with him if he complimented my cooking or something). The leftovers sat in the refrigerator until they got that cabbage-fart smell and then I had to throw them away and it was kind of awful, but at least if I had thrown up on them they wouldn’t have looked (or tasted) any worse.