Monthly Archives: February 2016

LISTEN UP VEGETARIANS: This Casserole is Your Holy Grail

Tori Amos’ brilliant Boys for Pele is 20 years old this month.  Which means a few things:  I’ve spent a lot of time trying to verify the truth of whether or not the pope indeed has a rubber robe, and I’m really fucking old.  It seems like a lifetime ago.  I lived in another state.  I had a different everything.  But this album holds up.  Tori holds up, I don’t care what anyone says.  I know she’s weird.  Sometimes weird is pretty fucking rad.  Anyway, her lyrics are insane, and as I listened to this album after a too-long hiatus from it, I did what I always do when good music is on and I have time:  I cook.  Meanwhile, since I’ve recently lost my beloved Mister Wallace dog, my cat Fawkes has turned into a total attention whore.  It’s wonderful and snuggly, unless I’m not snuggling and trying to do other shit.  Like cook.  While I have been listening to this album and making this dish, he has been howling at the top of his lungs.  Maybe he just likes Tori.

So I have spent the last month or so trying to perfect this cabbage roll recipe.  Finally after making it three times and being pleased with it each time more than the last, I said FUCK IT NO MORE ROLLING CABBAGE IMMA DECONSTRUCT THIS BITCH INTO A CASSEROLE.  While I got them to totally look like cabbage rolls, it’s just too hard not to break, and honestly, they’re difficult to eat like that.  I’d much rather just pile shit in a bowl and eat it.   America has spoken.  I like vegetables.  I’m guessing if you are reading this, you do too.  I present:

STARFUCKER CABBAGE CASSEROLE 

It’s so fucking good I want to share it with you.

SHIT YOU WILL NEED:

1 head cabbage, chopped and steamed
3 sweet potatoes, baked, skin off
1-1/2 c. mushrooms, chopped
4 c. quinoa/brown rice blend, cooked
2 med. zucchini, sauteed (optional)
1 med. onion, sauteed (optional)
2 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
1/4 c. Italian bread crumbs
1 jar Marinara sauce (or whatever.  Make your own.  I’m lazy.)
thyme, fresh or otherwise
basil, fresh or otherwise
oregano, same
1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
(all seasoning to taste)

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Mash the sweet potatoes WITH YOUR HANDS.

SHIT YOU WILL DO:

Have the cabbage cut up and steamed, just chop it kind of roughly.  Discard the weird center.  Bake your sweet potatoes the night before or something, because that takes an hour.  You don’t want to waste precious time.  In a bowl, mix the chopped mushrooms, 1 cup of Parmesan, the cooked quinoa/rice blend, and the sweet potato meat together.  I just squeezed the potatoes with my hands.  Satisfying.  Mush it all up so it’s like a delicious paste.  Saute your onion and zucchini, have it sitting off to the side.  I actually add the thyme, oregano, basil, some salt and pepper, and minced garlic cloves to this saute.  But you could really add all that at any time.

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Cabbage/zucchini layer #1.

Preheat oven to 350.  Take a 9×11 casserole dish, put a layer of cabbage and zucchini/onion (about 1/2 of it) on the bottom.  then sploch the sweet potato mixture on top of that.  Kind of spread it out so it makes a layer.  Add another layer of the cabbage/zucchini/onion.  Then cover with 3/4 of the jar of marinara sauce (about 2 cups?  Maybe a little more?)  Get it nice and saucy.  Spread the other 1 cup of Parmesan on top.  Scatter the bread crumbs on top if you want.  I did.  And it rocked.

Cook it for about 30-40 minutes.  Everything is already cooked, all you’re doing is making it hot and cooking it all together.

Try not to punch me in the face next time you see me, because this is so good you’ll want to.  ENJOY, MY VEGETABLE-EATING FRIENDS.

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No Pappy, it’s not a lasagna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dogs. Death. Drinks. Devotion.

You can never know when you wake up that this will be the day you have to put your dog to sleep.  Millions of paragraphs have been written about losing those that we love, but nothing will seem to resonate with you on this day.  No one else can possibly understand what the pit of your stomach feels like as you make all the motions you have to make:  The decision, the comforting of your friend, the doctor as she listens for the stillness of the heart.  And your heart fucking drops at the same exact time.  Except you’re still moving around.

You walk away and immediately duck into the first bathroom and bawl as silently (or not) as possible.  You wipe your tears with the world’s roughest toilet paper and walk out into the all-too-bright February sunlight, knowing that doing the right thing sucks so much that you just want to lay down in the middle of the parking lot.

You drive on auto-pilot.

You go to your house and your friend is not there to greet you with a wag and a kiss, but all of your friend’s stuff is still there.  Like he was just going to the groomer or something.  You wander around the house.  You pick up the toys.  You gather beds.  You gather treats and food to give to someone you love.  And you sob.  Uncontrollably.  Ugly crying.  Unashamed crying.  You don’t know when it will stop.

This was my morning.  February 4, 2016.  Today marks my second year of sobriety.  Today is a day that has been horrible, and yet amazing, because it has forced me to do something I could not do when I drank – I have been forced to feel.  While it has absolutely been one of the most heart-wrenching days of my life, I could have never felt this over 2 years ago.  I would have drowned all this out.  And surprise – I wouldn’t go back to that place for all the money or happiness in the world.  No one is more surprised than I am.

I would never be able to feel the absolute gratitude I have for this little dog that came into our lives 9 years ago.  I had no idea how much he had given me.  He comforted me through so many hard days and celebrated with me on days filled with joy.  He gave me his absolute and complete devotion and love.  He gave me his trust.  He had a full life, and I am so thankful that we were able to give him that.

Sobriety to some may seem like a long list of “nevers” that you have to tick off.  But for me, sobriety is a never-ending book full of “always.”  I will always have the memory of knowing that I was there for him in his last moment.  I will always have an abundant circle of friends and family around me to comfort me when I am in need.  And I will always, always marvel at this magic fucking universe that gives so freely of itself, and fills up my short life with the wonder and size of the love that is within it.

 

The dog, thus far, has only learned how to look cute.  No coffee skills at all.

For Mister William Wallace.  Chase those frogs, buddy.

 

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