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Christopher Greaves

Savoy Cabbage

On February 19th 2015, in the middle of the coldest winter we’ve had so far this year, The Toronto Star ran a half-page article on Savoy Cabbage . I folded the page under my pillow and went to sleep dreaming of summer days of salads.

Today, August 09, 2015, winter seems to have gone, so I have unfolded the page, crept out to the supermarket and bought myself a Savoy Cabbage. First time in my life.

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Here it is in all its glory, sitting on the kitchen counter. It is about the same size, shape, colour and by my heft, identical to a regular pungent cabbage of the sort I gave up using in salads five years ago.

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Ignoring the newspaper article, I did not discard the outer leaves but used the four most exterior for a salad. The article said that Savoy Cabbage was “the most tender and sweetest of the cabbage family”. If that be so then using what are presumed to be the worst leaves as my first salad provides a good test; if these outer leaves are edible, not to mention tasty, then the rest of the cabbage should be more so.

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The article said to wrap the Savoy in a plastic bag and store in the ‘fridge. I am fortunate in that we have a Bulk Barn on the corner; they give away a free plastic bag every time you go in there and buy something, such as 200 grams of chocolate-covered raisins.

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I found the four leaves delightfully easy to roll and slice, not at all like the cabbages of my grandmother.

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And yes, I know that I’m supposed to hand-tear, but I am lazy; I sliced the sliced rolls in half because I plan to read a book while eating lunch, and small shreds tend not to fall off the fork.

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I have some tomatoes I hand-picked from the vine-tomatoes bin in the supermarket just yesterday. Talk about fresh!

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Here are my four leaves, and a diced tomato, sprinkled with some dried mint leaves I stumbled over; there was a faint idea that I could fool myself into thinking I was having a juicy leg of lamb, roasted, for Sunday Lunch, but it didn’t work out that way.

Truth is I was scared and thought that the mint might cover any cabbage flavour. Either it did, or else it didn’t need to.

My mixing bowls come from a different supermarket and retail for about $4.99. They are square, but you have to empty the ice-cream out of them before you can use them for salads.

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The salad dressing is a 50-50 mixture of oil and vinegar, shaken vigorously in an old plastic bottle that used to contain rubbing alcohol.

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And here is my lunch: Savoy Cabbage, Tomato, Mint Leaves, Oil & Vinegar and, I must be honest here, some grated “OLD” cheese which I really meant to keep for my trip to Coburg tomorrow. I restrained myself and didn’t grate the entire chunk I’d carved off, only half of it. The remainder I popped into my mouth as I went to get my book.

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Here’s the original article, just in case I can’t find the link to the original.

‘Twas yummy, this salad.


416-993-4953 CPRGreaves@gmail.com

Toronto, Wednesday, August 12, 2015 5:06 PM

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