When we were younger, there was no such thing as blogs to give you nice ideas as to what to have for tea. There also wasn't a lot of money, or indeed time (too busy washing & drying cloth nappies I imagine) for coming up with all new fascinating dishes for dinner. As a result, there was a type of food rota in our house. The week started with Monday's left over Sunday Roast and worked its way up to Friday's sausage & chips treat, with a variety of meat-and-two-veg combinations in between. One of these was always Bacon & Cabbage and I have to admit, it was a dish I dreaded. No offense to my mother's cooking (she was a baking genius) but waterlogged bacon and equally watery white cabbage are all I remember of this meal. As a result, I have never cooked it - until tonight!
So what spurred tonights foray down memory lane? Well I was in our local Centra one afternoon and happened to bump into my lovely Sister in Law who grabbed my arm and hissed 'Did you see the bacon's reduced?' Eh, no I hadn't, I answered not wanting to add that even if I had... Anyhow she convinced me to purchase two pieces of what looked like a large wedge of breakfast bacon, and they've languished in my freezer ever since.
Until tonight. After a week of Punchestown rations I've had a longing for a proper 'dinner'. My lovely husband cooked a fabulous Shepherds Pie as a treat on Sunday but then we went back to our usual healthy mid-week stir frys. My craving for 'dinner' just wouldn't go away though, so, when trying to think of what to have for dinner tonight, I remembered the bacon that I discovered in my recent freezer stock take.
So I took it out this morning and left it lying on the counter to defrost. When I came home this evening, there it was winking at me all pasty and pale just as I'd remembered. I toyed briefly with the idea of tossing it to the labrador but as that would defeat my new budgeting ethos, I turned on the oven, bunged it in (the memory of the waterlogged boiled bacon obviously still an issue) and went out for my run.
On returning, so delicious a smell had started to waft around the kitchen that I started to get vaguely excited about the meal. I had a few potatoes in the fridge (we try not to eat spuds midweek anymore) and in a flash of inspiration remembered another freezer find - frozen spinach. On went the spuds in a pot of salted boiling water and I chopped up an onion and cooked it in a LOT of butter. Plenty of salt & pepper and hey presto - posh cabbage & mash!
(I wish I could say that I then rustled together some homemade parsley sauce but the arduous task of trying to get our impossible two year old to bed meant that a packet sauce had to suffice, I promise I'll make it next time).
Because there will be a next time, not only was it an absolutely delicious and stress free dish to make, I do have that other piece of bacon in the freezer. Who knows, this could become a weekly staple, and wouldn't that give Mam the last laugh...