Ok, I have to admit that while I like cabbage and consider it a very versatile vegetable, it isn’t something I consider discussing for any real amount of time. And yet, the cutest thing happened last week about…yes, cabbage.
Elie came home on Thursday and did the weekly shopping. As he often does, he called to clarify several items. He’s an intelligent shopper. He weighs prices and decides what offers the best deal, but knows when I have a preference for a particular brand (even if the price isn’t the lowest). He remembers other things we might be missing, or things that catch his eye.
He called me from the store after noting that I’d listed one white cabbage.
“Ima, you haven’t made stuffed cabbage in years.” He said.
“Do you want me to make stuffed cabbage?” I answered back.
“Yes, you haven’t made it in years,” he said again and then confirmed what other items he might need to purchase.
So, on Friday, as I was cooking the soup and the fish, the chicken and the vegetables, cutting up the cucumber for cucumber salad and the expected cabbage for two kinds of cole slaw, I also boiled the second cabbage and made stuffed cabbage. And then, Elie explained.
He’d been at the checkpoint last week and an Arab driving a truck pulled up. Although the actual responsibility for checking the individuals passing through falls mostly to border security, Elie is in charge of overall security and often “takes a peek.” When the Arab opened the back of his truck to be inspected, Elie saw HUGE cabbages.
“What are those?” Elie asked the Arab.
“Cabbages,” was the answer.
“They’re huge,” Elie said needlessly. “What do you do with them?”
“Stuff them,” the Arab replied before closing the door and going on his way. It’s funny how things happen. Seeing those cabbages had Elie thinking about my stuffed cabbage and though it hadn’t been my plan for this weekend, I starting trying to remember the last time I made it and, sure enough, it seems it has been a long time. Mostly, I make it around the holiday of Simchat Torah in the Fall. Elie hasn’t been home for that holiday for the last few years and knowing that it’s something he likes, I didn’t make it.
I guess it never clicked to make it any other time and so it was a treat this week to bring it to the table and have everyone enjoy it so much. Elie’s already back on base, sent back with a container of chocolate-chip covered cupcakes and a kiss on his cheek and a hug to get him through the weeks until he comes home again.