Like Eating Grass

I thought everyone with kids knew what the word nummy meant. I was wrong. During my time working in a self-contained special-needs schoolroom, I learned how wrong I’d been. More than one of the kids there had no idea what it meant, and if they didn’t know, how the living hell could they teach their parents?

The word is a derivation of Yummy. I trust everyone is familiar with that term. Nummy , a cuter, more child-like way of saying it and adding a smidge of fun. My kids know exactly what the word means, and it is a normal part of their vocabulary.

This is the season for tasty food, and this recipe is very nummy. It is a favorite of the whole family. I originally planned on writing a recipe for my potato soup. It’s hearty, warm or cold, and very filling. But this past week we Americans had our feasting holiday and along with all of the traditional items, I fixed this. My Father-in-law, who happens to be younger than me, (isn’t that a mind twister) but age doesn’t mean anything much. We’ve both been around for a few decades. Anyway, My father-in-law calls it grass and weenies. kind of catchy. So, here is the recipe for my nummy Grass and Weenies.

GRASS AND WEENIES (Kielbasa and Cabbage)
This recipe is half of my normal recipe. I cut it in half because most people don’t have twelve mouths to feed. This is plenty for six.

  • 1-large head of green cabbage (about the size of a toddler’s head)
  • 1-can of Rotel (I use original) For those of you who are not familiar with this. It is a product that has diced tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos. If you cannot find such an item, I invite you to experiment with these.
  • 4-cloves fresh garlic
  • 1/2-of a sweet onion 1-large
  • pkg of kielbasa (one large package contains 3 lengths of sausages)
  • 6-strips of hickory smoked bacon
  • Puckett’s all-purpose seasoning (Any seasoning you are fond of will do)
  • Tony Chachere’s saltless seasoning (Any cajun seasoning will do. I use saltless because my doctor prefers that I do.)

Now to business. To do this the exact way that I do, you will need several kids, each with their Nummy,brand of adorability, charm, and godawful persistence that distracts and annoys. If you have all these things in place, please be careful. You will want to protect all of your digits, your face, and your respective things that jiggle. (You decide what parts I’m talking about on that last thing there.)

  1. Clean, strip, and dice the 1/2 onion. Place in a large stock pot, or at least a 4-quart Dutch oven.
  2. Dice and crush four cloves of garlic. Place in pot with onion.
  3. Fry the bacon until crispy and set aside. Save the bacon grease. This step can be done ahead of time if you care to. Use a small bit of bacon grease to sauté the onion and garlic.
  4. Clean and Chop cabbage in half, cutting through the cabbage heart and then again to quarter the head. Slice the heart free from all four portions. Next slice each quarter cabbage three times lengthwise, and holding the three parts together slice 1/2” to 1” portions until the cabbage is completely chopped. If you have your own way of chopping cabbage feel free. I added all that because I worked with a couple of old-school cooks who would get pissed occasionally and say, “Don’t try to teach me how to cut the cabbage!” Anyway, put the chopped cabbage in the pot with the sautéed veggies. Stir everything. (Double, double, toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble … Shakespeare’s — Macbeth. I couldn’t help myself. I love the Bard.)
  5. Open and pour in the Rotel (juice included). Stir again.
  6. Pour in all but a little bacon grease.  Cover and let everything stew and simmer on medium heat. Cover the pot.
  7. Cut all the kielbasa on a bias. In the pan you crisped the bacon, fry the kielbasa. Liberally season it with the Puckett’s seasoning while it fries. Keep it sizzling until most of the sausage appears burned. It cannot be a cinder, but you want it to look like the char on a grilled hot dog or brat looks just before the skin breaks and you take it off the grill. If that direction makes no sense, make it at least one shade darker than you think it should be. At that stage dump it into the pot with everything else. Keep going until all of the kielbasas are done. It is very important to cook the sausage darker than you ordinarily would. It enhances the flavor.
  8. While the pot simmers you need to stir it occasionally and make sure you do not let it burn. Once most of the cabbage has wilted turn it down to a simmer.
  9. Chop and dice the bacon until you have bacon chunks and set them aside.
  10. Once the desired texture of the cabbage is reached, go ahead and serve with your fresh bacon chunks sprinkled over the top. Do not worry about leftovers. I find the extra time it sits in the fridge adds well to the scrumptiousness of the overall dish. It is very filling so be careful. You might overeat.

While you are enjoying this nummy food it is time for an update on my book. Rebel E Publisher closed their doors and The Sigma Factor is not available online anymore. It will take a few weeks before I can publish it myself. However, I have a limited amount of hard copies of the book and will be glad to sell you one. Leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

Also, I will have a new book out soon. It is full of thrills, suspence, and son-of-a-bitch, what the hell was that’s! Set in Hawaii, Louisiana, and Wyoming, it has a cast of gun totein’ characters that are at once full of purpose and mystery, and dead set on finding out who is trying to kill them. Somebody ends up dead, others get meaner.

The Great Zero Sum is almost ready for Beta reading. Beta readers have a chance to not only read my book for free, but they have a chance to lend input too. I have a few who succumbed to the allure to be even better well read and agreed to help me, but I can still use a few more. Please let me know if you are interested. It’s a spanking good (did I say spanking?) It’s a marvelous story of which I am proud.


The Real Reason I Write

Do you know what I love about writing? Let me explain it to you. During the process of writing, I’m in charge of what hits the paper. I control everything. It’s a like playing God. I invent characters and after a few pages, I turn them loose.

I’ll know if it’s a good character because they either will actually demand things on their own, or they will fail miserably. 

That means if I create a wimp, the character should stay a wimp until I develop him through interaction and or a change of situation. The same is true if I put some kind of a pissant or an undying prick on paper. They stay the way I make them until I change them. I’m the author. That’s what I do. But the spooky thing is they start to demand things like any normal person. A good character will tell me and teach me when it is time to eat, time to sleep, or perhaps the time to make love or even kill someone.

I know it’s strange, and unless you write fiction, it’s hard to visualize what I’m talking about. A good character will often tell their author what the next move or reaction should be. All of the budding authors out there need to remember what I just jotted down.

I think that was what Mark Twain eluded to when he talked about the best writing is done when the story writes itself.

So why do I like to write, especially if the damn thing writes itself? The answer to that has two parts. The first part is this: it doesn’t really write itself, it suggests things to write and a way things should feel, see, taste, et cetera. The second reason is I get to be the first to read the story, and as an added bonus, if I don’t like the way it reads looks or sounds in my head I can change it. I do change things too. That turns back around to that feeling of godhood and waving my hand through the air to make a change.

My hand doesn’t actually wave through the air unless you count hunting and pecking on the keyboard. It’s not really a hunt and peck method either, and the old image of a bohemian writer, hat cocked back, and a smoke clench in teeth doesn’t fit either. I think maybe the poverty thing might. But that’s a different piece of literature yet to be written.

What might fit best is a picture from “Please, Don’t Eat the Daisies”. The writer can’t write because the kids are driving him nuts while his wife calmly sits, stands, or walks around in total control. That isn’t to say the kids always drive me nuts either.

By the by, what is so funny about the man in a sitcom nowadays who is a bumbling buffoon? I mean in every sitcom. I find women just as entertaining as men. The situation which forms the “sit” in a current sitcom is really boring because it’s totally predictable to see the father in all these sitcoms a fumbling ignoramus. He’s someone who by any natural means of selection should have failed to survive past puberty. Most are so stupid and seem to function so poorly that they end up being the equivalent of concrete shoes to the family’s ability to swim through life.

Oh well. That’s the popular notion of entertainment. So if I were a screenwriter, which I’m not, I would have to target the audience that likes to see that situation. That is if I wanted to sell anything in that market.

Oh pshaw. I don’t know how I became so distracted. Maybe there is more truth to the bumbling father than I care to admit. Here I am, my publisher has taken leave, I don’t have anything selling right now and I’m fumbling through my blog. Perhaps if I target an audience other than well-rounded adults I can return The Sigma Factor to the sales shelves, so more people can read it.

In the end it doesn’t matter because the book is definitely coming back, and soon, so be looking for it. Actually, I think I’ll double down. Look for my next book The Great Zero Sum too! That way life goes on.