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If Ever There Was a Time for Comfort Food…

January 14, 2021

Generally, one thing is usually enough to stress us out. A pandemic would have been plenty with the fear, sickness and death it’s brought. But combine that with job losses, kids trying to learn at home, political upheaval, no outings, throw in the darkness and the chill of winter and it just gets to be too much.

We’re all on overload and when things get tough, much like my mom, I turn to food.

Is this healthy? Well, it’s better than gambling or prostitution, and I’m alternating it with walking so much my sneakers are almost treadless, so I’ve convinced myself I’m OK.

I’m aided in this by relatives and friends who love to talk food with me. And I’m surrounded by great cooks like my kids, brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews, nieces-in-law and countless friends.

My sister-in-law, Donna has given me a few of my favorite, most requested dessert recipes, including carrot cake and cheesecake, Danish pastry puffs and the famous New Year Pork and Sauerkraut. Sister-in-law Patty has given me her Russian Teacake recipe and is famous for what her kids call crack bread (Zucchini Bread with Chocolate Chips). But one of Patty’s claims to fame are her comfort meals like Ham, Potatoes, and Cabbage, and if ever there was a time for comfort food, it’s now.

Patty is a nice Polish girl from Cleveland and always says, “Oh it’s nothing fancy,” but that’s the beauty of this dish. Sometimes the best recipes are simple, but delicious combinations of our favorite foods. How can you go wrong with ham, potatoes and cabbage?

I’m praying cool heads prevail and next week witnesses the peaceful transition of power that’s always made the United States a country to be proud of, and one other countries want to emulate.

In the meantime, let’s celebrate all the things we love about each other and set aside our disagreements. And when things get tough, go for a long walk and appreciate nature, then come home and make Ham, Cabbage and Potatoes. I guarantee you’ll feel better.

Ham, Potatoes and Cabbage

Yields1 Serving

 1 medium onion, diced
 3 tbsp butter
 2 cups ham cut in 1 inch chunks or a large ham bone with ham on it
 2 cups baby creamer potatoes
 ¾ cup baby carrots
 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
 freshly ground pepper
  of a cabbage cut into 1 to 2 inch wedges
 1 tsp cornstarch
 enough water to make cornstarch liquid

1

In a deep stock pot saute the diced onion in the butter. When it starts to lightly brown, add the ham and saute to mingle the flavors. Add the potatoes and the carrots and the two cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Add several twists of freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

2

Add the cabbage wedges and cover the pot, cooking for 20 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted.

3

Drain the liquid from the pot and set it aside in a small saucepan. Take one heaping teaspoon of corn starch and mix it with enough cold water to just make it liquid. Add that to the liquid in the saucepan, and stir until thickened. Add that liquid back to the pot with the ham, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Add salt and additional pepper to taste. Heat it though and serve.

Ingredients

 1 medium onion, diced
 3 tbsp butter
 2 cups ham cut in 1 inch chunks or a large ham bone with ham on it
 2 cups baby creamer potatoes
 ¾ cup baby carrots
 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
 freshly ground pepper
  of a cabbage cut into 1 to 2 inch wedges
 1 tsp cornstarch
 enough water to make cornstarch liquid

Directions

1

In a deep stock pot saute the diced onion in the butter. When it starts to lightly brown, add the ham and saute to mingle the flavors. Add the potatoes and the carrots and the two cups of vegetable or chicken broth. Add several twists of freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender.

2

Add the cabbage wedges and cover the pot, cooking for 20 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted.

3

Drain the liquid from the pot and set it aside in a small saucepan. Take one heaping teaspoon of corn starch and mix it with enough cold water to just make it liquid. Add that to the liquid in the saucepan, and stir until thickened. Add that liquid back to the pot with the ham, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Add salt and additional pepper to taste. Heat it though and serve.

Ham, Potatoes and Cabbage

  • Reply
    Fran Tunno
    January 14, 2021 at 12:49 pm

    Awwww, Nicol. I look forward to the day when we can share a little comfort food back east!
    xoxo

  • Reply
    Monica
    January 14, 2021 at 10:45 am

    Thanks Fran- now I know what I’m going to do with my free New Year’s ham! I am walking with you in spirit- got a Fitbit for Xmas and it’s really motivating me to get up and move. Take care. xoxoxo

    • Reply
      Fran Tunno
      January 14, 2021 at 12:48 pm

      Yeah, I think this was a fall ham, I discovered in my freezer. It was good, warm and yes, comforting. I’m eating the last of the leftovers now. Thanks for always reading and taking the time to respond!

  • Reply
    Nicol Z
    January 14, 2021 at 6:02 am

    Sending you a hug as warm and comforting as that glorious comfort food!

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