Cabbage with Sausage and Mashed Potatoes

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There is still a slight chill in the air, so a winter comfort food can feel good.

This is a strange time in the garden. I am harvesting winter vegetables while planting the crop for spring. I am thinking of a tomato salad with basil, since these went into the ground, but I pick kale for dinner. I am pleased to discover that Katya is quite fond of kale. She declares that it is her favorite. I think that this may be due to its appearance (I have a curly leafed kale). My children have been quite good about eating a variety of vegetables. I forget that they are a bit better than some others. My wife was happy when my daughter insisted on buying something at the grocery store, which turned out to be a book (she thought it might be junk food). I heard iron deficiency is a problem in the United States, and this is partly due to the lack of leafy greens in our diet. Leafy greens are found often in my dinners, but I admit my children are not overjoyed with them. BY having them cook with me, they do seem to go after the greens more, taking a sense of pride in the fact of their preparation of the meal.

   Katya, the four year old, and I began to prepare for the meal by going out into the garden. I was after a head of cabbage. Katya began to pick kale, broccoli, and chard. I harvested parsley as well. We went into the kitchen to wash our bounty. The children love sausage. My wife is concerned about eating healthy, so she is wary of the ingredients in sausage.  I decided to buy a small package of turkey sausage. This was sliced into thin rounds. In Germany, you will find cooks who brown the sausage, and then nestle them on top of cooking cabbage. This method flavors the cabbage while cooking the sausage. In my case, I wanted to increase the amount of vegetables, decrease the amount of meat, and find a way to make everyone happy.
    I began by suateeing an onion. Katya does not wish onions on her plate, by she does enjoy stirring the ingredients in the skillet. Once the onions have begun to brown, we add the sausage. After a minute or two, we add the shredded cabbage and other vegetables. At this time, we add a little salt, pepper, and caraway seeds. The heat is turned down to low, allowing the meal to simmer. The final step is mixing in the chopped parsley.
    The mashed potatoes are fun to make with my daughter. We sliced the potato. Boiled them. Drained off the water once they were fork tender. We added a little Dijon mustard and heavy cream (we have taken butter and milk in the past). Instead of an immersion blender or other appliance, we pulled out a potato masher. We began mashing away. By the way, we leave the skins on. Mashing has become the new favorite thing to do in the kitchen for Katya.
    I have never seen that little girl tuck into the mashed potatoes before. She also ate all of the cabbage and sausage dish, except for a few onions which she saved for me (papa, they are really good so you should have them- I give her a look). I dinner was great. We sat outside surrounded by pink impatiens (Sakura, the other daughter had to have these flowers in our pots). The conversation flowed.

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This site came out of my desire to write about my love of gardening, but also to connect it to my knowledge derived from home inspections. That is why I tied it to the home inspection site.If you have questions, you can email them to me (frank at For home inspections, call 713.781.6090.
Happy gardening, Frank


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