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The Cabbage

"In the night the cabbages catch at the moon, the leaves drip silver, the rows of cabbages are a series of little silver waterfalls in the moon." - Carl Sandburg

I made cabbages rolls once. They promised a break from my typical chicken and rice meal, and The Moosewood Cookbook offered a recipe. I prepared them a day ahead and froze them, something that the recipe did NOT suggest. They were horrible. Inedible really. The cabbage became deathly grey and the filling, pure mush. My relationship with cabbage was off to a rocky start.

Things improved. I spent part of my junior year of college in Italy and noticed that black cabbage, cavolo nero, was an essential ingredient in Tuscan Ribollita, one of my favorite Italian dishes. I learned that cabbage is extraordinarily good for you, rich in calcium, potassium, folic acid, and vitamin C. And best of all, I discovered that “Cavolo!” is a beloved Italian expression. Used to express strong feelings, it can mean both “wow” as in “I got the job!” and “oh shit” as in “I left my car lights on all night!”

Selecting a name for a blog is no easy task. It reminded me of choosing names for our babies. Most were just not quite right. Too common. Too strange. Too hard to pronounce. I knew I wanted to create a place to share my experiences as a woman in her fifties and invite others to do the same. And I knew that the content wouldn’t be all positive (“The Fabulous Fifties”) or all negative (“Fifty and Frightened”). How could I efficiently communicate the wow and oh shit of this stage of life in all its multilayered, beautiful complexity? And then it came to me. The cabbage. Cavolo!

Photo Credit: Cabbage Moon, by Jan Wahl


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