So anyone who’s a parent will know that multitasking is essential to the job. You cannot parent without having at least 5 things going at once. This is the road to stressville for sure – and one stop further along that bumpy train ride lays burnout town, but somehow we all get on that goddamned train anyway.
Why the hell am I even talking about multitasking right now? Because parenting has messed me up! I can’t cook just one dish at a time anymore. Pre-parenting I could. Now multitasking has become my default setting, stress is my lifeblood. When things aren’t busy as fuck I feel lost and confused. (Actually, I don’t really know if I would feel that way – things are always busy, so I’ve never tried it. Cue the hysterical laughter.)
So, this day was no different. I decided to go full-blown cook-a-thon and made two Bad Manners/Thug Kitchen pizzas, the Miso Cabbage Slaw, Stuffed Mushrooms, Garlic Pull Apart Bread, Four Bean Salad, and a Pear n’ Poppy Seed Pound Cake ALL IN ONE GO.
I figured this would give me food for a whole week.
What I hadn’t anticipated, was the stress induced multitasking heart-attack it’d also give me.
But hey, it did mean I didn’t have to cook again for ages and we feasted on left-overs like the friggin’ royalty that we are (on the inside. On the outside we are scruffy mofos for sure).
I love the way red cabbage looks when you chop it. It looks like that crazy-ass screen saver from the 90’s with all the fractals. Do you remember that shit? Or am I just old?
So, first I made the dressing which was easy enough. Until I realised mid-making that I’d run out of toasted sesame oil. I suppressed my swearing and angry gesticulating because my son’s eyes were on me…role-modelling, you know? and I just did those things inside my head instead.
Once I returned from the store (I wasn’t going to miss out on this slaw), it was chop, slice and shred time. This was the part that took the longest. Slicing is great, I love it… but to me, there’s nothing more boring than grating a carrot.
So I threw on some loud music and danced around the kitchen as I followed the recipe instructions. I always inject a little joy into my day where I can, because who the hell wants a boring life? Life is too short to be joyless. When life is stressful we need to tip the scales and add more fun to counterbalance that shit. My dog Boomer always gets excited when I put on music and dance around. He comes running up wanting to be where the action is, and sometimes he brings his favourite toy for me to throw and for him to fetch. He feels the high vibes in the kitchen and wants to be part of it. Animals know things.
So while I danced around shaking my hips to ‘my bestie and your bestie sitting by the fire…’ and waving dangerous kitchen utensils in the air, Boomer danced around near me, wagging his little tail, and before you know, the carrot grating was done and we could move on to
burning roasting the almonds. But hey one man’s burnt is another man’s favourite amount of crunchy, so who gives?
Let’s move on.
By now, the smell of the Pull-Apart Garlic Bread was working its way from the warm oven through the air, up into my nostrils, and deep into the pleasure centers of my brain. Nothing more divine than the smell of garlic bread, it was almost hypnotic, and I hurried the last few steps on the cooking, so we could sit down and dish up.
Time to eat.
The Miso Cabbage Slaw was a hit, even my son tried it and he doesn’t touch anything that crunches as much as cabbage does unless it’s potato chips. (Soggy salad leaves are okay, but crunchy fresh cabbage is a no go!?! It mystifies me. Are your kids the same? He also puts ketchup on everything, which I find totally disturbing.)
The Miso dressing was the show-stealer for sure. Just look at the glisten on that cabbage, from the delicious dressing. We ended up leaving out the almonds because they were a little too well-done and I prefer my almonds medium-rare. I bet that if they had been included and done right they would’ve sent this dish from a score of 4.5, to a stellar 5 out of 5.
Added bonus: this shit is awesome as left-overs the next day because it’s had time to marinate. The cilantro’s got to know the miso on a personal basis, and the dijon’s not shy either. They’ve all had time to pull an all-nighter party in the fridge when no one was watching, and the result was a flavour orgy.
So get your goddamn knife out and chop your way to Miso Cabbage heaven right now. The miso angels will be there to receive you and your tastebuds as they play tunes on their little cabbage harps.