An entire head of cabbage is working its way through my small intestines. Steamed in salt water for 30 minutes, the leafy vegetable is cleansing my system as if it were a saint. St. Patrick’s Day is Saturday; a local supermarket is selling the heads of Irish tradition for just seven cents a blow.
Unable to afford corned beef, I steamed the entire head in a shallow amount of salted water for breakfast, several days before all the snakes are driven out of my interior Ireland.
There is a joy to being poor and eating like a saint.
The Italians who run all of North Bergen, NJ have little German in them. Their supermarkets are staffed by fake blondes from Sicily who wouldn’t know what to do with a cheap head of cabbage. There is absolutely no German bratwurst upon the shelves, just that sweet Italian sausage that causes demonic heartburn.
Bratwurst and cabbage go together like Catholics and exorcisms. If only those succulent German links of smoked sausage were available at Shop Rite today, a steaming pot of Central Pennsylvania Irish/ German soup would be boiling away.
Fat girls in Pennsylvania Dutch country make this soup all the time—they call it a born-again cleansing and refer to the soup as “skinny soup”.
Skinny soup is made from fried Bratwurst, simmered in a pot with cabbage, onions and potatoes. It is boiled for about an hour and doused with a cup of milk and a cup of Swiss cheese.
Real skinny soup is made with a head of cabbage purchased for just fifty cents and a little bit of tap water. If only there were a four leaf clover for garnish.