I will never buy supermarket cabbage again!


I keep forgetting to make a mental note not to buy cabbage from the supermarket. I’m so pissed right now. As a child, my grandma would send me to Coronation Market (in Jamaica) to buy produce. We lived directly next door to the market.  All the farmers who lived in the country would travel to town (the city) to sell whatever they grew and harvested. Back then, there was no such thing as a “foreign apple” (at least not that I can remember). The farmers grew what was indigenous to the land. We literally ate off the land; everything from land and sea. We ate with the seasons and would refer to them as mango time, pear time etc. (with ‘time’ meaning ‘seasons’). My grandma always seemed to have connections with someone who raised their own animals. Our meat was fresh, not frozen. If my grandma didn’t raise a her own chickens; on Sundays, she would buy a live chicken off the truck at the market and process it herself.

If you’ve ever have the opportunity to get up close and personal with me and watch me work my magic in the kitchen, it will blow your mind. My chef life is on a higher level. Food is my passion and the labor of love exerted in my dishes is timeless. I go out of my way in search of quality food but sometimes, based on my geographic location, my choices are limited.

After migrating to America, I yearned for the taste of my grandma’s stewed chicken, simple salads and salad dressings comprised of vinegar, oil salt and pepper. Those dressings were the business! I often wondered why my mother’s cooking wasn’t able to achieve that same flavor and taste as my grandma. My mother’s food was good but it was different. Over time, with continuous shopping for every darn thing in the supermarket in America, I eventually lost my gift of understanding what REAL FOOD tasted like. I even forgot about the seasons. Every produce was at your fingertips (all year round) even when they were not “in season.” It became the norm for me. So sad, but so true.

Fast forward: I inherited the cooking, domesticated gene from my grandma. I didn’t even know I had it in me. I’m now a holistic chef and health coach. Some refer to me as the healthy chef. Some call me the Jamaican Martha Stewart. I love every minute of my healthy chef, domesticated, holistic life. Being the “healthy” chef and a cancer survivor, my energy channeled into a holistic lifestyle. Now I’ve really turned into my grandma.

I love farmers! I’ve been buying directly from farmers for a few years now. I gotta tell you, there are side effects from buying directly from farmers. Over time my tolerance for supermarket foods has diminished. It’s gotten so bad that I literally hunt for local farmers. I don’t like produce with supermarket stickers on them. A local farmer will NOT sticker their produce. (I have yet to witness one that does that).  If I was still living in Jamaica, I wouldn’t have this “know your produce, know your seasons” problem. If I was in California, I wouldn’t have this problem either. Florida with it’s nice, sunny, tropical climate for farming, is pissing me off. (That’s gonna be another blog post). I have connected with a few local farmers in Florida but they don’t seem to have a variety. I’m about to fix that.

If you are accustomed to buying cabbage from the supermarket, you may not be able to tell the difference between those and ones that were recently pulled from the earth. Cabbage should be tender to the touch, not hard. Whenever you squeeze a cabbage, it should bounce back. The layers shouldn’t be tight. When cutting into a cabbage, it shouldn’t feel as if you are cutting steaks. The effort should be seamless. You shouldn’t have to fight with cabbage. There is zero cooking time in cabbage. The minute it hits the heat, it becomes submissive. The taste of fresh cabbage is marvelous! Please find a farmer and buy a cabbage. Better yet, grown your own.

I don’t know what’s going on with supermarket cabbage and I really wish someone would explain. I went out of my way to find a purveyor who sells meat from local farmers (no hormones, no antibiotics nothing artificial). I was elated with this new find and couldn’t wait to buy some of their meat and test it out, because lately, my body seems to have developed an aversion to commercial meats. At the moment, my body will only tolerate seafood and chicken. My taste buds have become even more sophisticated. I can taste whatever they pump into these animals and It’s not a pleasant eating experience.

I was so excited about my hormone free turkey wings and oxtails and decided to cooked create one pot of d’lusciousness… and OMG!  It was fantabu’luscious! Yes it was. Then, I added purple and white cabbage that I had purchased from the supermarket. I should have know better. I swear the turkey and the oxtails cooked faster that the damn cabbage. Even cow foot cook faster than this. I don’t usually have to cook the life out of a cabbage. For crying out loud, it’s just cabbage and it doesn’t need cooking!  I always add my cabbage at the last minute when everything in the pot is finished cooking. Then I would cover the pot and turn off the stove. That is all it takes. I really wanted to cook the Jerk turkey from my cookbook but I figured, let me run test some turkey wings first.

I shared my plate and began to eat and my freaking jaw hurt just chewing this cabbage. Yes my jaw hurt. I’m hurt. Y’all see how pretty my pot is. I finessed my sauce down to a “T”. I put heart and soul into this turkey and oxtails and the freaking cabbage failed me. You know what? I’m gonna check out the farm, to see if they have cabbage cause I know the lady there told me that cabbage would be ready in the fall (something like that). My body really wanted this cabbage. Why did I have to turn the stove back on and cook this thing? All I wanted was cabbage and meat. That’s it.

The herbaceous turkey and oxtails were freaking awesome. I live for herbs as they are the magic ingredient in everything for me. Cooking without herbs is like cooking without heat.

I know your thinking about the plastic cabbage video that went viral. Did I purchase one of those? It didn’t melt or anything. It was just majorly tough. What are your thoughts?


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