I haven't eaten this much cabbage in the past 10 years combined than I have in the last week. Every day is a cabbage day. We've been in Romania for a week now, and leave in a couple of days. I think the cabbage is growing on me. It totally depends on how it's prepared and what it is served with. Examples - Bad Cabbage: cooked and served with plain pasta (this was lunch yesterday). Good Cabbage: wrapped around little meaty spring roll type thingies called sarmale. I'm not doing well at describing these, but they were delicious. Seasoned ground meat (pork? beef?) and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves, simmered in a savory broth. They were so delicious.
We had spent the day in the countryside last Saturday with some new Romanian friends. When we dropped one of them off at her house, she invited us in to meet her family. Their home, in a village, was simple and humble, yet incredibly warm and welcoming. We were greeted by her parents, two sisters, and her sister's foster daughter. Immediately the table was set for us and we were presented with a stock pot full of these things. It made me think about my own hospitality. I want people to feel a welcoming peace in my home, but it has so much more to do with how I treat them than how cute my decor looks or how presentable I think I look (or don't look!). These people were incredibly generous to share their food with us. I can imagine that they don't have a lot of excess for their own family, yet they, with joy, gave to us.
Before we left, our friend's father gave me a bouquet of flowers that he had just picked from the garden out front and tied together with a string. He was so cute when I thanked him profusely and gave him a hug. I don't know if it was culturally weird for me to hug him, but it just came out. :)
So we have just two more full days in Romania, and I can pretty much be guaranteed to eat cabbage at least two more times before we leave. At least. And why not? It's nutritious, inexpensive, and more versatile than I ever imagined! Cabbage soup...cabbage and potatoes...cabbage salad...cabbage and hot dogs...gotta love it. Cabbage.