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Delilah's Unrolled Cabbage
by Jeanine Craig

As I was growing up in Vicksburg, Mississippi, I had several good friends who were Lebanese. It was always such fun to visit in their homes and eat food that, to me, was foreign. My dear friend Becky Farrisís mother was a wonderful Lebanese cook and always welcomed me to her table. She could make the best kubbie, baked or fried, tabooli and rolled cabbage.

After I married, I asked her to teach me how to make rolled cabbage. Bless her heart, she tried, but this WASP (White, Anglo Saxton, Protestant ) just couldnít get the hang of it. Hers would be nice and slim and tight and uniform. Mine were fat and falling apart and all shapes and sizes. Finally she gave up and taught me how to make a recipe that had all the ingredients of rolled cabbage but I didnít have to roll.

This recipe was easy to master, and my new husband loved it. It soon became a staple around our house but didnít have a name -- so we called it:

Delilahís Unrolled Cabbage

      You need the biggest skillet you can find. Brown a pound or pound and a half of ground chuck. Drain and rinse the meat and return it to the skillet. Add two heaping tablespoons of minced garlic. When that has had a few minutes to cook together, add 2 cups of Minute rice and two cups of water. Put a chopped head of cabbage on top and salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze 4 lemons over cabbage mixture and then sprinkle top with a couple of teaspoons of cinnamon. Next is the trickiest part, mix the ingredients. This is not easy because your skillet is very full.

      Once youíve got the ingredients blended, put a lid on the skillet and cook until the water is absorbed by the rice and the cabbage is cooked to your taste. It doesnít take long for me because we donít like our cabbage limp.

      This is an easy one-pot meal and is delicious served with hot bread. As many times as I have prepared it over the last 20 years, I always think of this precious family and what they taught me about their culture.


Jeanine McNemar Craig was born and raised in Vicksburg, Mississippi. She attended Delta State University where she met and married her husband, Danny Craig. They have two teenage sons. She has been teaching school forEVER. They now live in Hayesville, North Carolina, where she teaches 6th grade. She loves the mountains but still misses Mississippi.

Write Jeanine at JCRAIG...
and read more of her writing by clicking here:
How a man's best friend said goodby


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