Sunday morning (my favorite time to cook) I begin to bang pots and pans getting organized before I chop my vegetables. I had gone to bed thinking about what I would make the next day. Cold weather has me craving comfort foods. Craving warm meals means I am thinking of my Polish babysitter Zofia who put cabbage in just about everything. Her soup was deliciously flavorful and made us all happy to eat it.
Zofia was someone who had survived the war and endured much more; she had a lot of good secrets and cabbage was one of them. Eating cabbage is a childhood memory that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
When we are children, the people we have in our little worlds form and shape us. As our memories grow and we age, those special times are triggered by the little things in life…a meal, a song, a figurine. We are so lucky when we find people who love our children just as a relative does. Having Zofia in my life added to my happy childhood.
It’s December and I’m shivering from the inside out, this is probably why I started craving cabbage this week. I want to feel that warm comforting feeling that I so well remember with Zofia. Well-loved memories of my babysitter have me longing for my childhood.
She made the world safe with her Polish food and songs. I wish she was still here to sing Kosi Kosi Lapci and cook for my children as she did for me and my siblings, but life comes full circle and our children will have their own Zofia who makes the world happy and safe with mashed potatoes, tractor toys, and Backe Backe Kuchen. The paddy cake song may be in a different language but it carries that same warm feeling.
Making my shopping list for soup I write cabbage and smile. Holding the cabbage at the store I feel as though I’m holding something much more valuable like a truffle. Sometimes the special ingredient isn’t anything expensive or out of the ordinary.
When you feel chilled to the bone, begin to worry about your well-being, and your memories sneak up on you…cabbage never fails to sooth you and those you love. As I made cabbage soup I was surrounded by happy memories and I’m thankful Zofia is in my heart to help me make them for my children.
Photos of Wroclaw, Poland where Zofia was from.