Food as Cue (or, Cabbage Patch Dreams)

The three of us determined that our first cabbage was ready for the picking. A certain pressure developed to do something cool (and delicious) to honor the process of growing this particular edible in our home garden [starting the plant indoors from a teeny tiny seed under a light in my wife and I's bedroom, transplanting it to the warm part of the garden while also sewing spinach, lettuce, arugula, beets, radishes, turnips, and green onions), hand-watering, installing irrigation after the last freeze, removing cabbage worms, watching the Small White butterflies fluttering about that hatched from the cabbage plants, monitoring the firmness of the cabbage head, marveling at the big beautiful leaves, and finally, cutting the cabbage from the plant and comparing it in size to my son's head that he's been growing for five years].

That's the one!

Emily began the search for the right recipe. She was close to a decision (some sort of cabbage leaf wrap thing), but then a song filled the house: Villians Three from the 1984 Cabbage Patch Kids album, Cabbage Patch Dreams. And then my wife joined the vocalist and bellowed, with precision, each and every word of that song. Once the song ended , she explained how she and her sister would listen to the album on vinyl (or, the hard plastic vinyl-substitute kids' records were made of in the 80's) A LOT. My son came in from telling stories in the backyard and asked about the music coming through the open window. My wife played more selections, sang along with all of them, and taught our son all about the adventures of Xavier Roberts, Lavender McDade, and good ol' Cabbage Jack.

Good stuff...

Good stuff...

As my wife was singing (and smiling, laughing, and crying), I reflected upon the time when my mom and I waited in line for the chance to buy a Cabbage Patch Kid (the doll). That was a thing when I was a kid -- certain toys generated so much interest and demand that people would wait for hours to snatch one (or a dozen) up. My mom was able to buy a Kid that day, and his name was Chadwick (as documented on the funny little birth certificate that came with each doll). Chadwick, as it turns out, is my mom's maiden name and the source of my first name. Little Chadwick remained in his unopened box for years in my mom's closet. I'm not sure where the little guy ended up. I think he eventually transitioned through a thrift store.

The prospect of preparing a home-grown cabbage took my wife and I back to the Cabbage Patch of our youth. We gave a brief tour of the weird and wonderful place to our son. My wife thought about her sister and I thought about my mom, my late Grandpa Harold Chadwick, and how some memories require a very particular cue to be teased out from the ether.

 [update] We made the cabbage leaf wrap thing, and it was cool. And delicious.