I was afraid tonight I was going to have to change my name completely. I have long had intentions of changing my last name but I’ve kept my ex-husband’s name to make it easier for our kids. OK, enough is enough, right? Lauren just turned 28 and is on her own (there might be a ‘finally’ lurking in there somewhere!) and I no longer have to worry about schools or friends trying to find me for any reason and not knowing my last name. Some time ago I decided my new last name would be Baker. Why? My maiden name is Bathe. Go ahead, pronounce it. You would be wrong. It’s not associated with bathing at all but has a long ‘e’ and is pronounced Baythee. I grew tired of always having to spell it and pronounce it for EVERYONE. So then I married someone with all the same issues…how I long for simple. I’ve put a lot of thought into it. Starts with the same letter…the same two even. Still five letters. Most people know how to pronounce AND spell it and well, I might love to bake just a bit. Now hopefully I will find time soon to bring it to fruition.
Then there is the first name. Tonight I channeled a Food Network personality and was sure I was destined to be Sandra Lee Baker. Yes, her…you know who I’m referring to. The one with the shortcuts that most of us look at and just grimace. But I was almost there and then I was rescued by a loaf of freshly made French bread.
I’ve just recently started participating in Recipe Swap, an effort that is organized by Christianna from Burwell General Store. Our fearless leader chooses a recipe from a very old cookbook and we put our own spin on it. Last month I reneged on rabbit but managed Welsh Wabbit; substituting chicken for the rabbit and instead of a stew, offering smoked chicken over mashed potatoes with a beer/cheese sauce. It was fun to modify something and make it more current and that dish was so good!
When I first saw the recipe for this month I was delighted. The ‘Hot Slaw’ was perfect. I had a recipe of sorts that I’ve made for years. It was one of the few times I can remember spending some time in the kitchen with my Dad and making something he had always just pulled together and I thought I could pull that same rabbit out of the hat combined with a story of my youth. It was slaw, it was hot and it would be perfect. So perfect that I didn’t stress and just made sure I had ingredients on hand and yes, waited until the last minute because, well, it was a no brainer, right?. And then it happened. My daughter dropped by late afternoon and I’m sure that must have been the reason something at the very back of my mind wiggled it’s way forward and I did a search on my own blog and…NO; please…say it ain’t so! It would have been OK if it was an old recipe just in text but nope… just about a year ago, photo and all for Warm Bacon Slaw that I had helped her make for friends. Uh oh.
This revelation occurred late enough in the afternoon that I became a frantic hot mess. Find something else, shower, dress, get to the store and get the dish made, photographed and this post done in a bit more than 4 hours. I thought I could pull it off and that’s where Sandra Lee was supposed to help. I wanted to do something unique and LOVED this dish I found for Pagach (Slovak Cabbage Bread). I knew there was no way I was going to be able to make bread and that’s where Sandy took over my thinking. I would buy some of that bread in a can…I was sure it would be OK and I sure didn’t have time for proofing so I was set and off I went…feeling slightly guilty but determined nonetheless.
Lucky for me I found an even better solution. The first thing I saw when I walked into the market were loaves of freshly baked French bread…and I was able to let Sandy go AND give myself an even bigger break; I know you will all understand. I did modify my version to include some bacon, balsamic vinegar and cheddar cheese. I had no idea at 4pm that this sandwich would be going on this post this evening but I must say that for all of the rush, the bit of stress and the mess my kitchen is in now…this sandwich is tasty, easy and a real winner. And I’m happy that I’m still Barb even if wishing a bit for a Baker.
Perfect for a party; this is an easy and tasty sandwich.
- 1/2 lb bacon
- 1 head of cabbage - I've used a half head each of regular and red cabbage
- 1 medium sweet onion
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves of minced garlic
- Salt and pepper
- 6 ounces of sliced sharp cheddar but I would also use a white cheddar or Swiss cheese for this too
- Brown bacon in large skillet and remove it to paper towels once crisp; leaving the bacon dripping in the skillet.
- Put shredded cabbage, sliced onion and balsamic vinegar into same skilled with bacon drippings and cook over low heat til wilted and caramelized; approximately 20-25 minutes. Add minced garlic and cooked bacon to skillet and cook all together for 5 minutes.
- Preheat over to 300 degrees.
- Slice French bread in half. Pile the mixture on the bottom half.
- Add slices of cheese over top of bread and place 2nd piece of bread on top.
- Wrap completely in aluminum foil.
- Bake for 25 minutes until cheese is melted. Slice and serve.