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Author Notes: This is an old recipe from the paternal side of my family, shared with me by my elderly cousin Flo about 35 or 40 years ago. It's written in her hand on a very faded, well-used recipe card. When I married, I took the dish to my then-husband's family gatherings and it became one of their family recipes which they continued to make for holidays even after he and I were no longer a couple. Even his other ex-wife makes it. Yes, it really is that good! It's an easy recipe that is healthy, tasty, and inexpensive. No matter how few people are dining, there are rarely leftovers. I usually use butter, but sometimes bacon fat, usually cooking water but sometimes milk (if I forget to save the cooking water). I thicken with corn starch and leave off the bread crumbs for my gluten free friends. It is always a success. —jane minton
Serves 3-6 depending on appetites
For the Cabbage
- 1 head of cabbage, cut fine (sic)
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Lightly butter a two quart baking dish.
- Cook cut cabbage briefly (3 -5 minutes) in salted water. Drain, set aside, and SAVE THE WATER.
For the sauce
- 1/2 cup butter or 1/4 cup bacon fat
- 3 tablespoons flour or 1 1/2 tablespoons corn starch
- 1/2 pound grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder (the American kind)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- buttered bread crumbs (just buttered but not browned) if desired
- Melt butter (or bacon fat) in 2 quart saucepan on medium high heat. Add flour (or corn starch)and continue cooking and stirring 'til smooth.
- Add a pint of the cabbage cooking water. (If you forgot to save it, add a pint of milk.) Continue cooking and stirring until smooth and mixture thickens.
- Add shredded cheddar, curry, and garlic powder. Continue cooking and stirring until incorporated.
- Add in the cooked cabbage and mix well.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Pour mixture into the buttered 2 quart baking dish. Cover with buttered bread crumbs if desired.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.