This is John’s spin on Cabbage and Onions to accompany Corned Beef:
½ head medium-sized cabbage
(The proportion of cabbage to onion is about three to one.)
Two cloves of garlic
4 tablespoons of dry vermouth
John writes: “Any time Linda makes the Corned Beef O’Poseidon, I remember the times I spent cruising the Delta, well to the north of our current home seas. In those days, I was racing hydroplanes and living somewhat on the wild side – never did pay too much attention to what was in the pantry.
“My boat was the latest in a series called Wop Sided (of which there were several in a row), a name my great friend Leo had coined for a hydroplane I built that insisted on making a sharp left hand turn the moment it exceeded eighty miles an hour. We discovered that it was fractions of an inch out of true. Hence… lopsided and from there a short step to Wop Sided.
“This particularly night, we were anchored at Potato Slough, a favorite spot right on the edge of the convergence of the Mokelumne and San Joaquin Rivers. The Delta’s 5000 miles of navigable waterways are lined with restaurants and bars – perfect for Irish boating – and I think Leo may have visited every one of them the night he drove his ski boat to the anchorage, clambered aboard and pleaded, ‘Fix me something to eat!’
“I went to the fridge and found nothing there but cabbage and onions but Leo was hungry enough to eat his own shoes. So I chopped up the cabbage and the onions, threw in some garlic and cooked it in an uncovered saucepan. At the last minute, with nothing better at hand, I found a bottle of dry vermouth and added a big splash.
“Leo loved it and every time he visited he asked me to make it again – and not just when he’d had a drink or two. It’s surprisingly delicious, and the trick is not to overcook it.
“It has become our St. Patrick’s Day staple.”