In summer, my freezer is stuffed with ice packs so that we can keep food safe in multiple coolers, or with rapid cooler turnaround. This means food in the freezer has to be kept at a minimum, and it was time for two pounds of sweet Italian sausage to be used. Recent frustrating experiences with R. and pasta--his bedtime blood sugar is always either too high or too low after a pasta dinner, even whole grain or high-protein pasta--ruled out ziti or lasagne. "Sausage and peppers!" people brightly say, and I think, "and what else?" Also, I am not an Italian deli/caterer, last time I checked.
So I found this recipe for Sausage and Lentils with Fennel at Eggs On Sunday (a blog title guaranteed to get my attention, by the way). I headed off to the farmers' market and then got caught in a thunderstorm that reminded me of a visiting friend's remark last summer: "You told me about the 60% chance of rain today, but not the 20% chance of Armageddon." The Farmer's Market had been quickly dismantled. So I had to resort to the A&P. I went to "the big A&P," and even they did not have any fennel. Shocking, and disappointing. They did, however, have a table of local produce right at the entrance, including some dainty heads of cabbage. I love cabbage very much, and it is one of the eleven foods we should be eating and aren't (but actually are) from the New York Times. Usually cabbage comes in the "enough cole slaw for the annual church picnic" size, so I seized upon these, and substituted cabbage for fennel in the recipe. Yum.