It’s been a heck of a week for so many of us here on the east coast. David and I are fortunate. We lost four trees here at the rectory in Connecticut and were without power for five days. At our home in Pennsylvania there’s still no power, and we’ve got significant tree loss, but we are so grateful that not one landed on the house!

Last week is already starting to feel like a blur. What I remember most about that dusky chilly dream state is cooking up thawing food and sharing it, along with our stories, at candlelit tables with family, friends, and neighbors.

There was a time when my freezer would have been filled with perishable meat that I would have frantically been trying to salvage, but since we don’t eat as much of it as we used to, I only had a couple of chickens that I grilled one night and turned into chili the next.

I also found a couple of Italian sausages in our Pennsylvania freezer which I used to flavor a hearty potato and cabbage soup that kept us warm and nourished our last few days without power.

Thinking about what to post this morning, I remembered that sausage, cabbage and potato soup. If I’d had an oven, I would have made this.


This morning I’m grateful for light and heat, my oven and a hot shower, but as temperatures continue to dip each night, I think about all those who are still without power.

Roast Italian Sausage Stew with Potatoes and Cabbage
Serves 6 to 8

If you’ve got bay leaves in the cupboard, toss in a few along with the caraway seeds.

2 1/2 pounds sweet Italian sausage links
1 large onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 small cabbage, halved and cut into 8 wedges
12 small potatoes (I like fingerlings), about 1 1/4 pounds, halved
4 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
Salt and pepper
Chicken broth as desired

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Place sausages, onion, cabbage wedges, potatoes, and garlic in a large roasting pan. Add oil, vinegar, caraway seeds, and sprinkling of salt and pepper; gently toss to coat. Cook until light golden brown and fully cooked, about 45 minutes. Remove pan from oven and set over 2 burners on medium low heat. Add enough chicken broth to desired juiciness. Heat through and serve.