Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Dirty U

Gather close while I tell you the story of The Dirty U. Back in the hollow, card games were played often. These were mostly Rummy and Rook. Well, one Christmas our Uncle gave us all different forms of Scrabble games. Scrabble quickly became a family favorite as all three generations enjoyed nightly games. We were new to this game and allowed the use of a dictionary for brief moments. If you've played Scrabble, you know that drawing the Q can be a blessing or a curse. With 10 points just in that letter, it can create a high scoring word. But, since most words need the U, it was also a difficult letter.
We never counted our tiles, so we never knew that we were playing with only 3 U's instead of 4. Thinking back, what a difference that extra letter could have meant in countless games. One day, while cleaning, the missing U was found under a corner cabinet. Having been missing for some time, the tile had darkened quite a bit. When we added it to the other tiles, this difference became apparent. Everyone knew where the dirty U was located. The unspoken rule became to leave that tile alone unless you had drawn the Q. Thus, became the legend of The Dirty U in our Scrabble games. I treasure those memories now more than ever and The Dirty U still brings a smile.
Since snow is in the forecast again, which means a dreary day ahead, here's a vintage recipe for comfort food.


1 large head cabbage
1/2 lb. dried beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1/2 cup buttered crumbs

Chop cabbage coarsely and cook in salted water until tender, then drain. Chop the dried beef and soak in a little warm water for 10 minutes. Grease a casserole and in it place alternate layers of cabbage and dried beef. Mix soup and milk until smooth. Pour soup mixture over it and top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.


Kassi said...

What a great story!

I'd like to try this recipe but....What is dried beef?

Marge said...

Hi Kassi! Thanks for the great comment. Dried Beef comes in a jar. It's kind of like beef jerky, but sliced very thin so that it is tender. Your local grocery probably has it. You can search for it on (try Armour Dried Beef) so you'll know what to look for at your store.

Kassi said...

Thanks! I'll have a look. It may just be one of those foods that is sold only in the US and not available here in Canada.