The cabbage was a recipe from the current bandwagon of cooking vegetables by roasting them in the oven. The plan was to seal sections of cabbage in their own little tin foil packets with nummy flavorings inside. How could I lose? I thought. We love cooked cabbage, this requires little work, and I throw away the foil, nothing to wash.
The result was tasteless and dry. The recipe followed the foil into the trash.
Fortunately, I had picked up two obscenely fattening pieces of rum cake at the store for dessert, so we were just fine.
On to cribbage, which was invented in the early 1600s by Sir John Suckling, and English courtier, poet, gamester and gambler, who spent a hefty portion of his time in pubs, raking in his winnings. Of course, the fact that he’d invented the game may have given him a bit of an edge.
Cribbage entered the picture because I had picked up the game for a Christmas grandchild gift. We decided we’d better find out how to play it first, and save an itchy child from having to wait while his grandparents toiled their way through the instructions.
Good thing we did.
Combine cryptic explanations with arcane terms – a two-point maneuver by the dealer is titled “for his heels”, and the flip of a particular card is called “one for his nobs” – and we were left wondering how in the world we’d ever managed to acquire those college degrees.
This called for another approach. The only logical way to learn a game from the 17th century was of course to look up videos on the internet.
This was another eye opener. Any secret dreams of cribbage making us cool quickly dissolved as the videos opened on cluttered basements and high school bedrooms. Each on-line instructor looked increasingly like someone who had just paused from a four-day session of Dungeons and Dragons. When we got to the ten year old whose pre-pubescent hands were almost too pudgy to deal, I figured we had learned enough.
We finally played a few games and enjoyed them and I think we know what we’re doing. Not only do I envision some quality time with the grandkids, but there’s always that fixed income to plump up. Did you know that cribbage is supposedly the only game you can play in an English pub for money?