Mama’s Cabbage Rolls

I have a very busy week this week due to Parent-Teacher conferences, so I’m glad that my workouts consist of repeating last week’s workouts.  No new learning there; just new weights, challenges, and pain. 🙂 Here is my line-up unless a natural rest day pops up:

True story: My grandmother, “Mama,” is a phenomenal cook. Yesterday, my parents and I went to her house to learn how to make her infamous cabbage rolls.  Mama is very used to cooking for large groups of people, so she began the lesson with seven and a half pounds of ground kosher hamburger meat.

That’s a lot of meat, people. 7.5 pounds.  Lots of cow.  Mama directed us in the kitchen as we each had a different job.  My dad was forming the meat-balls.  I was rolling them in cabbage.

My mom was making the sauce.  (Yes, it entailed manually opening up several cans of tomato sauce, tomato paste, and doctoring it up with Mama’s secret ingredients.)

My mom also had the job of pouring sauce over the many, many cabbage rolls under Mama’s watchful eye and direction.

The many, many cabbage rolls.

That was only half of them!  There were two HUGE containers filled with cabbage rolls.  We checked them halfway through.

Then Mama told us they needed another hour in the oven.  What should we do for an hour?  Well, my mom took me shopping and my dad got my car cleaned!

“Lindsay is totally our favorite child.”

Aren’t they the best? 😉  They are.  As are my grandparents, husband, and the rest of my family. Hehe.  It’s days like these that I am reminded of how truly blessed I am.  I absolutely love spending time with my grandmother.  Ever since I can remember, we have had a close relationship.  I call Mama when I need advice, when I want to brag, if I need a pick-me-up, or just to say hello.  Whatever the reason, she is always there and has shown me the true meaning of unconditional love.

Me & Mama at my cousin’s wedding in Florida 2009.

On top of it all, Mama is brilliant (and beautiful!)!  From a young age, she taught me and my siblings numerous card games.  First, she would let us win, then she really made us work for it!  Mama has one of the most extensive vocabularies and knowledge bases of anyone I know.  And if she doesn’t know something, she takes it upon herself to learn it.  I love Mama’s love of learning.  I’m lucky to have received this trait from her (and my mom) which probably has a good something to do with the fact that I became a teacher and get to instill this love in my students.  At the end of our cooking lesson today, Mama told me that she couldn’t wait to teach me how to make kreplach.  I suggested next Sunday.  Perhaps this could become a ritual?  I like it!  And I love my Mama!

What is a special dish that one of your loved ones taught you?

12 thoughts on “Mama’s Cabbage Rolls

  1. Love the story and pics. Tradition….it’s a beautiful thing. Tell your parents hi from their “bring-your-own-utensils” cousin.

  2. That’s sweet, Linz. But mine isn’t what a loved one taught me but rather it’s what a loved didn’t teach me. Every holiday my great-grandma Meme would make corn pudding…,not just corn pudding, Meme’s corn pudding. She got too old to cook a ton so that was the one holiday job she kept. One day I was 16 & I sat with her while she made it. She was telling me directions & I wasn’t paying much attention & she said, “When I die none of u negroes [she was born in 1915 so…] will know how to make the damn corn puffing.” She was old not sick so I said, “Next holiday, meme…I’ll be the one negro who knows. But ur not about to die so it’s ok.” My meme died suddenly 3 months later & none of negroes can make her damn corn pudding. (sorry for typos. On phone.)

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