Unlike a lot of families in the United States, my family is lucky to have four generations thriving together. One of the many benefits of having 80 year olds, 60 year olds, 30 year olds, and six year olds living in close proximity is sharing the stories that have shaped our family. Among these is the search for the lost recipe of stuffed cabbage.
My grandmother’s parents were Hungarian and German. They enjoyed traditional Eastern European
cuisine. However, when the Great Depression struck many of the recipes were altered to reflect the changed financial situation. Ingredients were omitted or substituted. One of these “lost” recipes was for stuffed cabbage. Although we could piece together the recipe as it had been changed, it appeared that the original was no longer circulating in the family.
Fortunately, a friend told me about golabki, the Polish version of stuffed cabbage. As she described the process, it struck me that this sounded exactly like what my grandmother had been able to describe to me. After gathering the ingredients, we breathlessly attempted to recreate my grandmother’s childhood memory. When it all came together, she was thrilled enough with the results to telephone each of my great-aunts to brag about our recovery of the lost recipe.