February 3, 2011

All in the Family!

Irma remembers.......

When I was a kid growing up in the 40's we lived in a two family double decker flat in Ohio above my Polish born "Babcia" (grandma in  Polish). Whenever she made Golumpki (stuffed cabbage rolls) in her "ginormous" enamel covered roasting pan the aroma would waft up through the heating grates in the floor into my family's flat and make me soooo hungry. It was THE most wonderful aroma.   Those golumpki were so delicious & moist, covered in a wonderful tomato based sauce and just as tender as butter. Wow. Unfortunately Babcia was the type who never used a recipe in her life or wrote anything down so I couldn't even begin to duplicate this.

Babcia's Cabbage Rolls
12 large cabbage leaves
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 lb. ground beef, browned and drained
1 cup cooked rice
8-oz. can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Immerse cabbage leaves in boiling water for about 3 minutes or until limp. Drain.
Combine egg, milk, onions, salt, pepper, beef and rice. Place about 1/4 cup mixture into the center of each leaf. Fold in the sides and roll ends over the meat. Place in slow cooker.
Combine tomato sauce, brown sugar, lemon juice, and Worcestershire sauce. Pour over the cabbage rolls.
** If you like more sauce I would recommend doubling the sauce, which is what I did this time and it turned out great.

I believe each of us possess memories from childhood of specific family dinners, or certain dishes prepared by our mothers that stand out from others. Memories that have stayed with us and evoke feelings of love, family, and happy times. One specific dish my mother, Miss Helen, prepared often, as did my Grandmother, had a really strange name....Slumgullion! I was talking to my darling Ohio cousin the other day, via email of course, and asked her if she had remembered this recipe? I could recall walking into their kitchen during summer visits to Ohio and envision a huge pot of Slumgullion cooking on the stove. 

 "It's funny that you mentioned this. I was talking to Paula the other day and told her when I miss mom I always make this. I was surprised that she had heard of this dish as well and knew exactly what I was talking about. It's a very simple recipe. "

 And so you have goes on......and we savor those happy memories!
"What's for dinner, Momma?  Slumgullion precious girl!"

Helen's Slumgullion
1 1/2 lbs of ground chuck
1 medium yellow onion
1/2 cup green pepper, optional
1 lb. macaroni
1 large can of  tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
 Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T. sugar (Mother's secret)

Brown ground chuck in large skillet. Add finely chopped onion and  chopped green pepper (optional) and continue to brown until golden. Drain any excess grease. Boil macaroni in stock pot until desired doneness. Drain and mix cooked macaroni in with ground chuck mixture. Add tomato sauce and seasonings. Let simmer until heated throughout. Delicious comfort for a weekend meal....serve with crisp salad and crusty french bread!

When we reproduce our families recipes, which have lain forgotten on shelves or in boxes, in our own kitchens, we are filled with expectations, remembrance and joy!

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