Fond Food Memories


two cabbage rolls with tomato sauce on a plate

Boiling cabbage would stink and steam up our 70’s galley kitchen. It was complete with a golden- toned fridge, matching range without an exhaust, pine picnic table and bench style seating, and one rather small window overlooking the yard where believe it or not, our small little rescued dog Sheba would jump up and perch, just like a cat.


The smell of cooking cabbage was just that, cabbage. With Irish parents, we got used to the smell that now hits my husband like a brick wall when he comes into the house and I’m cooking cabbage without the exhaust fan. What stinks? I ask.  OK, let’s go back again 30+ years.

Boiling cabbage often meant one thing to my mother’s gaggle of five children, cabbage rolls were on the way. It’s crazy to think back now but you might have thought we were waiting to open our Christmas stocking we would be so excited.  Oh and you dared not head out on to the street to play relivio as we called it, an intense game of catch and find with two teams that could easily take a few hours to finish. No, that would be a day to stick close to home, maybe watch Gilligan’s Island, play Monopoly TM and peak into the kitchen every so often to guesstimate how much longer before a massive black roasting pan, filled with easily 30 lovely cabbage rolls would be brought to the table.

Cabbage rolls could only be made on the weekends. It was a big deal. Tomato sauce had to be made.  A large pot of rice needed to be cooked. The easy-to-stretch your food dollar ground beef needed browning.  The cabbage leaves needed steaming to yield to my mom’s skillful, strong and well worn, beautiful hands. Then the cabbage rolls still needed to be stuffed with that satisfying combination of starchy rice and tasty ground beef seasoned with salt and pepper.

I don’t recall there ever being leftover cabbage rolls in our house. My mom was happy to see them go. That meant we were well fed and that made her feel good. She never seemed to begrudge the time and effort put into making a good wholesome meal.

Making up a big batch of ground beef to keep at the ready in the freezer certainly would have lightened my mom’s load and may have meant we got cabbage rolls more often too!

I’m a big fan of finding ways to work smarter, not longer in the kitchen. Time is the biggest barrier to healthy eating so as a dietitian, I need to be able to help people find tasty ways to overcome that hurdle. Practical, how-to cooking videos such as Big Batch Beef  from Canada Beef are exactly the types of tools people need to eat well.

How do you like to cook with ground beef?

This post is being submitted as an entry to attend this worthwhile event:



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