My mom celebrated her 91st birthday a while ago and it got me thinking about things.

“Take my hand and grow young with me; don’t rush, don’t sleep; be a beginner; light the candles; keep the fire; dare to love someone; tell yourself the truth; stay inside the rapture.” – Marlena de Blasi, “A Thousand Days in Tuscany”

That quote touched my heart when I read the book. I wish that I could take my mom’s hand and we could grow young together.

Mom realized very early on that I, her eldest, was very interested in learning how to bake. She nurtured this interest, which developed into a lifelong passion, allowing me to create goodies for our family in the beginning and then moving on to making meals for the six of us.

On weekends, when my mom, an avid gardener, would rather spend her time in the garden than cooking, I was frequently given the “task” of preparing dinner for the family. That was fun; having the guinea pigs right there. What more could a budding chef want?

One of our favorite meals were cabbage rolls and being Russian, she made really good ones, although there were some of us that only liked the filling! One Sunday she explained to me how to make them before she headed into the garden for the afternoon. “No problem, just call if you have any questions” she said. OK, so I am 13 and I have a pretty good idea of what to do. They turned out great I thought. Over the years the recipe was adapted and they are even better now, I think.

One day, while standing in line at the Granville Island farmers market, an older lady in front of me was choosing cabbages, so naturally I asked if she was making cabbage rolls. “Yes, she was”. So, of course we began sharing our recipes and stories.

This encounter brings me to “The Last Cabbage Roll” and got me thinking about how us cabbage roll makers are getting older and may not have passed on the secrets of cabbage roll making and other treasures from our past. So… we come to the passing of the torch and sharing some of my treasures, with the hope that you will make them once in a while. Think of our mothers when you do.

**If you would like to make this recipe, please go to Phyllis’ Cabbage Rolls.

Phyllis Signature

Leave a Reply