My mom celebrated her 91st birthday a while ago and it got me thinking and remembering about things. The rose in the photo is one she planted years ago and is still going strong under my care. Each time it produces the first fragrant bloom I find I’m unable to stop myself from saying “hello Mom”…
“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. I’d have loved to spend time in Tuscany with her she’d love it.
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, wanted to spend her time in her garden than cooking, I was frequently given the “task” of preparing dinner for the family. That was fun; having 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, who shall remain nameless, that only liked the filling! One Sunday she explained to me how to make them as she was about to head to the garden for the afternoon. “No problem, just call if you have any questions” she said. OK fine. I’m probably around 13 and I have a pretty good idea of what to do. The cabbage rolls turned out great I thought. Over the years the recipe has been changed up 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. And “yes, she was” came back the response. So, of course we began sharing our recipes and stories.
This encounter brought me to thinking about “The Last Cabbage Roll” and will anyone still carry on the tradition? Those of us who make them are getting older and may not have passed on the secrets of cabbage roll making and other treasures from our past. And this also got me wanting to passing of the torch and share some of my recipes that I consider treasures, with the hope that you will make them once in a while. Think of our mothers when you do.
Helpful link to Phyllis’ Cabbage Rolls.