Katarazyna Barzynski's Golabki (Gawumpki!)

Bear's Anecdote - The story goes that Grandma Barzynski got to meet all her grandchildren before she died. I happened to be one of the last. So, I don't remember her at all---to my loss. Still, this was one recipe that my dad (Robert Kelley) would make on special occasions. In some weird way, that seems to be enough to connect me with her. After all, if she took the time to make something this wonderful, then she must have been a very special person indeed. The fact that my dad would make this also means I have a connection with him on this recipe, and I cannot express how proud I am to be my father's son. I am very proud of my Polish heritage, too, and I'm very quick to point out that the Poles were the first in Europe successfully to throw off the shackles of Soviet oppression. (Bear has left the soap-box now.)

  1. Remove the core from the cabbage.
  2. Scald the cabbage in boiling water, removing the leaves a few at a time as they wilt.
  3. Cool the cabbage to stop it from getting too mushy.
  4. Stir the rice into 2 qts of rapidly boiling water.
  5. Boil 10 minutes.
  6. Strain and run cool water through the rice to stop it from getting mushy.
  7. Saute onion in butter until it becomes transparent. Do not let it become yellow!
  8. Combine meat, egg, onion, rice and seasonings, and mix well.
  9. Spread each cabbage leaf with the meat mixture about 1/2 inch thick.
  10. Fold the two opposite ends and roll, starting with one of the open ends.
  11. Fasten roll with toothpick.
  12. Place cabbage rolls in baking dish.
  13. Cover with bacon.
  14. Bake 2hrs at 300 degrees, basting occasionally. (Alternately, brown the golabki in a frying pan.)
  15. Add tomato and bake for another half hour. Watch closely and add water when necessary.
  16. Serve with mushroom sauce, tomato sauce or sour cream.

Even better when reheated the following day... if any survive the initial gorging!