One of my dearest friends cooks, bakes, and grills like a professional chef.  She loves to chop vegetables, says things like “ramekins” and has her own tablecloth named after her—The Christine—for purchase at The Palate in Stockholm, WI:  Preparing food has been her passion since before my husband and I met Christine and her husband, Mark, over 15 years ago.  It has been our good fortune to be the lucky recipients of many delicious meals and absolutely wonderful times in their home.  Since I am all about following our passion, this is my way of letting her have an outlet for hers.  Enjoy!

I have to say when Christine sent this recipe to me, it brought a tear to my eye. I haven’t had my mom’s cabbage rolls—better known to Poles as gołąbki (gaw-WOHMP-kee)—since she passed away close to 25 years ago. This newsletter is all about magical portals. I’m fairly certain that every mom puts a little magic in their special recipes. I know my mom did. My friend, Christine, has the magic touch in everything she makes—and THAT is the voice of experience talking!  Enjoy!


“The old saying, “everyone is Irish on St. Patrick’s Day”, is definitely true when it comes to enjoying St. Patrick’s Day foods.  And the foods most associated with this celebration – cabbage, potatoes and root vegetables, are packed with powerful nutrients.

Cabbage, for one, is not only chock-full of anti-cancer fighting chemicals and antioxidants, but can lower cholesterol and promote good bacteria in the digestive tract. Top that off with a healthy dose of vitamin C and K and you have one powerful “ball” of nutrition.

There are over 400 varieties of cabbage, but the most often seen are Napa, Red, Savoy and Common (green).  The colors can range from deep green to a deep reddish purple. The deeper the color, the greater the nutritional value.

A head of cabbage is a self-contained package that you can store in your vegetable bin, uncut, for about a month. Peel away the outer leaves that yellow or lose their crunch. Once cut, wrap tightly in plastic wrap then store in a plastic bag and eat within a few weeks.” (The site from which the quote was pulled is no longer active as I update this in 2023. It was titled Eat Cabbage for Luck and Good nutrition.)

In Ireland cabbage is considered good luck because it is green and resembles money. Eat Cabbage for luck and nutrition. They are a sign of good luck at New Year—so why not St Patrick’s Day too!

Here is a recipe that will bring a pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.

Classic Cabbage Rolls with Homemade Sauce | Small Town Woman

Cabbage Rolls


1 head of cabbage

1 cup cooked rice. Can be white or brown
1 lb ground beef (You can use any ground meat such as chicken, turkey, lamb or pork)
1 small onion diced
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
1 egg slightly beaten
Salt and pepper to taste

1 can condensed tomato soup
1  14 oz. can chopped tomatoes



  • Remove the damaged outer leaves from the cabbage.
  • Separate the leaves from the cabbage.
  • Rinse then put in a shallow pan of simmering water to steam the cabbage leaves. They should steam for 5 to 10 minutes so that they are pliable enough to roll around the filling.
  • Check the pan every few minutes and remove the leaves as they are done. The larger outer leaves will take less time to steam then the inner leaves.
  • Place the steamed leaves in a colander to drain and cool so they are easier to work with.

    • Sauté the onion in 2 tbsp of garlic oil over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.
    • Add the garlic and sauté 2 minutes more.
    • Take off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
    • In a large bowl combine the rice and ground meat.
    • Add the sautéed onions and garlic and the beaten egg.
    • Add salt and pepper to taste.


    • Mix the tomato soup and canned tomatoes in a medium size bowl until well blended.

    Assembling the cabbage rolls:

    • Cover the bottom of a casserole dish with a thin layer of the sauce.
    • Place a spoonful of the filling in a cabbage leaf.
    • Roll the leaf around the filling and place the roll seam side down in the casserole dish. Continue until filling is used up.
    • Pour the remaining sauce over the cabbage rolls.
    • Cover the dish.
    • Place in a 350 degree oven and cook for 50 to 60 minutes.
    • Remove from the oven and keep covered for 10 minutes.Serve warm.