A memory of cabbage

This is a post borne out of Joanna’s writing prompt over at Wisdom Within, Ink – A Memory of Cabbage.

When I think of cabbage, I remember my grandmother making golabki – wanna hear how that’s pronounced? gaw-Woom-key. How strange is that? I’ve gone 39 years hearing the word and never seeing it spelled. It’s stuffed cabbage, by the way. Polish sure is a funny language. And yes, I can say that as I’m 100% Polish.

At any rate, I remember the house having particular smells for hours before eating dinner as a child. Some good smells and some not so good. Cabbage smelled not so good – definitely better than the leg of lamb my mom tried once (eeww!) – but it tasted really great, and definitely better than stuffed green peppers. The texture was soft and the filling was made with ground meat and rice. I doubt I could get my kids to eat that stuff these days, but maybe. My middle child likes pierogis – Polish dumplings.

I loved smelling the smells of dinner, with my stomach growling and the yummy smells emanating from the kitchen. Tonight there will be no yummy smells as I’ve asked the hubby to pick up some crap from the Mc. Ds or something. Yeah, I’m having a bad day. Yes, believe it or not I’m considering taking up drinking as a hobby (boy the things that you don’t seem to care about when you have a few beers). Just because I’m having a bad stay at home mom day. No, the kids are fine, I’m just disillusioned, that’s all.

I do try to make home-cooked meals, but it’s not the same. As an adult, I don’t have the same warm feelings as I did as a child, smelling some wonderful smells and being reminded of good, warm, home cooking. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong – maybe it’s because I’m the one doing all the work.

In my childhood home, even though my mom was a jerk a lot, there was always succulent meats and savory sauces cooking (and she did start her own fairly successful catering business if that tells you anything), and well, it just doesn’t have the same smell in my home that it used to as a kid. Maybe I need to hit my mother up for her old recipes before she won’t give them to me anymore.

Something is just not the same and I feel badly about that. Maybe it’s because I have kids that are so picky, that we cook more bland stuff. Maybe it’s time to try more traditional cooking. Not tonight though.

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2 Responses to A memory of cabbage

  1. J-viere says:

    Oh mamacita, I’m sorry you’re feeling melancholy.

    I rarely make dinner anymore, I rarely make breakfast…. my 2 year old is the only one I do anything for anymore. The 8 year old… well shoot, sometimes he makes ME breakfast!

    And now I am going to have to go to work. Full time student, work, mom. They don’t all seem compatible.

    But, you know, in the end it really doesn’t matter whether you made cabbage or whether you just talked about your memories of cabbage whilst enjoying some MickeyD’s. Heck, your kids might be more interested in hearing about your grandmother’s golabki if they know they won’t have to eat it! 🙂

    And I know fully well it’s about more than just golabki. Something is just not the same, you said. That’s true. It’s never going to be the same because you’re never going to be that kid again. Hey, I tried for years and years and years to get my kids interested in the Thanksgiving early morning let’s-make-cornbread-dressing tradition my mom started that I loved so well. But as much as I tried to recreate it they way I remembered, it was never the same. So we started our own traditions, an odd mix of some of my mom’s, some of his mom’s and some that we just made up on the spot.
    You seem to think you’ve somehow failed your kids because you haven’t recreated *your* childhood. Don’t you know that they are, at this very moment, savoring the unique smells and events and traditions of the house — *their* house? And it doesn’t have to smell of homemade cabbage whatever thing. In fact, I vote that it doesn’t smell of cabbage whatever thing! 😉

    You’re doing fine, mama. ♥

  2. raisingsmartgirls says:

    Wow – work, school and mom! How many ways can we split J-viere? What kind of work are you going to be doing?

    Thanks for the words of encouragement. I’ve just been melancholy for a few days now, after all the posts about my relationship with my family. I’m thinking of trying to return to work so that can stop having an idle mind which finds reasons to be melancholy. Though, going through my resume to update it makes me sad for all the things I was, and what if I can’t find another job? It’s enough to drive me loopy.

    Anyway…sometimes the kids don’t eat what I cook – my oldest still to this day eats everything plain. She’s always been that way (because of oral sensitivities). She’s missing out on some good food.

    I really wish I could hang out with you once in a while. That’s another reason for sadness…not having friends that are into science.

    Thanks for stopping by and chatting.

    Take care of yourself while you juggle all your roles.


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