My version of my mom’s Stuffed Cabbage Rolls made with ground turkey. Traditional and delicious, these stuffed cabbage rolls are worth every minute of prep.
It has been over six months since I’ve posted anything. January brought Alex’s last semester of law school, and my mom’s struggle with heart failure got worse. We had a lot of decisions to make about what we would do next, and while we had intended on moving to Portland when Alex graduated, when push came to shove I just couldn’t imagine moving further away from my family while my mom was so sick and, in fact, waiting for a heart transplant. So, the baby and I moved to Scottsdale AZ in March without Alex so that my mom could live with us while she waited for a heart. April and May were filled with struggle and heartache on every front. I was still working from home, essentially a single mom while Alex was in LA finishing school, and caring for my mom who was getting worse every day. There was hardly time to think, and this blog rarely entered into the few non-essential thoughts I had, unfortunately.
On June 4th at 7:34pm, my mom, Roberta Ann Sofia, passed away at home surrounded by her family and close friends. It has been two and a half weeks since that day, but I still find it hard to believe. She was living with me two months ago, and my days here are filled with constant reminders of her life almost simultaneously greeted with the stinging realization that she is no longer living. Her hot rollers are still under the sink in the guest bathroom, the birdhouse she wanted to put on her window is still sitting on my fire place mantel, her magazines and odds and ends are still lying around the guest bedroom which I find difficult to enter… My daughter’s laugh and little “hi!” remind me of how much my mom loved hearing them and the joy it brought her that they could finally spend time together. I’ve been told you don’t ever really get over the loss of your parent, and that seems appropriate. Since Alex’s time is still mostly taken up while he studies for the Bar and my 16 month old constantly demands my attention, I don’t have time to lay in bed crying or just sit and contemplate this loss, but maybe that’s for the best. The best way I could think to process this was to do things in her memory, in tribute to her. So, I give you a meal that my mom loved. Stuffed cabbage is something she made for us growing up and one of the things she had me make for her toward the end when she had no appetite and barely felt like eating. When you make this, I hope you will take a moment to remember her with me, even if you didn’t know her.
I don’t have her recipe written down, so this is not exactly the one she made. I’ve added garlic and bay leaf for a little extra flavor, and I used ground turkey instead of ground beef. My mom always used minute white rice, but I used brown Basmati rice because that’s what I had. I served this with a simple potato salad, as my mom always did, and it makes a large pot that’s enough to feed at least six people.
I love you, my mom. Bon Appetit.
For More Recipes Using Ground Turkey, Try These: