The Golabki Rock

“What’s that?” asked my husband.

I was walking toward the kitchen with a large rock I had carefully selected.  It was about three pounds, smooth and round, just like the one my mother had.

“It’s my Golabki rock,” I said.  I rinsed it off with water, dried it with a towel, and carefully placed it in the lower kitchen cabinet to the left of the sink, just like my mother did with her Golabki rock.

“What’s Golabki?” he asked.

“It’s Polish stuffed cabbage,” I said.

“So why the rock?”

“You need it to hold the cabbage rolls together, so they don’t fall apart.”

He had a perplexed look on his face, but decided to wait and see what the rock was really for.

I soon made a big batch of Golabki (pronounced Goh-WUMP-kee), to settle my new husband’s fears, so many years ago.  I filled a large black-with-white-flecks roasting pan with cabbage rolls made from a recipe passed down for generations.  I carefully inverted the roasting pan lid over the rolls, and placed the rock squarely in the middle of the lid.

“What are you doing?” asked my husband.

“I’m weighing down the lid over the cabbage rolls, so they don’t fall apart.”

He wisely said nothing more, and we soon enjoyed my delightful, traditional Golabki.

This went on for several years, until we had a family reunion, on my side.  My brothers and I were exchanging childhood stories, when the conversation turned to Golabki.  Everyone raved about Mom’s Golabki.

“Remember the rock Mom always used?” asked one brother.

“Yeah!” we all said.

“Judy uses a rock, too,” said my husband.

All eyes fell upon me.

“Do you know why Mom used the rock?” asked my brother, who now lived in the house my mother grew up in.

“To keep the cabbage rolls together,” I said, “just like Grandma did.”

“Jude,” said my brother, “Grandma told me why she turned the lid upside down and weighed it down with the rock.  It was the only way the roasting pan would fit into her small oven.”

My husband and I exchanged blank stares, then burst into laughter.

Anyone want a Golabki rock?

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3 Responses to “The Golabki Rock”

  1. Don Jones Says:

    Thats funny. How traditions start

  2. Al Sisson Says:

    Judy, A truly funny story. I laughed for several minutes. This is a story I will share with my mother. We all have our stories, maybe not as great as this one though. Best wishes.

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