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Monday, 2 December 2013


July 9, 1989:  Mom wrote:

Tomorrow I will cook the holoptsy I hope as I have so much to cook up.  So I would have when someone comes and besides Nestor loves holopsy but he likes the sour heads.  Some say a person could get them here but I haven’t seen it.  So I will try my way. 

Well, no one made better HOLUBTSI than my mother.   So . . .  

First, I want to say I agree with Nestor, you should use a Soured Head of Cabbage.  You can make your own or, like me, you can buy one.

Another important point:  You should use a Pyrex casserole as Cabbage Rolls are very acidic.



1 soured head of cabbage
2 cups rice
2 cups water
1 to 1 ½ teaspoons salt
½ tsp pepper
1 onion
2 tsp canola oil
Pinch of cumin
Pinch of thyme
1/8 tsp crushed dry red peppers
1 can tomato soup  (Mom preferred Heinz Tomato Soup)
1/3 cup lard or bacon fat

·        With 2 cups water, bring the rice, salt, and pepper to the boil over high heat, uncovered. 
·        As soon as it comes to a boil, shut off the heat, but leave the pot on the burner.  Let the rice stand until the water is absorbed.  The rice will be crunchy as it’s only partially cooked.
·        Chop the onion and sauté in the oil until just transparent with the cumin, thyme, and hot red pepper.
·        Add the onion to the partially-cooked rice.

·        Separate the leaves from the cabbage.
·        Trim the thick ribs so they don’t protrude, but do not cut them out completely.  Reserve the trimmings.
·        Cut the large leaves in half along the trimmed ribs.

·        Line the pot with reserved rib trimmings and unusable cabbage leaves.
·        Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
·        Fill the cabbage rolls, setting up with the rib at the bottom.

Fold thick side of rib over
Roll upward from the rib and seal by pulling down and over the thin top

Fold in thin side
·        Put cabbage rolls lengthwise one row.  The next row, lay them cross-wise.

·        Add water to the pot so it comes almost up to the top of the cabbage rolls.
·        Cover the pot and cook in oven for one hour.
·        Take out the pot.  (If most of the liquid is gone, add some boiling water.)  Now spread the can of tomato soup across the top.  Add the lard.

·       Cook another half hour. 
·        Check pot and add another cup of boiling water, if needed.  Cook another half hour.   


Nestor made Cabbage Rolls for Thanksgiving, 2013, and is now acknowledged as the new master in this art. J