Contestant, Wisconsin State Fair, 2013


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance



Wisconsin State Fair

August 4, 2013




Mary Grillhoesl’ s Red Cabbage

Linda Faust, Greendale, Wisconsin


Mary Grillhoesl, my grandma, came to the United States in the beginning of the 19th century from Wegscheid, Germany when she was only 18 years old. She had a job prearranged, but it fell through. Henry Harnischfeger’s family hired her to cook for them. They lived in their new house on 34th and Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee. She always spoke kindly and gratefully of them. Without that job she would have had to return to Germany. She married my grandpa who, along with his brother, built many of the houses around 68th and North Ave. North Ave. was a dirt road in those days. They had no power tools. In those days they harnessed a horse to a huge shovel to pull the dirt out to make a basement. Growing up in Germany she was the oldest of 8 children. She ran the house while her mother worked on their farm in Bavaria. Last year I made her sauerbraten recipe, so this year I made her red cabbage. It is a simple recipe of shredded red cabbage, onion, apple, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and water. It went well with her sauerbraten and roll dumplings. We ate this traditional meal at Christmas while I was growing up. On the farm in Germany, without refrigeration, I can imagine the sauerbraten brine tenderized an otherwise tough cut of meat. The red cabbage stored in the cellar was enhanced by the vinegar.


Mary Grillhoesl’ s Red Cabbage

Linda Faust, Greendale, Wisconsin



2 tbsp. oil (I used canola oil)

1 medium head of red cabbage shredded (about 6 cups)

1 medium onion chopped

1 medium apple cored and sliced

3 tbsp. white vinegar

1/2 cup water

1 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper


Put the oil in a pot.


Add the cabbage and onion. Saute until wilted and shiny.


Add the apple, vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper.


Simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.


Serve warm.