Contestant, Wisconsin State Fair, 2013


Greater Midwest Foodways Alliance



Wisconsin State Fair

August 4, 2013





Barbara Strahler, Reedsburg, Wisconsin


This recipe is a family favorite from my Grandma who came to the United States from Ukrainian to escape the war in the early 1900’s on a ship with her sister when she was eight years old. They arrived in Minneapolis where they stayed with friends until she married and moved to Wisconsin where she and her husband bought a small dairy farm.


They were very poor in money, but rich in having produce and good home­grown foods so they made do with what was available. The garden was plentiful in cabbage, onions, potatoes and beets. Tending to the garden. hoeing, weeding and gathering were additional responsibilities to farm life.


My grandma didn’t read or write English, so there was no recipe. One had to watch and learn how to make this traditional treat. By using memory, hand measure, touch, feel and taste of what you were preparing.


My grandmother taught my Mom and Aunts–and then me–, these old family recipes. I have continued this tradition with my children and grandchildren so it always is requested for special occasions, as our ancestors before us. We always make this for occasions … Weddings­Christmas-Easter.


Hope you will enjoy also.






(Cabbage Rolls)

Barbara Strahler, Reedsburg, Wisconsin

Rolls- Filling:

2# Ground Beef

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

2 cloves garlic (minced)

2 cups cooked white rice

1/4 c. half and half cream

1 beaten egg

1 cup chopped onion


Mix together and place handful into softened cabbage leaves; roll tight. Place in large roaster pan.


Cabbage leaves: 1 large cabbage head


Place in large kettle of boiling water; cover and steam until outer leaves can be removed. Shave the hard center stem from each leaf.


Layer tops with strips of bacon and extra cabbage leaves. Cover and bake @ 325 degrees 2-3 hours until tender. Pour a small amount of of combined 1 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar over cabbage rolls. Serve with Onion Gravy (See recipe) Serves 6-8







Barbara Strahler, Reedsburg, Wisconsin


2 to 3 onions peeled and sliced thin


Add to frying pan with 1 tbsp. canola oil


Saute onions on medium heat until caramelized (browned); add 1 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. pepper.


Add: 1 qt. half and half cream (more if necessary), stir, simmer to a nice gravy.


Serve over Cabbage Rolls.


Enjoy the Goody!