Fresh Beginning

Dear Family and Friends, 

As I begin a new chapter in my life, I can’t help but think about timing. It seems as though spring brings about new hope, new beginnings, and a fresh start towards my calling in Social Justice. That being said, my purpose in life seems clouded by the suffering of so many women and children. I see injustice all around me and often wake up to the reality of homelessness in my community, hunger amongst friends, the loneliness in pews, and an anticipation of a new tomorrow.

In forty-eight hours I’ve seen my focus shift from welcoming my brother and his beautiful family back to Portland to envisioning my grandfather’s love blossom in the presence of his great-grandchildren. Often, I dream of bringing such joy to my family by adding little ones of my own to the mix. Yet I had to stop myself from dreaming as soon as I opened my peripheral lens. My realities exist somewhere between my faith and family in the Pacific Northwest, my current situation battling PTSD, and the heart wrenching news I see unfold on the BBC in Ukraine.

I don’t know what direction my blog will take me in but right now my heart rest with Poland and how they will handle the influx of refugees. I saw an article today that you can find here that brought me great joy: At St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in North Port Fla. food is bringing people together. It made me think of someone whom I care for very much and his family recipe.


Yield: 5 servings       Prep Time: 35 minutes


  • Salt (for salting boiling water)
  • 1 whole head cabbage (about 4 pounds)
  • 1 1/2 cups of ground pork *
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons of freshly chopped rosemary 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of EVOO
  • 1 cup beef stock *
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste 


  1. Prepare the Cabbage. Gather the ingredients. Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil, and salt it.
  2. With the help of a sharp paring knife, remove the core from the cabbage by cutting around it. Remove and discard it.
  3. Carefully place the whole head of cabbage in the boiling water.
  4. Cover the pot and cook the head of cabbage for 3 minutes, or until softened enough to pull off individual leaves. You’ll need 18 leaves in total.
  5. When leaves are cool enough to handle, use a paring knife to cut away the thick center stem from each leaf. Be careful not to cut all the way through.

Make the Filling:
1. Heat up a large skillet, add EVOO and add the chopped onion. Sauté chopped rosemary until fragrant. Cook until onion is tender and remove from heat.

2. Mix the cooled onion and rosemary with the pork, garlic, salt, and black pepper until well combined. Don’t overmix or the meat will become tough.

Assemble the Rolls:

Flatten a cabbage leaf on a cutting board or work surface and place about 1/2 cup of the meat filling. Flip the right side of the leaf to the middle, then flip the left side. Flip the bottom of the leaf to obtain an envelope-shaped figure. The unstuffed part of the leaf will be triangular in shape. Tuck the leaf away from you to encase the meat and make a neat little roll. Repeat the process with all the leaves.

Cook and Serve the Rolls:

Heat the oven to 350 F. Place the cabbage rolls, seam down, on top of the chopped cabbage in the casserole dish or Dutch oven. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Heat beef stock in a mini saucepan. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and simmer to perfection. Pour the beef stock over the rolls, cover with tin foil, and place in the oven. Bake for 1 hour or until cabbage is tender and meat is cooked. 



* Tips: To make Golumpki heart healthy, substitute the pork with beyond meat (the same breakfast sausage that is found in Starbuck’s Impossible Breakfast Sandwiches) and use a beef broth substitute. I haven’t tried this, however, I’m sure the Better than Bouillon – Vegetarian No Beef Base would work wonders in any savory dish. 


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