Rolled Cabbage

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Sometime in the sixties (I am not sure of the exact year), while living in Big Bear Lake, California, I was working at the Navajo Cafe, located right on Main Street of this wonderful little resort town. The lake is just beautiful, the skiing exciting the area is often the site for movie making. Film stars dined at the cafe where I cooked. My friend, Alice Gates, a waitress at the cafe, came back to the kitchen one evening announcing that Clint Walker (who was in the dining room) wished to speak with the chef. As I went out to the dining room, my knees were knocking together.

Rolled Cabbage

He introduced himself to me and asked if I would cook for him while he was in Big Bear making the film The Night of the Grizzly.
Of course, I said I'd cook for him! He explained that he preferred vegetables, Mexican food, skinless chicken to a lot of meat. He requested that everything be served family style, as he would be having guests every evening.

Some of the stars that visited our cafe were Keenan Wynn,, Nancy Culp,, Jack Elam,, Sammy Jackson, and Victoria, (a child star), her mother and her tutor. Also dining with us were most of the cameramen. I was asked to cook on location and while I was very complimented by that request, I felt I had to refuse because of the care of my husband and three boys at home.- Donna Schumacher

Although the following recipe contains some beef, it was one of Clint's favorites.

Start with a large leafy head of cabbage. Tear off the leaves and dip into hot water with some salt in it. This will soften the cabbage so you can roll it.


  • 2 lbs. hamburger
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • sprinkle of sage

Mix filling ingredients well. Take about ¼ cup filling on a leaf of cabbage and roll it up. Chop the inside of the head of cabbage and put a layer on the bottom of pan. Lay some rolls on top, then more chopped cabbage, then more rolls.

In a sauce pan or frying pan, put:

  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes
  • 1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • about ¼ cup of fresh parsley
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar
  • little celery salt
  • about ½ tsp. allspice
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • small crushed bay leaf

Pour sauce over rolls, cover and cook on low for about 1½ hours or if you wish, you can layer this in single layer in a baking pan, pouring sauce over. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes.

Tips for this recipe[edit]


Sample Variations #1[edit]