The Smell That Brings Me Back

Jessica Smith
7 min readAug 21, 2019

Or How To Make German Style Cabbage Rolls

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Nothing says Christmas like the smell of hot Sauerkraut. Well, in my family at least. It wasn’t Christmas until you had at least 4 “pigs in a blanket”, or German style cabbage rolls.

The smell of them cooking on my grandma’s stove would hit you before they even opened the door. She would have at least 4 stock pots full of these mouth watering balls of meat and cabbage stewing on her stove.

We were a big family and we all loved them. Plus she had enough made to send home with each family. How long this took her to make, I have no idea. Days probably because they aren’t that easy to make.

But that smell, oh the smell. It is something that is ingrained into my brain all these years later. Sauerkraut isn’t a good smell to most people. I mean the name means “sour cabbage” in German. It’s pickled cabbage. People who don’t like Sauerkraut will say it stinks like rotten farts.

Image by edwina_mc from Pixabay

Well, they are wrong. It smells like heaven.

As a teen, I loved cooking for my family. My mom gladly handed over the meal preparations to me. She’d give me a blank check to go to the grocery store to get whatever I needed for a meal.

One day, I had a hankering for some cabbage rolls. I had no idea how to make them though! So, I went to the one person who DID know how to make them, Grandma! I think I made her day by calling her up and asking for the recipe.

It isn’t really something you can tell over the phone though. No, it needs to be shown. So she bought all the supplies and had me over for the day to show me just how to make these bad boys.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

They don’t require a lot of ingredients: Cabbage, rice, ground beef, eggs, water, and sauerkraut. Oh and time, lots of time.

I can’t exactly give you the list of measurements for each ingredient either. It’s pretty much done by “hummm…



Jessica Smith

Writer and mother. I write about whatever pops into my head. Relationships, Self, Mental Health, Parenting, Whatever.