This is a long day for me. I do these about once a year and make tons of them to freeze for the whole winter. I do so love them. The boys even eat the whole thing now too. After working on them all day it is such a comforting dinner to have. My stomach is already growling just anticipating tomorrow.
You will need to start a big pot of water to boil. Also go ahead and make rice. However you make it. I am sorry for not giving amounts, I just make a lot and if there are any leftovers I just save it for later. This needs to cool so you can mix everything together with your hands later. Once the water boils you will add a head of cabbage to it. As you are standing over the cabbage you will watch it for a few minutes and cut near the stump a layer at a time as it softens. You want it soft so you can roll it but not cooked. Lay them off to the side, they can cool too. If there is a piece here and there with a lot of hard gristle stuff at the end I kind of shave it. Okay so this is all a little hard to explain. It is so much easier to show you. I can't believe no one took me up on my offer to cook together tomorrow??? As the rice gets done and cools and the cabbage gets done (I do about 3 or 4 cabbages depending on how big or little they are) put into a big bowl or a big pot the rice. I start out with a few pounds of hamburger meat and a few pounds of mild sausage adding it to the rice. Add salt and pepper and that's it! I put garlic in it one time because I love garlic and my Polish mother-in-law said that was a no no. So...I will leave that up to you. Now roll the cabbage rolls, add a tooth pick, wrap in freezer paper, and freezer bag them. I bag enough for a whole meal in each bag.
When you are ready to cook them I buy a big can of tomato soup add a little water not all of it. Because I use the soup as a gravy for the smashed potatoes. Add a sliced onion and pepper on top. Put a lid on it, bake around 300 for about 4-5 hours. Stir occasionally. So good and simple. Even though it is time consuming you now have dinner in the freezer for those cold wintry nights ahead when you don't feel like doing anything but drinking hot chocolate and reading.