My mother was 100 percent Polish. Oh, I seem to recall some hints whispered by relatives who have looked into our ancestry that there might have been a bit of hanky panky involving someone of another Slavic nationality years and years ago, but who can trust rumors that are 150 years old? Fake news.
Mom occasionally made cabbage meatballs which we called cabbage meatballs and not golabki as would any REAL Pole. She also got ticked off at so-called Polack jokes. But other than that, she didn’t share many Polish ancestral memories. After all, Mom basically learned to cook from her Swiss mother-in-law, or so she always said.
It’s true we ate a lot of Polish sausage during our formative years, but the fact is, we ate a lot of any kind of sausage. German sausage, Italian sausage, Polish sausage. I think it is safe to say that none of us have ever met a sausage we didn’t like. Well, that’s not entirely true as there was the Andouillette sausage that Bill and I ate in France, which you can read about if you click on this link that takes you to the blog I wrote while traveling in Europe way back in 2008. Nasty stuff. But I digress.
There is only one memory I have that is related to my Polish ancestry. Every Easter morning, Mom cooked fresh kielbasa and soft-boiled eggs before we went to Easter Mass. So while I can’t swear I’ve done it every single Easter of my adult life, I can safely say I’ve eaten kielbasa on Easter morning more times than I haven’t. Bill likes to eat kielbasa as well, though he turns his nose up at a soft-boiled egg.
Most of the time, I simply bought smoked kielbasa at the grocery store. However, last year I discovered that there is a Polish restaurant and deli called All Pierogi Kitchen and Euro Market that is located in west Mesa. Despite its name, it isn’t only pierogis. They also make and sell both fresh and smoked kielbasa. The market contains all sorts of Polish and Russian goodies…..
…..sweet as well as savory…..
We bought a couple of pounds of fresh kielbasa. Buying smoked kielbasa wasn’t even considered. Bill has very fond memories of watching his former father-in-law – who was born in Poland – make fresh kielbasa. Chunks of pork, lots of garlic, plenty of spices, wrapped in a casing. Bill says to this day it was the best sausage he’s ever eaten. He liked the fact that his father-in-law didn’t grind up the meat; rather, he cut it into small chunks. I’ve never eaten Polish sausage prepared in that way.
Since we had driven a good 25 minutes to reach the restaurant/market, we decided to eat lunch. We each had a kielbasa sandwich, but ordered some pierogis on the side. Potato and onion. Yum and yum…..
I think my next cooking adventure will involve pierogis. Now, if I can just keep my hands off the kielbasa until Easter morning!