Nights 3 and 4: Polska Fiesta!

Posted: June 4th, 2008 | Author: | Filed under: Housewife Superhero | No Comments »

Come child. Touch the hem of my colorful striped dirndl skirt and I shall whisk you away to a land of Polish culinary delights! Come! Take hold of my hand or the cuff of my flowing peasant blouse, and let’s dance dance dance to the songs of Bobby Vinton, my long blond braids flying in the wind!

Okay so I’m not sure the dirndl skirt, peasant shirt and braids are really what those gals are rockin’ back in the old country, but I do think it’s what the Polish doll in my international dolls collection looked like. (Oh sure, my father tried to imbue his fervid obsession with collections onto me as a child. And if you don’t believe me come ’round on the next rainy day and I can show off not only my It’s a Small World-esque posse of dolls, but some old coins, stamps, and the business cards of Margaret Thatcher, Henry Winkler, and other long-deceased small-time Rhode Island dignitaries. I know, I know. Even more proof of my dazzling coolness that you knew nothing about.)

So, even though I was really wearing one of my two postpartum outfits yesterday (the shorts I think, not the jeans) picture me if you will dressed in the delightful garb of a Polish lass, cookin’ up some of the food of my people.

Our dinner last night:

  • Kielbasa
  • Sauerkraut
  • Dairy-free mashed potatoes
  • Mini carrots for Kate (I blew her mind mentioning they didn’t exist when Mark and I were kids)
  • Red pepper for Kate (something she recently tasted and wanted to daringly try again)
  • Sprite (Mark’s soda pairing)

Last night at 5:15PM I was still waiting at the pharmacy for Kate’s pink eye prescription to be filled. By the time we walked in the door it was just before 6PM, but I stepped up, people! I did not decide that gettin’ a hot meal on the table when my hubbie got home (at 6:15-ish) was not possible! Nooooo! I stood by that stove and made sparks fly–while poor Paigey sat in her carseat bucket in a saturated diaper and waiting patiently for me to get everything on the stove. Bless that little crusty baby.

Nothing terribly interesting to report on the success or failure of this meal. Mark seemed to like it but thought that mashed potatoes made with Rice Dream aren’t really up to par with those made with milk. And all I can say to that is, duh.

Since my sister Ellen and I had plans to get together at her house tonight, I was fearful my five-dinners-in-a-row would be in jeopardy. Instead I decided to make some galumpki–cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef, pork, and rice, with Campbell’s tomato soup on top–to take over for dinner.

These are something my Mom used to make us. You eat them with excessive amounts of ketchup, and though they’re far from gourmet, in that weird way that some people actually like gefilte fish, Ellen and I adore galumpki. Every time I make them I jolt her into an intense taste and smell memory. (Similar to the smell “memory” your house gets after you’ve cooked cabbage in it all day.)

Speaking of slow cooking, the galumpki [Bruno family spelling] will be a bit of an experiment. Last time I made them I put them in this fancy crock pot we got from Williams Sonoma with a wedding present gift certificate. At that time the digital read out was starting to fail, but I was able to discern using educated guesses and my keen powers of telepathy what setting I was putting it on.

This morning I realized that in the few months it’s been resting in the basement the remaining functionality of the digital screen has gone to hell. So I pressed a few of the extraordinarily un-intuitive buttons on the thing, genuflected, and walked away hoping that some sort of cooking was taking place.

I can say that my house is starting to smell like the cabbagey-smelling hallway of an old boarding house. So I think I did it right. In a couple hours after Kate wakes up from her nap and I’ve managed to lug her, Paige, and the forty-pound steaming hot crock pot over to Ellen’s, I’ll know for sure.

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