Some days I come to this blog with a blank mind…not a thought in my head as to what I should write. This is one of those days. On most such days, something does emerge as I write and I am hoping for that right now.
Bernie is making another batch of salsa. It is the last of the canning. I will yet freeze some chard. Other than that we are finisimo. I was with a friend this morning. She and her husband garden and have days of canning and freezing as we do. Twenty jars of spaghetti sauce, she told me. I want the recipe I tell her but she says her husband just puts the spices and stuff into a pot without any measure so she can’t really help me there.
I have a wonderful cook book, “Everyday Recipes”, a collection of favorite recipes put together by the Rosary Society of the Sacred Heart Parish, Pine Creek, Wisconsin. Pine Creek is where my mother was born on the farm owned by her parents that would eventually be sold and the whole family would relocate to Chicago. I don’t know how old the book is. I look at the names of the women who contributed and I think I have seen these same names on the tombstones in the cemetery on the hill above Sacred Heart Church in Pine Creek. They are names you might hear Garrison Keiller speak in his tales of Lake Wobegon: Mrs. Genevieve Tulius, Mrs. Frank Malesytcki, Mrs. Emil Glenzinski, Miss Sally Stanislewski, Mrs. Ray Jereczek, Mrs. Frank Peplinski Jr. I notice lots of Jereczeks. This is a name familiar to me, at least it rings a bell somewhere. Perhaps I was listening to my Grandmother and her sisters sharing news about those still back in Wisconsin.
In the cook book I can find recipes for some dishes that I remember eating at my grandmother’s table: Kolaches, raised doughnuts, potatoe pancakes, Pierogis, Polish Style fried liver, fried sweetbreads, pigs in a blanket, Czarnina, German beans, whipped lime cottage cheese salad, all sorts of pies, ginger snaps, pickle recipes, and finally a recipe for soap. Mrs. Ed Kramer submitted that last one.
I think I have a need to feel grounded today. Events sometimes make one feel like one is flying around like a kite without a tail or without a string attached. It is a good day to think about old recipes and the family that first fed me. I think I will make it a winter commitment to try some of the recipes in this old book and see if I can conger up the attention of my ancestral women like a cinnamon scented séance.