My dear wife Karen asked a couple of days ago what I’d like to have for dinner on Easter.
A ham steak? My answer had that question mark on the end of it, but that’s the way we left it. Then in those nether moments before I drifted off to sleep that night, a better idea hit me.
When I awoke the next morning, I volunteered to cook the traditional Polish Easter meal of fresh kielbasa and pierogi. My mother would make it every year for this holiday when I was a kid. Oh, she made it more than this one time annually — more like three or four times a year — but one of our three squares on Easter had to be fresh kielbasa and pierogi. Dinner, sure. Lunch, sometimes. Dad Frank even accepted it for breakfast, with the kraut opted out for pumpernickel bread and butter.
Karen quickly agreed. And so, with that day off from work, I drove to the little meat market in Solvay that trucks in the good fresh stuff made in Utica and bought a ring. Their freezer, though, held only cabbage pierogi. Not my thing.
So I drove to the Syracuse Price Chopper, hoping to find the specialty national brand of potato-and-cheese we both like. Not there. Mrs. T’s will do. We both enjoy them, boiled first and then quickly dipped in the frying pan of browned onions.
I also picked Price Chopper because their bakery prepares babka, the Polish bread-cake, every Easter week. Karen and I prefer their cheese babka variety. Alas, the specialty table held cinnamon, cinnamon-raisin and chocolate, but not a cheese babka to be found. Too bad. Those babies were a buck off the marked price, too.
I topped off my basket with frozen chopped onions, cans of sauerkraut and baked beans, and a jar of horseradish to complete the fixings.
I open at the store today, my shift running from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. I’ll do the honor of cooking our Easter dinner sometime after I get home.
Happy Easter to all who celebrate this holiday. May you enjoy a good meal, traditions and family.
What did you grow up eating at this time of year? What was your favorite traditional meal of all? What will you be eating today, and who will be cooking it?