Updated: Feb 3
It always comes down to three things. I will let you fill in the blanks ______?
if you have not watched #BOOKEM I highly suggest it, as we cover a myriad of topics and interests. Of course reading, writing and navigating life are right up there with sliced bread and the argument for year round Christmas lights. This week is filmed partly in #Hawaii come for the scenery, stay for the great #marketing tips!
Speaking of people and things to navigate. Oi!
The bend to my will, better do what I want or else type... man I miss her. My grandmother Kathryne. She is no longer here on Earth, but I have been thinking about her a lot lately.
Someone asked me what makes a person act or think Polish? That's tough to answer, as everyone is different, no matter what culture or household they come from. We are all special and unique. Some of us are especially difficult, funny, quirky or strange.
I might match at least two of those criteria. Ha!
Grandma Kate’s version of Polishness was a severe case of grumpiness, a plastic lace tablecloth, and orange slice candies. The candy was always so stale it could break a tooth if you tried to bite it too fast. Diamonds on every finger, while she lamented lack of money, and saved uneaten toast from breakfast, wrapped in a napkin in her pocketbook to bring home. Polka music. Eee! Tons of it and enough pictures of Mary and Jesus to host a large auction or start her own religious cult.
And food! Yes, I am finally getting to it. Galumpkis on a cold wintry day are my absolute favorite. When she made these, it was comfort. It was fabulous. It was family.
One of my favorite memories before she passed away was when she, my father, my child and myself made them together at my Aunt Rosie’s condo in Florida.
See you have to understand something here. Food in my upbringing is an important part of my identity. It is not fancy, complicated or gourmet. It’s about using what you have and making it wonderful, it is sustenance and tradition combined. It is freaking magic.
My heart is happy remembering that we had four generations together cooking in a kitchen barely large enough for two humans to stand side by side. I'm misting up. Forgive me for being so sentimental. This recipe is my version and I sure hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
If you are missing family, and missing those sweet, nostalgic moments. I highly suggest my coming of age novel, Carolina Spirit to read on the sofa and enjoy, while you wait for dinner to cook in the oven. It's one of the few things I have written that is not scary, rather it's more about human relationships and how we find our way back after we lose someone we love.
I heard it’s snowing up north? Yikes!
Run to the store, get your supplies and get cooking.
Until next time, find your Peace, Love, Hustle, then Read or Write. xox Bibiana ***
Polish Galumpkis 1 large head of green cabbage or two small ones 1 pound ground round 1 pound sage breakfast sausage in a tube 1 large can of stewed tomatoes 1 cup of beef broth 1 large sweet onion 2 cups rice (do not use instant!) I prefer jasmine rice, but I have recently used a mix of brown and basmati. You know best what your family likes. 1/2 pound of bacon 1-teaspoon garlic powder
salt pepper large rectangular, metal or covered roaster aluminum foil ketchup for the table
*For the extra hungry family, serve with a side of garlic mashed potatoes and use the “gravy’ from the bottom of the galumpkis. Instructions: Place the rice in four cups of water, stir and boil uncovered. Turn off the burner and cover the rice with a lid. Let the rice sit for approximately 20 min.
Core the cabbage and cover with water and boil until you see the leaves pulling off in the water. It will be very hot!
Mix the raw beef and sausage together by hand or with a large spatula in a large bowl with the rice. By hand is best, so if you need to cool the rice just leave it for a moment. Be sure to take off all jewelry. If you have disposable, food-grade gloves those work well for this.
Add the onion into that mixture minced as small as you can. Salt and pepper as you mix lightly.
Meanwhile place the cabbage in a colander and run cool water over it in the sink for a minute to help drain the water and help it cool. I prefer to prepare the galumpkis on a wooden cutting board.
Place a cabbage leaf in front of you with the smaller part, the stem closest to you. Cut off the tip of the hard stem with a sharp knife.
Place a small amount of meat/rice mixture in the middle and roll over folding the sides to make a small envelope. The trick is to not over or under stuff. Place seam side down in the pan and keep them tight. It is totally okay to make two levels in the pan. Once it's full, cover the rolls with the stewed tomatoes and the beef broth.
Layer the raw bacon over the top in strips. Foil or cover with lid and bake at 350 F for approximately 2 1/2 hours until the meat is cooked all the way through. (160 degrees) For the last 15 minutes run the pan under a low broiler to crisp the bacon for serving. These freeze exceptionally well in small Tupperware and taste amazing the day after. Part of the joy of this recipe is the social part, as you make them with the people you live with. I think I rolled my first galumpki when I was three? The second part is the AMAZING aroma in your house.
NOTHING compares to home cooking. Do this on a day where you will be home, Sunday blizzards are a bonus. Be sure you will be hungry! These are filling and yummy and it’s a lot of fun to make with kids or anyone who likes to learn.
Don’t blame me if you have seconds, I would be shocked if you didn’t. Stay warm and safe out there.
Thank you for supporting my creative life, by reading my stories and telling your friends. It means so much to have you here.
Oh and, if you have not read Hearth Fires yet,
you should. Veronica and I are hard at work on book #2. The Haunted Series and plan to leave little hints along the way to keep you excited about the journey. It's sophisticated, spooky, folkloric and suspenseful. Stay Tuned!
"All Heroines, all the time."
Books-Short Stories-Blog (the three things...)
Bibiana Krall. author, wildheart, dreamer