Saturday, November 10, 2012

Of pierogies and pantries ...

Family memories abound this week, and they are centered around my sweet grandmother's kitchen. By today's standards, hers was a tiny kuchnia, but that petite Polish lady could whip up a meal worthy of some Michelin stars.

Image via Maison Deco.

Aside from hiding in the cupboard under the sink during childhood games with my cousins, what I remember most about her kitchen was the green and white ceramic tile countertops and backsplash, and a large central oven that turned out some renowned coffee cakes. Each time I see a kitchen with loads of rustic character, my grandparent's warm, comfy kuchnia comes to mind.

Image via Bright Bazaar.

This weekend, we're honoring our deceased grandparent's Polish ancestry and cultural heritage with our family's first-ever Polish Independence Day celebration. We'll be in the kitchen cooking traditional dishes from 'the old country' and sharing the love we felt as grandma and grandpa prepared Sunday dinners.

Image via House of Earnest.

I just wish my kitchen reflected that rustic warmth I remember so well from their house. I would happily dispense with the elements from our 1970's kitchen (soon, please) and take a step further back in time. I am so in love with stone floors and handsome woods.

Image via Le Petit Chouchou.

Colorful tilework makes a joyful and memorable contribution seldom seen in modern kitchens. I'm sure so many people select the finishes today with an eye toward their home's resale value. But, just like my grandparent's kitchen, color lingers in the memory long after thoughts of other elements fade.


I can just imagine cooking for a big brood in a warm and inviting space. Can't you just feel the love in these kitchens? Images above via Little Blue Deer (left) and HG2 Magazine (right).

Image via Dust Jacket.

My aunt, the reigning matriarch of our family, also serves as my inspiration. She knows more about the art of cooking and dining than anyone I know. Now in her 80s, she has taken all the best learned at her mother's knee, explored and mastered gracious entertaining, and shared her enthusiasm for culinary arts. (I assess all blame for my plate fetish with her!)

So, I love it when she and my cousins come to our house and I have an opportunity to offer my kitchen for preparing a celebration. I trekked 2 hours out of town yesterday to buy authentic Polish sausage, boiled the potatoes for salad this morning, bought cabbage for golobki and have filled my pantry with ingredients to make pierogies and karptka. There is good European beer is chilling in the fridge (it's French, but that's close enough). Wish me luck!

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