Thursday, March 6, 2014

Halupkies and Fond Memories from my Childhood

Today is the start of my halupkie making season.  It is when I start making halupkies for the different events at Salem UCC, such as the one this Saturday, March 8, our Annual Mardi Gras.  Now I know we are a couple days late, sorry, but Salem has a program where we volunteer in the community the first Saturday of the month.     It's called the First Fruits Program.  I volunteer at the Catasauqua Library.  So we had to move Mardi Gras to the 2nd Saturday.

There will be lots of good food, including my halupkies, along with haluski, hot dogs, barbeque and much more.  I think we might even being having a breakfast.  Along with the food is a big  FLEA MARKET and a wonderful "Tricky Tray" or some say "Basket Raffle".  There is also a beautiful afghan, made by one of my bff's Roseanne, that is being raffled off.  Plus a bake sale and a children's corner.   There is even rumor that TWINKLE STAARR the Clown might appear to do face painting and balloon animals.

But back to the halupkies.  Many people have, over the years, volunteered to help me.  I always turn them down, saying that my kitchen is to small. I really don't need the help.  Those are both true.  But the real reason that I like to do them by myself is that they bring me closer to a childhood memory of my Grandfather, George Temos.  Uncle Georgie to my counsins, Pappy to me. 
Pappy with his passion - his car

He was a tall man.  I was looking for a picture of him and almost always his head is cut off in the pictures.  It was always tan, he worked at the Bethlehem Steel as a rigger.    He died many years ago when I was young, somewhere around 5th or 6th grade.  But I always remember him is some of the traditions I still keep.  His family was from Poland, the only one in his family to be born in America.  He would not teach me Polish because he said we are in American - you speak American.   The only polish I can remember is dobro pivo, which means good beer.  I guess I really don't need to know anything else! 

He was the only male figure in the family, I have never met my dad, so he was everything to me.  He use to teach me to fix things, he would say, "you never know when you might not have a man to help you."  So when I make halupkies, which was one of the Sunday Dinners he would prepare, I think of him.  He taught me to brown the hamburger first, that comes from growing up on the farm, all our meat was well done.  More importantly he taught me how to roll them so that the don't fall apart. After you put the hamburger and rice mixture in the center of the cabbage leaf it is - fold the bottom up - fold left in - right in and squish the top down into the center with your finger.  Every time I hear the squishy sound I think of him saying "That's it Beverly, you got it."

So you see, my kitchen is quite crowded, and I am never really doing the alone, Pappy is right here with me saying - Beverly, you got it.

Love you Pappy........and that's another day in Catasauqua