Ben met another milestone today – somewhat of a rite of passage in my family – his first trip to our local Polish market. Hopefully someone out there finds this as humorous as I did. My family has been going to this market for forever – it’s super tiny, really old school, and the only place in the area where you can get certain food items. I usually feel like quite the outsider there – I’m the youngest customer by oh, about 50 years, and can’t understand most of the conversations because hey – they’re in Polish!
We went in, hobbled around the tiny aisles, trying not to knock over anything with the ginormous and heavy carseat (a trip this fast is not worthy of pulling him out of the carseat and stuffing him into the Baby Bjorn – too much hassle for 3 minutes of shop time!), picked up a freshly made kielbasa and kiszka, like good little Polish boys and girls, and were on our way. While I waited for the woman behind the deli counter to pick out our goods, I had to discreetly snap a picture of Ben on this momentous occasion (discreetly because this woman would have thought I was a supreme weirdo– who wants to take a picture of their baby in a Polish market, anyway?):
He looks a little nonplussed. I love that word, nonplussed. Should use it more often…
What is a kiszka, you ask? Very interesting story, I must tell you. We used to have kiszka a few times a year, every year, while I was growing up. It’s this big brown sausage-like thing that you bake in the oven – it pretty much looks like a giant turd. I always loved it, and every time we had kiszka for dinner, I would say, “What the heck is this made out of?” For real – every. single. time. My mom would say, “Oh, it’s just barley and seasonings!” And I bought it.
Well, one evening after a wonderful dinner of kiszka, I went off to my weekly piano lesson. As a backstory, I never, ever practiced piano like I was supposed to, so in order to deflect my not practicing and in an attempt to avoid getting in trouble with my teacher, I would chatter away about anything possible to delay actually playing for her. So, that evening’s mindless chatter was about what I had for dinner and how I could never figure out what it was made out of. As soon as I said, “kiszka,” my teacher exclaimed, “OH! Blood sausage!”
My parents knew what it was the whole time, but played along because they knew I would never eat it if I knew it was MADE OF BLOOD. Nice. I was temporarily grossed out, but then went right back to loving it. Pretty freaking sick, huh?
To this day, I will go out to this Polish market and pick up a kiszka about once a year and enjoy it all to myself. Derek won’t touch the stuff, so it’s mine, all mine. Reminds me of that part in Home Alone, “A lovely cheese pizza. Just for me.”
Photo courtesy of sweetlysurprised.com
Yes, a lovely kiszka, just for me.