Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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08 December 2006

Pi Shawl Recovers Knitting Mojo!

The Pi Shawl is getting so big, I can't stretch it out fully without it coming off the needles. I finished knitting the tenth repeat of section three last night and one row of the eleventh repeat. I almost need a ladder to stand on to get the whole thing in the viewfinder!

The wool blanket it is spread out on is a yellow-to-butterscotch color. On my monitor, it looks pretty orange, but in real life it's more yellow.

I'll answer a question here:

"What is a 'placki', anyway? Is that like a latke?"

Lucky you, you are going to get the story behind the story!

When our son was small, he got a lot of the "Veggie Tales" videos. One of them was "The Toy That Saved Christmas" on DVD, which has a lot of "Easter eggs," little fun undocumented features, hidden in the menus.

Okay, it's a kids' video: they aren't exactly hidden when the DVD says "I think there's an Easter egg on this page!" over and over.

On one of the sub-menus of "The Toy That Saved Christmas," the Easter egg is a song, "The Eight Days of Polish Christmas", each day of which is a Polish food.

My husband's family is Polish (and Irish, but that doesn't figure in the story). So we found the phonetic spelling of some of the foods in the song hilarious:

Golabkis, which are meat and rice-stuffed cabbage rolls, pronounced by my husband's family "glum-keys", are spelled "gwumpkies" on the DVD, and chrusciki, described in my husband's big Polish cookbook as "Polish crullers", are spelled "hooscheekies" on the DVD. (I don't have the Polish character set to put the diacritical marks, like slashes in the "L"s, in these words.)

Anyway, my husband got the bright idea that he and our son would do "8 days of Polish Christmas" at our house. The first year, they followed the menu on the video:

1. A Boiled Potato topped with Dillweed
2. Two Steamed Pierogies
3. Three Simmered Gwumpkies
4. Four Baked Paprikas
5. Five Smoked Kielbasa
6. Six Fried Hooscheekies
7. Seven Pitted Prunes
("I don't like prunes!" "With this food, you'll need'em, son," is the comment on the video.)
8. Eight Poppy Seed Cakes

After that, they branched out, picking recipes out of Polish Heritage Cookery, by Robert and Maria Strybel, one of the best presents I ever got for my husband. It has pretty much every Polish recipe his busia (=grandmother) ever made, plus variations.

A lot of the foods he knows by name phonetically, from hearing his busia say them, like the menu in the DVD. Then he pages through likely chapters until he finds the Polish spelling.

So, yes a "placki" is a potato pancake, pretty much like a latke!

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2 Comments:

Blogger Bells said...

how fabulous. I love polish food - haven't eaten a lot but I like to read about it (ever read Lily Brett? Full of polish food stories...)

and that shawl is looking amazing. I can't wait to make my first shawl!

1:28 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

PEROGIS!! FOOD OF THE GODS!!! Oh yum. When I lived in Hawaii, I had to learn to make them myself. That sucked. But YUM! Now I want to make some... maybe for Christmas. I can unload most of the batch on the family and gain only a pound or two.

...oh yeah, nice shawl. :)

1:35 PM  

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