Old Christmas Traditions

After my Grandmother died, Mom and Dad began making our feast at home on Christmas Eve. My Dad took over making the Kielbasa with Kraut and Cabbage and the ham. Dad used to simmer the whole ham on the stove in ginger ale. Then he would take it out and bake it in the over with sliced pineapple on top. He also baked the bread. Mom would do the pierogi and mushroom soup. She taught herself to make “ushki”, which are little dumplings used in soups. These were stuffed with mushrooms, shaped like tortellini. Mom says that in Poland the mushroom soup contains boiled potatoes.

We would usually go to midnight mass, but sometimes would go in the morning. Of course, Santa always came during the night. The entire floor would be covered, since there were five of us kids.

Before I knew it, my own children were coming along…..