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My mom has three children, myself and my two brothers, but, in a way, also have four sisters. My mom is now the matriarch of our family. Her dad, my papa Joe, was the oldest child of his family, and ten years older than his sister Betty. When auntie Betty had children, they were a lot younger than my mom, and her two youngest, Sally and Kelly, are only three and five years older than I am. Growing up in Seattle and living only a few blocks away from each other, we spent a lot of time together. Hence, I also have four sisters. I loved going to auntie Betty’s house because there were actually girl things to play with there, and her house was so fun to explore. When you are a little girl your perspective of things can be skewed a bit too. I was so frightened of the basement, in reality, there was nothing wrong with the basement, but, it was ominous. I do remember riding bikes and roller skating were down there, and some sort of a play kitchen, but it was still scary!

When you are in someone else’s house you remember things that may not be the same for others. I liked going into the main hall, there was a big cupboard that had games and color books in it, and further, on the right, was Sally and Kelly’s room. It was always neat as a pin, with nothing out of place, my room was not like that! It also had what I thought was a ginormous diamond as a doorknob. A few more steps down the hall, and on the left, was the magical staircase to the “big” girls room. You had to have permission to go up there because they didn’t want you messing about in their stuff. The steps creaked, and mom and auntie Betty would know immediately if I was heading up there, but I’m going to make a confession here, I snuck up there a couple of times when the girls were at school. There were paints and makeup and all the cool things a little girl wanted to touch. Sorry, Diane and Debbie, I know you will totally forgive me, right?
As the years passed and we all grew up, there have been family picnics, weddings, and divorces, tons of holidays, but mostly, there has always been love. When my uncle Gary and his son Jake found our cousins, after so many years apart, in Poland, the talk began about going over to see them. When the plans were set and we were ready to go, there were 17 of us all heading over. It is really hard to explain because my family is already so very close, but the bonding of us all going home to the motherland took us to a whole new level. My Rodzina, all together, on the soil that my ancestors walked on, seeing the cemetery where they are laid to rest, being in the church where they were baptized and worshipped gave us something more, we became complete on this trip.
When we get together now for a function, or just to have lunch, it’s always inevitable that we talk about our trip and all we saw and experienced together. We retell stories of our grandparents and parents, learning something new each time. Poor grandma Pearl, Debbie putting grapes up your nose. There is usually some kind of crafting discussed or being done and I always go home feeling like the luckiest girl alive! I love you four, my sisters!

We will be going to a Polish/German restaurant where I will happily partake in stuffing myself with pierogi. I will then have to follow up with several days of the recipe that I am sharing with you today!
It’s wintertime in Washington, which means mostly cold and rainy, so I do a lot of comfort food and treat baking. There are a lot of calories consumed with those things, so I do like to lighten it up for dinner now and then with a salad for dinner. When it’s presented on beautiful Polish Stoneware it tastes even better! Today’s recipe is being served on an 11 inch Blue Citrine dinner plate regularly $69.99 and on sale 20% off for $55.99. Also pictured is one of my all-time favorite shapes, a 13x5 inch Handled Bowl, also in Blue Citrine, regularly $156.99 and on sale 20% off for $124.00, and this Adorable vinaigrette bottle on sale for $32.99.
All of the Blue Citrine pottery pictured today is available for purchase at The Pottery Avenue by Pangaea website at Use the search button and type in the pattern name and it will bring up all of the pieces available in that pattern. Can’t find what you are looking for? Just send a message and Twila and her team will be happy to help you. Use discount code Twila or PAF for your 20% discount.

From my heart to yours, Smacznego!

Kim’s Winter Salad

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 pound bacon chopped
  • 2 cups cubed sourdough bread
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Blue cheese dressing
  • Balsamic vinegar reduction

In a small saucepan, bring one cup of good balsamic vinegar to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Let cook down till for approximately 20 minutes. This simple step heightens the flavor of the vinegar into a lovely sweetness. Set aside to cool completely.
Chop bacon and begin to fry, add bread cubes and toast them in the pan while the bacon is cooking. Set aside.
Cut the iceberg lettuce into wedges and place on plate, cut side up. Slice tomatoes in half and add to the plate. Dress with a good blue cheese dressing, and drizzle the balsamic over the top. This flavor combination is so delicious together! Spoon the bacon crouton mixture over the top and serve!