Friday, September 12, 2008


I had a couple of people ask about the holupkies from the previous post. I figured what better way to address that than to write an entire blog post about it! So, here it is!

I remember the visits to my Pop-Pop and Nanny's house in Pennsylvania. We would always go shopping at a huge outlet mall in Reading. Stops at my Aunt Linda and Uncle Joe's house were a blast thanks to the hair salon on the bottom floor of their home that served as my own personal playground! My dad often took us to a pretzel bakery that was down a small one-way alley and I loved walking in and seeing the huge brick ovens. Visits to "the Market" were a must with steak sandwiches included. And, Nanny always made holupkies. I remember, even then, thinking how special holupkies were. They were unlike anything we ate at home. They had a neat name that sounded different. No one back in NC knew what they were. And all those things made them special and wonderful and MINE!!

Flash forward.

I meet a great guy who happens to be from Pennsylvania. As we get to know each other better, we are running down the lists. You know, the favorite lists. Favorite book? To Kill a Mockingbird. Favorite color? green. Favorite food?





(Matt leaves off the "s"--he says holupkie is already a plural word, but we won't even get into that here. I just don't have the time.)

Back to the story...

He couldn't know about my holupkies. They were special and NO ONE knew about them. Except that Matt knew.

And at that point I knew without a doubt in my mind. It was perfectly clear!

God must have sent him!

6 months later we were engaged.

5 months after that we were married.

And all because of the holupkie(s)!


For those who asked for the recipe:

Holupkie recipes tend to vary based upon the region in Europe from which they originated. The recipe I grew up with was ground pork and rice wrapped in steamed cabbage leaves and slow cooked in a tomato sauce base. It was handed down by my great-grandmother, BaBa, who came from Russian-occupied Austria. The recipe Matt grew up with is very similar, but contains ground beef, sauerkraut, and a tomato soup base. That recipe was handed down by his great-grandmother who came from Czechoslovakia.


Dougherty Family said...

We enjoyed our visit with you guys today. Missed you, Jacob! Eli is such a little sweetie. Precious how all the kids flock to him. He is the happiest little guy! Loved the look on Matt's face when he was asked about the holupkies - also a happy guy. Have a great week!
Love you,

Paul & Angela Jenkins said...

Okay I grew up with them too but we called them polish cabbage rolls that my great grandmother from Poland cooked. Our sauce was a creamy gravy sauce. Isn't it funny how different parts of the world make the same dish but have different names and different sauces. They were my favorite thing my grandmother and great grandmother made.

The Graham's said...

Wow, another holupkie lover! My gramma and grandpap lived in Masontown, Pa. Gramma was Polish and my mom called her gramma Ba-Ba too. How endearing it was to read this post! Gramma would always make holupkie for Christmas and Easter along with lamb, fresh baked bread and perogi's (she pronounced them "pe-dogi") Her holupkie looked just like yours in the picture. Thank you for taking me down memory lane!

The Graham's said...

This is so wild. I just talked with my mom and she said she dated a guy in high school named Jerry Scarton? She said that Walter may have either been his father or uncle? She started rattling off a bunch of names like Donna Bezack, Jerry Soloman, Jan Kikta...I said "wait, wait, wait mom I don't know if they know all of them" lol Anyways, it would be neat to see how they all tie in.
You have inspired me to make a Polish meal for my family. Cameron's not crazy about holupkie but he does like perogis. Thanks!