Break out sauerkraut soup, it’s Christmas - Your West Valley News: Surprise

Break out sauerkraut soup, it’s Christmas

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Sunday, December 23, 2012 9:30 am

Pierogi. Kielbasa. Kapusta. Oplatek.

Ah, it wouldn’t be Christmas without them.

Hard to believe my last name is McCarthy, huh?

Well, my mother’s maiden name was Lajewski. Sounds just like it’s spelled: “Why-es-kee.”

For a guy who sheds a tear at every version of “Danny Boy” or enjoys a pint of Guinness or two or ... Christmas for me is a Polish tradition.

Though our families today are far flung, from Arizona to New Jersey, New York City, Colorado, Buffalo and Virginia, the memories of those family Christmases in Sayreville, N.J., remain and revisit this time of year.

Whether in the basements of the McCarthys, Samuels or Plewas or the kitchen of Nanny and Gramps or, later, my sister Jerilyn’s in Arizona, Christmas Eve remains the brightest memory of all.

I remember my grandfather making sure everyone had enough Four Roses and Ballantine.

I remember my Aunt Deanie making sure everyone had their fill of mushroom soup with the dried mushrooms shipped in from the old country, of course. Can’t forget my grandfather’s never-duplicated sauerkraut soup. That’s right, sauerkraut soup. The best.

I remember my sister reminding us how important it was to pass around the oplatki and kiss each other — not a mean feat for a family not into the public lovey dovey.

At Christmas, though, it was different.

I remember missing the woman who would become my wife when I visited folks in Arizona one Christmas. I looked at her picture a lot that holiday.

I remember bringing my dad to Christmas from the hospital after his stroke and other ailments so he could spend the holiday with us.

I remember how my mother brightened up on the Christmas Eve when cancer was winning the battle.

In good times and times of sorrow, there is something about Christmas that makes things better, makes us appreciate what we have, who we have and who we miss.

Dan McCarthy is editor of the Daily News-Sun, Surprise Today and Glendale-Peoria Today.

  • Discuss

Welcome to the discussion.

Wild Horse West

Tell Us What You Think!

Loading…

Chicago pizzeria, Gino's East, to open restaurant in Phoenix by the end of the year

PHOENIX - Attention Phoenix, Chicago pizza is moving to the desert. Gino's East, a Chicago pizzeria that is celebrating its 50th anniversary t…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:44 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/entertainment/events/chicago-…

Phoenix Designer Liz Magura on Why Grade Schools Need the Arts

Becky Bartkowski A A Every other year, New Times puts the spotlight on Phoenix's creative forces — painters, dancers, designers, and actors. L…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:43 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/phoenix-design…

Arizona Cardinals place Tyrann Mathieu, 3 others on Physically Unable to Perform list

With training camp set to begin Thursday, the Arizona Cardinals placed four players, including All-Pro safety Tyrann Mathieu, on the Active/Ph…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:39 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/sports/sports-blogs-local/ari…

The Pattern People Follow to Find Great Jobs

I recently gave a talk to a small class of coders in Phoenix on the subject of finding a great job. In this post, I’ll share the content of th…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:42 pm @ https://www.recruiter.com/i/the-pattern-people-fol…

Why an outdoor group’s work is ‘more relevant than ever’

Info In 2011, Rue Mapp turned a blog about her experiences as a black woman in nature into an online platform that connects African-Americans …

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:35 pm @ http://www.hcn.org/articles/as-violence-persists-a…

ALEC 2016 Agenda Boosts Charters, Coal, and Other Corporate Funders

By Jessica Mason and Lisa Graves The American Legislative Exchange Council will push bills to protect failing charter schools, silence politic…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:09 pm @ http://www.prwatch.org/news/2016/07/13126/alec-201…

From a Pineapple to a Six-Pack, 23 Buildings that Resemble the Things They Sell

A combination of roadside attraction novelty and greater architectural freedom resulted in some very strange 20th-century buildings. Claire Vo…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:12 pm @ http://hyperallergic.com/312337/from-a-pineapple-t…

9 Best Things to Do in Metro Phoenix This Week

Lynn Trimble A A New Times picks the best things to do from Monday, July 25, through Thursday, July 28. For more events, see our curated onlin…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:04 pm @ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/arts/9-best-things-…

James M. Nederlander, Sr., Producer and Patriarch of Theatre Real Estate Dynasty, Dies at 94

James M. Nederlander Sr., the longtime patriarch of the Nederlander theatre-owning dynasty, which includes nine Broadway theatres, died the ev…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 1:06 pm @ http://www.playbill.com/article/james-m-nederlande…

FD: 3 critical after double rollover crash in north Phoenix

PHOENIX - A serious crash in north Phoenix has sent three people to the hospital in critical condition. The crash happened just before 11 a.m.…

Published: July 26, 2016 - 12:43 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/nor…

Facebook

YourWestValley.com on Facebook

Twitter

YourWestValley.com on Twitter

RSS

Subscribe to YourWestValley.com via RSS

RSS Feeds