A Collection of Polish and Eastern European Recipes Handed Down for Over 100 Years Through Five Generations
Many of the wonderful and delicious recipes found in this cookbook have been handed down for over 100 years, to five generations of women.
Nostalgically reflecting on the past generations of women in my family, I realized that cooking was a cohesive part of their self-actualization. It was one of the few outlets they possessed for creativity and self-expression. Along with the aroma of their kitchens, I can feel the pride and satisfaction they felt when the braided designs on the golden brown paska breads were perfect or when the centerpiece of Christmas Eve dinner, a platter of homemade pieroghi, brought smiles of anticipated pleasure from those gathered around the dining room table. This was my female mentors’ “hands-on” way of telling their story—of who they were, where they came from, and ensuring their treasured traditions would be passed on to a new generation.
I hope you enjoy preparing these recipes as well as you will enjoy eating the delicious meals. As the French say “bon appétit” and the Italians “buon appetito,” the Polish say… “Smacznego” have a tasty meal!
Barley Salad with Vegetables
About the Author
Myra Gaziano grew up in southwestern Pennsylvania among the rich tapestry of foods, traditions, and religious holidays, woven from her Eastern European family and neighbors. First generation immigrant families from Poland, Czechoslovakia, Croatia, Hungary and Russia, came to the area to work in the coal mines and steel mills and brought with them their ethnic cultures and foods. In the small towns, it was commonplace to see restaurants advertising cabbage and haluski specials on Fridays, pieroghi and paska bread for sale at local churches, and festival advertisements that included hog roasts and polka bands. Wedding menus included traditional ethnic dishes and cookie trays displaying the beloved nut and apricot kolache for dessert, while guests lined up for the traditional Polish Bridal Dance.
Although not a chef by profession, she was inspired to compile this cookbook to preserve and share the "old-world" heritage of her ancestors. Over the years, the author enhanced her passion for cooking through classes in Florence, Rome, New York, and Pittsburgh. She is an alumna of West Virginia University and now lives in Lake Mary, Florida.
As a way of preserving the “old-world” heritage, Myra Gaziano was inspired to compile this cookbook with festive and seasonal recipes, sharing many that were handed down over five generations. Along with the recipes, you will find personal memories and anecdotes on the origin of the recipe or its ingredients and tips for preparation. This is a book of timeless cherished dishes and culinary celebrations that are sure to delight.
Many of the long-loved dishes from her grandmothers' , mother’s, and aunts’ kitchens found in this cookbook were sketchily written on the back of old envelopes, or they come from personal hands-on instruction from those who measured and cooked by “eye and feel” with a reverence for food. Each recipe was tested and refined into the aromas and flavors of the food that make eastern European cooking unique, while simplified for busy American families. Yet each dish is elegantly presented to dazzle your family and friends. This keepsake, infused with cherished traditions, is sure to be passed on to your children and future generations.
This Keepsake Includes:
• A special menu with recipes for a traditional Wigilia, Christmas Eve Supper
• The beautiful century old tradition of Oplatki “breaking of bread”
• Grandma’s paczki recipe for the last sweet indulgence before Lent
• The most revered Eastern European tradition of “Swieconka – Easter Blessing” of food, including the items that go into the basket to be blessed, the symbolism of each food item, and, of course, the recipes
• Many standout vegetarian soups, salads, and entrées
• Unique and hearty soup recipes, sweet and savory pierogi recipes, secretly guarded desserts, including several kolache recipes, and so much more!
Special website offer of only
"This cookbook is a culinary work of art, a tribute to the author's heritage and traditions. Ranging from holiday menus to everyday choices to delicious desserts, the recipes tempt you to try them all. Charming photographs accompany the recipes, making the pages a feast for your eyes. It is a cookbook made with precision, variety, and love. Great gift for your favorite cook!"
Lake Mary, FL
"What a wonderful collection of treasured family recipes and background information on polish culture and traditions!! This is a lovely cookbook to use not only for preparing meals and sweets for the holidays and for entertaining friends, but it also is a great tool for helping to keep old time family customs and practices alive (or revived!) with your children and grandchildren. I will enjoy using this cookbook as a way to honor my family’s heritage and to be certain that I make outstanding breaded pork roast and stuffed cabbage rolls."
- Elaine Teslovich
New Symrna Beach, FL
"Love the back stories. I was surprised and pleased to find short-cuts and semi-homemade aides to get old fashion flavor. A treat for any level cook."
The cookbook is absolutely wonderful! I have been thoroughly enjoying every aspect of it. Beautifully done. I have to say with every turn of the page, it took me back to my home, family and our traditions. Thank you for doing this. Also, I am excited about getting started, trying out the recipes; choosing which one to begin with is the hard part.
I have read and re-read Generations three times already…so many recipes and traditions that are close to my heart, and handed down within my own family all in one book! Love it! My son, Andy, often asks me to write down these recipes because he prepares them for his in-laws…he actually researched and did a report in college (WVU) on the Wigilia meal! He will be thrilled to receive a copy of Generations.