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Category Archives: home cooking

Babci’s Specialties


Hey There,

Sorry for the delay in posting, I have been busy eating…everything.

My Babci is gonna be 86, so she basically has mastered everything there is to make. She does have some specialties, and I am a fan of both (well, technically all 3). The first one is Goblacki (say it with me “go-wump-gee”). It’s cabbage wrapped around ground beef with some spices and rice in a tomato soup gravy sort of sauce. To get good ones is good, to get those is awesome. I’m not gonna lie, there sometimes is hand stabbing for the last ones. My grandpop is quick with a fork.

Along with that is stewed cabbage made with the leftover cabbage leaves. It is what it sounds like, stewed cabbage with tomato and a little flour and butter thickener to pull it all together. Together, these things give you a picture like this!

Goblacki & Stewed Cabbage

Goblacki & Stewed Cabbage

Some people eat it with a little ketchup and some don’t. My Cioci Marion makes them with pepper so they have a great zip to them. Babci’s are more mellow but still great. I look forward to St. Patty’s Day every year because that seems to be the only time of the year when cabbage is on sale. It is also when I get to hear stories about when it was 1 or 2 cents a pound, as opposed to the sale price of 17 cents once a year.

The other specialty that she makes that make me drop whatever I am doing and abandon any ideas of a diet are Platskis. Some people call them Bylinis or Latkes, but us Poles call them Platskis: fried potato pancakes, with a ton of sour cream! Sometimes they can be oversaturated with grease and, trust me, you don’t want that. It turns into a bowling ball of lead rolling it’s way through your system, and that’s no dance party usa. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about that, as Babci gets them right every time!

Platski in dish

Platski in dish

Deliciously crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside, it again inspires lots of hand stabbing. And then you get this on your plate! I spared you the sourcream shot.

Platski on plate

Platski on plate

So good, I want one now.

Anyway, these are some specialities, and you gotta be over 80 to do them right! She does and this is why we are all fat đŸ™‚

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Cakes By Lorrie


I’m not the only creative person in my family with food. My cousin Lorrie, of Cakes By Lorrie, does some really awesome work.

Here is a cake she made for my Grandpop’s 90th Birthday! (as is always the case, click the pic to embiggen!)

Pop's Birthday Cake

Pop's Birthday Cake

Here is a Jack Skellington cake!

Jack Skellington Cake

Jack Skellington Cake

And finally, an ET cake. This picture is dark because the bar where the party was, was super dark. Click to embiggen and see how detailed it is, including his heart!

ET Cake

ET Cake

If you live in the Philly area, Lorrie makes really great cakes, as you can see. Hit me up thru this site if you are interested in one of her handcrafted cakes!

Rita Anne’s Ham


Yes! We are alive in 2011! The holidays are over (buuuurp!…ahem..) and we are back here at Didjaeat! Look for more pics, more stories and more….food stuff! We love it and we love you love it. And by “we” I mean me. Anyway…

My mom makes a mean ham. So, here it is! I had to take it from this angle because we had started slicing small pieces from the other end! Ha!

Mom's Christmas Ham

Mom's Christmas Ham

I am happy to say I ate my weight in ham sandwiches. On rye, of course, what else!

Meet Mrs. Pig


50 years ago, my Babci bought a cookie jar from some place on Richmond Street. My uncle, then 5, named her Mrs. Pig and she had lived on the counter ever since.

These days she has Chips Ahoy in her. I am awaiting the Oreos đŸ™‚

Smoked Prime Rib


Every year in July we have a bbq for my grandparent’s anniversary. My uncle lives in Parkwood and has the biggest yard so we all troop up there, get bitten by mosquitos and eat whatever he decides to BBQ.

This year we had to wait to have the BBQ because my babci spent most of her summer bouncing back and forth from Pennsylvania Hospital and the rehab (and no, not for her raging coke problem). She is a whole lot better now (babci….now with bionic knees!) so we made the pilgrimage.

Ron likes to BBQ like Oprah likes to give stuff away. I was expecting the usual chicken, burgers and Polish Ribs (kielbasie butterflied on the grill), but he did something really different: he smoked, on his grill, a Prime Rib.

I didn’t even know you could do that, but he did. It was a tad too smokey tasting for me, but besides that, the meat was awesome.

Here is is sitting in the pan right after he cut it.

Ron's Prime Rib

Ron's Prime Rib

Here is it on my plate with a side o’ potato salad (diet, what diet?)

Ron's Prime Rib on a plate

Ron's Prime Rib on a plate

Some people like prime rib super red, but I thought this was perfect. It was really super juicy and tender. The charred bits were delicious too.

Btw, how many years have they been married? 62. I do believe that 62 years of the Smoked Prime Rib anniversary. True Story.

My Weekend In Food


After a real grind of a week, I was really, really hungry. Seriously. Luckily, I had a few things going on where the food was awesome. So let’s get started. As usual, click on the pics to embiggen.

Saturday nite my cousin Julie turned 30, so we had a surprise party for her! She will continue to turn 30 for the near future, just like the rest of us!

Happy Birthday Julie!

Happy Birthday Julie!

Michele bought a delicious fruit tart thing from Wegmans. The crust was like creamy, vanilla butter. So good! I had to walk away from it because I wanted to eat the whole thing.

Fruit Tart

Fruit Tart

Sunday, I met up with my friend Cecilia and we went to my friend Mary Kate’s place Ida Mae’s, a breakfast/lunch place in Fishtown. I eat there alot and the food is really great. I always get the Open Faced Chicken Salad Melt:

Open Faced Chicken Salad Melt

Open Faced Chicken Salad Melt

It usually comes with thier homemade potato chips but I get extra pickles instead. Sooooo good! Cecilia got the Huevos Rancheros but with scrambled eggs. She was oddly quiet when eating, so I know she liked it!

Huevos Rancheros w/ Scrambled Eggs

Huevos Rancheros w/ Scrambled Eggs

After the brunch, we went to see her boyfriend Nathan’s play “A Crock Of Schnitzel” at the German American Society on Spring Garden St. It was a sweet old building, and the people there were super nice, but I have to say, the building is kinda creepy and I was wondering how much cash they funneled thru there during the war.

Anywho, afterwards we watched the Eagles game with her sister Julie and ordered from La Lupe, a Mexican place right around Pat’s and Geno’s (overhyped cheesesteak places in South Philly). In my neighborhood we have alot to eat but not much good Mexican, so I was kinda excited!

Julie got a Cubano. Check this thing out!

Julie's Cubano

Julie's Cubano

Inside Julie's Cubano

Inside Julie's Cubano

Julie told me that it is so big that she eats half of it for dinner and the other half for lunch the next day. If she looked away for more then  minute, I might have taken a bite!

Cecilia got a trio of Tacos: a chicken, a chorizo and a pork. I have to say when she said that’s what she was getting, it didn’t sound like alot of food. Oh, I was wrong:

Chicken, Chorizo & roast pork taco (called the Al Pastor)

Chicken, Chorizo & Roast Pork taco (called the Al Pastor)

Cecilia's taco

Cecilia's taco

Finally, I ordered a grilled beef burrito. It was the size of a Buick. When eating something of this size, you have to use a claw hand, because if you put it down, it’ll fall apart. Fun fact: another use for the claw hand is a Wendy’s triple!

Grilled Beef Burrito!

Grilled Beef Burrito!

Inside my burrito

Inside my burrito

Inside was some great rice, tender but flavorful grilled beef and queso fresco. On top was homemade guac and some sour cream. It was the best burrito I have had since the burrito place closed on South St., many moons ago. I loved every sloppy bite of it, my only complaint is that I forgot to order hot sauce. But honestly, the homemade guacamole (delivered in a coffee cup) was so fresh and delicious (along with the homemade chips) it was not even an issue!

Homemade Guacamole

Homemade Guacamole

I have been working so much, I don’t really get to eat actual meals (12 hour days do that to ya) so it was great to sit down with the Watson girls and stuff my face with awesome Mexican food! I recommend this place, and I wish it was Saturday all over again!

An Ode, Of Sorts, To Sriracha


Sriracha

Sriracha

I’m sure you’ve probably seen this bottle before (usually without the ham hand holding it). People have all sorts of names for it: “fire sauce”, “rooster sauce” (courtesy of Matt), “crazy hot sauce” and the actual name “Sriracha”. While it used to just appear on tables in hipster eateries, southeast asian places and, well, that was it, it now appears anywhere good food appears.

Sriracha is a Thai chili sauce involving, but not limited to sun-ripened chilis and garlic ground into a paste. Or, as I call it: fantastic-ness.

Let’s back it up a second and we can talk about my relationship with Sriracha.

I am, and have always been, a fan of hot sauce. Wings? More hot sauce please! Chili? Make it hotter please! I used to use Sriracha all the time and then kind of forgot about it until I was at a bar one nite and saw it sitting in the collection of condiments. Forgetting how HOT this stuff is, I proceeded to cover my fries with the stuff, while proclaiming to the bartender how much I missed Sriracha and love it. The bartender looked at me like I just proclaimed myself “king of the ant people, Ma!”. She also started filling up a water glass for me.

One bite and I remembered exactly how hot this stuff is, but being a hard headed Polock, I was going to finish my meal because money does not grow on trees (as was screamed at me constantly as a kid). Hours later, when the firey heat in my fingers and mouth went away and I stopped all the eye watering, I was making plans on picking up a bottle to keep in the fridge.

I enjoy regular hot sauces, like Frank’s Red Hot (and the wing kind as well) as well as Crystal Hot Sauce and most other hot sauces. The problem I have is the absolute ridiculous abundance of salt that is in the recipes of these sauces. When I am done eating whatever I have just slathered the sauce all over, I need to drink a bathtub amount of water in order to not dry up like a slug drenched in, yes, salt. I hate that feeling of being dehydrated as much as the feeling of low blood sugar.

I also can’t really eat peppers anymore also because the seeds turn my body into a festival of terror. Ahem…moving on…..

This is where Sriracha really shines. I’m sure there must be some kind of salt in there, but not nearly as much as the above mentioned sauces. You only need a little bit and it really mixes with other condiments nicely (for example, my new favorite dip is sour cream and Sriracha. Mix and chill and it is delicious with crackers or whatever you’d like). Plus! No seeds!

I tend to put it on everything. Chicken? Dip it! Chili? Add some! Spaghetti Sauce? A few drops will perk it up! Put some in cocktail sauce. Mix some mayo with it and dip your fries in it! Making Buffalo Chicken dip? Meatloaf? Go for it! The list goes on and on. The heat goes on, but if used in small amounts, can bring a recipe alive! If you really like heat, use a lot and rock on my friend!

As you can see from that picture, my bottle is running really low. This really makes me nervous, but have no fear, I am on it! My local Shoprite now carries it, and so does any store with an international aisle. Go grab a bottle and keep it in the fridge and experiment. Your food doesn’t have to be on fire, like I like it, but it can come alive with a little bit of heat to make a boring meal more interesting.

Pretty Fiery Peppers


I was chopping jalapenos the other nite for my potato, cheese & jalapeno pierogies, and it struck me how nice the colors look in the bowl. And so, I share with you.

Bowl O' Jalapenos

And in case you’d like to know, yes, this time I wore gloves.

PS,

Last time I didn’t. I never said I was smart.

Gobble Gobble


We had dinner at my cousin Michele’s house Sunday for her sister Judy’s birthday. As usual, we stuffed ourselves silly. Michele made a kick ass turkey. Check it out!

Happy Birthday Turkey

Happy Birthday Turkey

Eggplant Fries


As you all might have guessed, I make and sell Pierogies. On Thursdays and Saturdays I am at Greens Grow Farms and thier farmers market. A few weeks ago, one of my customers decided to offer me this trade: a few dozen pierogies for 2 weeks of thier CSA Share. For those of you who don’t know what a CSA is, it works like this: you pay the place a chunk of cash and every week (or every other week, depending on what plan you pick) you show up and take home a wide collection of fruits, veggies, dairy, proteins and other assorted goodies. It really is pretty sweet. Anyway, I had to say yes because, well, I like to eat! Duh.

Anyway, one of the things I had gotten was a round eggplant, about the size of a small soccer ball. I had stupidly let the arugula go bad so I wanted to do something with the eggplant asap, because I hate wasting and we are pros at growing mold in my house. I decided to peel the eggplant, then cut it into slices, bread and fry them.

This is what I ended up with!

Eggplant Fries

Eggplant Fries

I only used egg and breadcrumbs with a little bit of pepper. When I took them out of the oil, I sprinkled a little kosher salt on them too! Oh, and this is tray number 2, that eggplant went a long way.

I was feeling extra crafty and thought they needed a dipping sauce, so I mixed some mayo, sour cream, salt, pepper and lemon juice together. After chilling for a bit, it was pretty darn good! My mom loves eggplant way more then I just like it, and she couldn’t stop eating it. A sure sign I did something right!

Next time I might batter fry them, but we’ll see! What do you guys think?

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