Friday, September 10, 2010
Becoming Lithuanian again
Oh, there's so much to do to be really Lithuanian. My dad is full blooded Lithuanian. The language is the oldest living and it is a miracle it is still alive. Under soviet rule it was illegal to speak Lithuanian and the country is the size of Pennsylvania for crying out loud. I am afraid of the struggles I might face learning this language... I'm not sure I'm ready yet, it's on the waiting list. I have ventured into cooking... my first thoughts were- really? potatoes and beets? As I learned more about Lithuania, I pictured my ancestors in their cottages on their farms and these foods gained some excitement and beauty. I have now made Lithuanian Sausage (Dad says his grandma Zofija made sausage), Saltibarscai (cold beet soup), poppyseed milk, and some failed attempts at mushroom shaped cookies. The exciting thing is, I have my Grandmother's recipe ledger. I have heard tale that she was a great cook. She was Betty Crocker at one point and she organized a cookbook for the International Society at the University of Pittsburgh. Grandpa Leo owned a Tavern & she cooked the food for the tavern. My dad told me she made Eggplant Parmesan, which I then tried and it is so stinking amazing. He also said she made Baked Alaska for Grandpa before he shipped out for his service in WWII Alaska. I will soon be making Zepplinis, meat stuffed potato dumplings. They are said to be the ultimate Lithuanian comfort food. Other things that are so totally Lithuanian: decorating eggs, polka type music, weaved linens, woodwork art, and amber. I have joined the Portland Lithuanians. I really don't fit in right now. They are all like 1st generation or 2nd generation immigrants, I'm 4th generation. I don't speak the language, and they love Lithuanian. So my making them speak English at a Lithuanian event is so not cool of me. I think I will have to learn the language to fit in. I'm such a nooB! One step at a time though- I'm becoming Lithuanian again, it's easier said than done.
Posted by Sarah D Mize at 5:06 PM