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Polish Religious Custom

At the Christmas meal Holy Wafers, which are brought home from
church, are put on a plate in the middle of the table. Before the
meal is begun, the head of the family, usually the father, starts
by taking a wafer, offering it to the person on his right to break
off a piece and wishing the person well. Then that person follows
by offering it to the person to their right and wishing that person
well. This continues until everyone at the table has received a
piece of the wafer and good wishes.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 03-00-1992

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Old Polish Religious Custom

There is absolutely no work done on Sunday. People get up in
the morning, go to church, have a big breakfast (brunch), then
usually go visiting family or friends. Everyone gets dressed in
their Sunday best.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour

Date learned: 03-00-1992

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Old Polish Belief

Children with red hair are cruel and mean, and have a bad
temper.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

James Callow Keyword(s): PERSONALITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Color

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Old Polish Saying

She was as lucky to find herself a rich, handsome husband like
a blind chicken finding grain to eat.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 02-15-1992

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Recipe: Calves' Foot Jelly (Galareta)

4 Calves feet scalded 1 bay leaf
2/3 onions 1 bunch parsley
4 carrots Salt
1 leek 1 cup white wine
1 celery root juice of 1/2 lemon
2 celery stalks 2 egg whites and egg

1 parsley root shells
10 peppercorns 1 tbs. gelatin to 4 cups
liquid
Clean and scald calves' feet. If other calf bones are available,
have butcher split them and use in addition to the feet. Peel and
slice onions and vegetables. Add these and the spices and salt to
the meat and bones, and cover with water. Simmer until meat
separates easily from the bone, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Strain. Add
wine and lemon juice to taste; add egg whites beaten with a little
cold water, and egg shells. Bring to a boil, take off the heat,
and let stand a half hour. Strain carefully through cheesecloth.
Add dissolved gelatin powder, pour into molds, and chill. The meat
may be used in any recipe for boiled or leftover veal; or both meat
and vegetables may be cut in small pieces and returned to gelatin
to make headcheese. Thin slices of lemon may also be added.

Submitter comment: This dish is considered quite a delicacy in the Polish culture.
Quite frankly I don't like it.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 02-15-1992

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Recipe: Cucumber Salad

2-3 large cucumbers, salt and pepper
olive oil and vinegar to taste
1 tbs. dill (optional)
Peel cucumbers and slice very thin. Salt generously and let stand
half an hour. Drain off liquid, press down with weight, and drain
again. Season with a little pepper, and add olive oil and vinegar
in proportion of 2 parts oil to 1 of vinegar. Fresh dill is an
excellent addition to cucumber salad. Serves 4 to 6.

Submitter comment: This salad is also a favorite of the Polish people and is used
instead of tossed green salad on many occasions.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 02-15-1992

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Recipe: Pierogi (Dough Pockets)

Basic Dough: 2 cups flour few spoonfuls lukewarm water
2 small eggs or 1 large egg
Mix flour, eggs and water, and work dough until firm. Divide in 2
parts and roll each piece into a thin sheet on a floured board.
Arrange stuffing (see below) by the spoonful along one edge of a
piece of dough, 2 to 3 inches from edge. Fold over and cut out in
shape of semi-circles with a pastry cutter or a glass. Press edges
of dough together. Repeat until all the dough and filling have
been used up. If necessary, reroll leftover dough and repeat.
This is a fast way of making the pockets. Cook in boiling water
like noodles, covered, so that they will steam. In a few minutes,
when pockets rise to the top, they are done. Serve with drawn
butter.
Fillings: Cheese - 2 egg yolks dash of salt
1 tbs. butter 1 tbs. sugar and
1 lb. pot cheese or 3/4 cups raisins (optional)
farmers cheese, mashed
Cream egg yolks and butter. Combine with cheese, season, and mix
thoroughly. For a sweet filling, add sugar and raisins. Fill
pockets as directed above. Serves 4.
Potato - 2 lbs. potatoes 2-3 tbs. cottage or
1/2 onion, minced farmers cheese
1 heaping tbs. butter drawn butter or bread
salt and pepper crumbs for topping
Cook, mash, and season potatoes. Fry onion to a light, golden
brown in butter. Combine with mashed potatoes and season to taste;
add cheese if desired. Mix thoroughly and proceed to fill and cook
pockets. Serves 6 to 8.

Submitter comment: This is another Polish traditional food that us usually made
for special occasions and holidays since it is quite time
consuming.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 02-15-1992

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Recipe: Jelly Doughnuts (Paczki)

2 Cups flour 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups boiling milk 1/2 cup vanilla bean, ground
3 1/2 oz. yeast 1-2 tsp. grated orange rind
1/4 cup lukewarm milk 3/4 lb. butter, melted
6 egg yolks flour, jam, deep fat for
frying
Sift 1 cup flour into boiling milk, remove from heat, and beat
until smooth. Cool. Dissolve yeast in the 1/4 cup mild. Add to
flour mixture, stir, and let stand half hour. Cream egg yolks and
sugar, add vanilla and orange rind and add to dough when it begins
to rise. Add remaining flour and butter, and work with fingers
until dough begins to stand away from the hands. Let stand until
it has risen to about twice its bulk. Roll out on floured board to
thickness of 5/8 in. and cut out circles with a glass or pastry
cutter. Place a teaspoon of jam in center of half circles (using
only fruit, not syrup), cover with remaining circles, press edges
together, and let stand in warm place to rise again. Fry a few at
a time in deep fat, taking care not to heat the fat so much that
the dough will burn. Drain and serve dusted with confectioner's
sugar.

Submitter comment: These doughnuts are a yearly tradition. The day before lent in
the Polish culture is called Paczki Day and these doughnuts are
made at home and eaten at home and given to relatives and friends.
As lent begins sweets and meat are not to be eaten until Easter.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

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Holy Saturday Blessing of Food

The Saturday before Easter in the Polish community is called
Holy Saturday. A loaf of bread, usually home made, butter, salt,
pepper, colored eggs and water in a small bottle are taken to
church in a basket lined with linen cloth to be blessed. This is
the only food that is allowed to be eaten that day. It is a day of
prayer and not celebration.

Submitter comment: This custom has been followed for many generations. It is
still a day of mourning for Christ who has not yet risen from the
dead.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- P663 P663.12

Date learned: 01-29-1992

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Determining Fetus Sex

To determine the sex of a baby before it is born a needle is
threaded, approximately 12 inches long. The pregnant female lies
on her back and a friend, relative, etc. holds the thread where it
has been tied. The needle is pointed at the center of the female's
abdomen. If the motion of the needle and thread is circular it is
a girl; if the motion is rocking back and forth it is a boy.

Submitter comment: This particular belief goes back to my great-grandmother's time
(in Poland) and was relayed to me by my mother. Many older Polish
women contend it works.

James Callow comment: For needles in sex determination see Puckett, Ohio, no. 860.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

James Callow Keyword(s): ANAPEL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 01-29-1992

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Chest Cold Cure

The following is done to cure a chest cold: An 8 oz. glass is
used and the rim is warmed over a open flame (as on a gas or wood
burning stove). While the glass is still very warm, almost hot,
the glass is placed directly on the chest, starting at either the
right or left side and held in place until it cools. This
procedure is repeated until the entire chest has been covered. If
a more severe condition exists, as in bronchitis, first a small
incision is made with a sharp instrument (knife) to allow bleeding,
then the heated glass is placed over the portion of the chest where
the incision has been made. Again this procedure is repeated until
the entire chest area has been covered.

Submitter comment: This procedure for healing chest colds and bronchitis was
widely used in Poland. I questioned my mother as to whether or not
this actually worked and she maintains that it did. She did tell
me that this procedure left red rings on the chest and it was
actually quite painful since the glass had to be quite hot and the
incisions that were made occasionally left some scars.

James Callow comment: See Puckett, Ohio No. 8526: "For a bad cold in the chest, heat
the inside of a small whiskey glass and put the mouth of the glass
on the person's chest. The skin will puff slightly and the cold
will be cured."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

James Callow Keyword(s): Cupping on the sternum.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

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IF, WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT, YOU SEE A MOUSE, CAT, OR DOG OR
OTHER FURRY ANIMAL AND TOUCH YOUR BODY ANYWHERE (EX. ARM,
LEG, FACE) THE BABY WILL HAVE A FUZZY OR FURRY PATCH
IN THAT EXACT SAME PLACE. MM
IF, WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT, YOU SEE A FIRE AND YOU TOUCH YOUR
YOUR BODY ANYWHERE (EX. FACE, ARMS, ETC.) THE BABY WILL HAVE
A RED MARK IN THE EXACT SAME PLACE ON HIS OR HER BODY.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT IS COLLECTOR'S UNCLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 03-12-1970

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WHEN YOU ARE PREGNANT YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO REACH UP WITH
YOUR ARMS, BECAUSE THE UMBILICAL CORD WILL STRANGLE THE
BABY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 03-12-1970

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ANGEL BREAD

ANGEL BREAD IS A PASTRY MADE FOR ANY TYPE OF SPECIAL
OCCASION BY THE POLISH. THE HOST TAKES THE ANGEL
BREAD AND OFFERS IT TO HIS GUESTS ONE BY ONE.
EACH GUEST BREAKS OFF A LITTLE PIECE AND MAKES A
WISH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Typical Elements of a Festive Pattern

Date learned: 03-29-1971

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THURSDAY NIGHT AT THE TWENTIES

AN OLD UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT CUSTOM AMONG THE TWENTY-ONE
YEAR OLD SET IS THAT EVERYONE, FOR SOME REASON, MEETS
AT A BAR ACROSS THE STREET FROM CAMPUS EACH AND EVERY
THURSDAY NIGHT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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CRACK THE WHIP

THIS GAME WAS PLAYED WITH ROLLERSKATES, AND THERE WAS NO LIMIT TO
THE PLAYERS. IT BEGAN WITH THE LEADER WHO SKATED ALONG, AND THEN
SOMEONE GRABBED ONTO HIS HAND, AND THIS CONTINUED UNTIL A CHAIN OF
PEOPLE FORMED. BUT IN ANY TIME OF THE GAME, THE LEADER MADE A
QUICK HALF MOON TURN, WHICH CAUSED A WHIP THAT USUALLY THREW THE
LAST PERSON OUT OF LINE AND WITH A GOOD BRUISE.

Submitter comment: MY DAD LEARNED THIS GAME IN HAMTRAMCK AS A YOUNG BOY. HE ENJOYED
PLAYING IT THEN, BUT NOW THOUGHT IT WAS KIND OF ROUGH WHEN THE LAST
PERSON ON THE WHIP SCRAPED HIS LEGS BAD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 00-00-1940

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FREEZE

THIS GAME, A VERSION OF TAG AND HIDE AND SEEK, INVOLVED AS MANY
PLAYERS AS ONE WANTED. IN IT SOMEONE WAS CHOSEN TO COUNT TO TEN
WHILE SUPPOSEDLY CLOSING HIS EYES. DURING THIS TIME, CHILDREN
HID. THE OBJECT OF THIS GAME WAS FOR THE PLAYERS TO REACH A HOME
BASE, WHICH IN THIS CASE WAS A LAUNDRY POLE, BEFORE THE ONE PERSON
COULD TAG SOMEONE.

Submitter comment: THIS WASN'T A BAD GAME ACCORDING TO MY FATHER, BUT IT JUST LOST ITS
APPEAL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Hiding Searching
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- C531

Date learned: 00-00-1930

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HALLOWEEN PRANK

A GOOD PRANK MY FRIEND WOULD DO NEAR HALLOWEEN WAS BORROW SOME OLD
CLOTHES AND STUFF THEM WITH HAY. HE WOULD THEN GET SOME DUCK'S
BLOOD FROM THE GROCER AND SPLASH IT OVER THE BODY, AND THEN LEAVE IT
ON SOMEONE'S PORCH.

Submitter comment: THIS HALLOWEEN GAG STOPPED WHEN THE DEPRESSION CAME AND CLOTHES
WERE NOT MISUSED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- October 31 Halloween
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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PRANK

AS A YOUNG BOY, I WOULD FOOL THE OLD MAILMAN OF MY NEIGHBORHOOD WITH
AN OLD WALLET. I TIED A THIN PIECE OF LIGHT STRING TO IT, AND WHEN-
EVER HE SAW IT AND TRIED TO PICK IT UP, I PULLED IT QUICKLY AWAY
AND RAN.

Submitter comment: THE DAY MY FATHER STOPPED THIS PRANK WAS WHEN THE MAILMAN CAUGHT
HIM BEHIND THE BUSH WITH HIS STRING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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ST. STEPHEN'S DAY

ON DEC. 26, MIDDLEAGED PEOPLE THREW WALNUTS AT THEIR FRIENDS OR
FAMILIES. PROBABLY USED AS A REMINDER TO GET RID OF OLD YEAR
AND PREPARE FOR NEW ONE.

Submitter comment: THE OBSERVANCE OF THIS DAY IN HAMTRAMCK WAS PRACTICED BY PARENTS WHO
AWOKE THEIR CHILDREN BY TOSSING A WALNUT TO THEIR NOSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 26 Boxing Day St. Stephen's Day
Food Drink -- Plant food Nut

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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