With Easter approaching, I received a rather disturbing e-mail from my brother: subject line “Kielbasa Crisis”. I was nervous that the pork shortage had put one of our favorite holidays, Holy Saturday, in jeopardy. Though not the most religious chap, I am in favor of tradition and Holy Saturday/Święconka has always been the time to gather with family. My mother’s parents, my beloved Babci and Dziadzi, were of Polish descent and would host every year. My Dziadzi would bring a decorated basket containing painted eggs, bread, lamb, salt, horseradish, ham and kielbasa to church to be blessed at the morning service. My Babci would create a butter lamb that was a piece of artwork. After, we would have lunch and eat the fresh kielbasa with chrzan, a mixture of horseradish and beets — the hotter the better — a delightful meal.
My brother had moved to New Jersey a year ago and is hosting his first Holy Saturday. He has been combing North Jersey for enough kielbasa for 20 to no avail and has truly been thrown for a loop. Thank goodness my office is near Rapacki & Sons in Lindenhurst, makers of the finest kielbasa east of Greenpoint. This shop, with the others in East Meadow and New Hyde Park, is filled with sausages, pierogies and babkas. In these days, an appreciation of craft and artisanal foods helps traditional establishments such as Rapacki & Sons exist and thrive.
Rapacki & Sons
1914 Hempstead Bethpage Turnpike
East Meadow, NY
633 N Queens Ave
400 Jericho Turnpike
New Hyde Park, NY
Rapacki & Sons products are also available at Farm2KitchenLongIsland and Miloski’s Farm in Calverton.