That’s what I called my great-grandmother, whom I had the privilege to know for the first six years of my life, Gary Janosz. :-) She spoke no French apart from a few choice insults. She was fierce and lovely, her long white hair always in a bun.

Alas, because the Polish side of my family history is still shrouded in mystery, I have zero Polish culture, be it linguistic or culinary. I first had pierogis in Toronto when visiting a Canadian friend who was of Ukrainian descent. And I first had cabbage rolls in Seattle, also from a Ukrainian stall that no longer exists in Pike Place Market. I’ve only been to Poland once so far, and only for a weekend. I ate well but I couldn’t tell you what I had because I couldn’t pronounce it…

I did attempt to take extra-curricular Polish classes at university but all the other students already spoke it at home so there was no way of catching up.

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