Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pickled Pigs Feet

Makes my mouth water just typing the words...PICKLED PIGS FEET.  Yum! My Uncle Marian made me this delicacy whenever I wanted it.  He always made it for my birthday.  I used to take it to school.  If you want to gross out your classmates, I can show you the way.  No one ever knew his recipe.  He took it to the grave.  My Aunt Thelma tried to make it once, epic failure.  Her specialty was jello.  I think she made thousands of jello molds over the years.  You name a fruit, it showed up in a jello.  I will talk more about Aunt Thelma in a future blog.

My Uncle Marian was the second husband of my Aunt Thelma.  They were a match made in heaven.  You always hear the stories of people who were meant to be together, they were one of those matches.  Uncle Marian was a great chef.  He could make so many wonderful things.  They lived in a house by the hospital.  I think that was by design because he had a bad heart.  I always thought that really sucked.  He was a wonderful person with a bad heart.  Why not give the bad hearts to the nasty people?  I still wonder that. These are the kind of things as a child that made me question the existence of God.

Uncle Marian was Polish.  REALLY POLISH.  He listened to Polka music, fixed polish food, knew Polish, talked with a Polish accent.  He was skinny with black hair speckled with grey.  He was quiet.  He was such the opposite of Aunt Thelma.  She was tall,  loud, boisterous, and had a huge hairdo.  Her hair was like a foot off the top of her head.  She was bossy but in a good way.  They were my favorites on my mom's side of the family.  They oozed of love not in the lovey-dovey touching each other all the time way, but in the way they looked at each other and took care of each other.

After several close calls, Uncle Marian had a heart attack and died on the way to the hospital.  I still don't understand how they could live across the street from the hospital and he couldn't make it that far.  That was such a sad day.  I don't know how my aunt stayed in that house.  I guess the love that she felt while he was alive continued even after his death.  That is eternal love.

I can still see and taste Pickled Pigs Feet.  I can still remember the bowl he would bring it in and how it was covered with foil.  I can still see the smile on his face when he would give it to me.  He knew how happy it made me.  I think it made him happy to make it.  For him I am grateful.