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Sauerkraut Everything: Mary’s Non-Traditional Holiday Meal

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyNov 18, 2021 | 9 comments

Hello, all! Happy almost Thanksgiving to you and your fam. Let’s discuss the feast! As you know, I have a pet bunny rabbit, so we definitely do not eat wascally wabbits for Thanksgiving (or like, ever), but since my dad’s side is Ukrainian and my mom’s side is Irish, we eat a lot of sauerkraut. Now, I always assumed everyone gorged on sauerkraut for Thanksgiving, but apparently we’re just weird… I already know I’m weird, so whatever.

I like sauerkraut so much that when I lived in NYC, I used to make a special trip down to the Lower East Side to a Ukrainian diner called Veselka just for their stuffed cabbage. Of course, it would always follow a long night out on the town, with visits to places like The Bowery Hotel and Coyote Ugly (RIP). Sometimes I’d even wake up with sauerkraut in bed with me — which was safer than one of those Wall Street guys, but still kind of gross because I’d attract cockroaches.

 

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A post shared by Veselka (@veselkanyc)

Anyway, my point is, we all really, really love sauerkraut and German beer (and this year I’m bringing German beer from Halftime’s German Beer of the Month Club – have you seen this?). Since my parents are divorced, we go to three different houses on Thanksgiving to eat various sauerkraut dishes (and the traditional Thanksgiving meal too), and each household has their own take. Since I’m not much of a meat eater, I stick with the vegetarian option, or I’ll add some chicken or turkey sausage. My aunt likes to add oysters to her dish (eww), and my stepmom has her family’s German version that includes mustard seeds, caraway seeds, and juniper berries.

So, you might be wondering what our houses and cars smell like after three meals and lots of cabbage… let’s just say my sister and I terrorize each other on the way home.

 


Are you planning to celebrate Thanksgiving in a nontraditional way? Let us know what you’ve got cooking in the comments below.

Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky
If shopping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. And while my bank account often feels the crunch, I just can’t stop buying secondhand clothing and accessories, under-the-radar beauty products, stuffed animal unicorns (I have about 75), and toys for my pet bunny rabbit. After 20 years of public transportation, I now drive and love to tour the Virginia countryside looking for vintage shops, undiscovered wineries and breweries, historic sites, and Thai restaurants—I’m addicted to Thai food. I never leave home without a spare phone charger because I love horror movies and therefore have an irrational fear of being stranded somewhere with a dead battery.

Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky
If shopping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. And while my bank account often feels the crunch, I just can’t stop buying secondhand clothing and accessories, under-the-radar beauty products, stuffed animal unicorns (I have about 75), and toys for my pet bunny rabbit. After 20 years of public transportation, I now drive and love to tour the Virginia countryside looking for vintage shops, undiscovered wineries and breweries, historic sites, and Thai restaurants—I’m addicted to Thai food. I never leave home without a spare phone charger because I love horror movies and therefore have an irrational fear of being stranded somewhere with a dead battery.
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9 comments

zo

I have never celebrated a Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter, without sauerkraut and kielbasa. It cooks all day Thanskgiving eve. I do not live in a Polish area but all of the grocery stores around here (even the major chains) have the sausage/sauerkraut/pork necks right next to each other on the shelves.

Growing up we never put potato in pierogi. It was always sauerkraut or farmers cheese. My brother works in DC and sometimes the local churches have fresh pierogi sales. He buys me enough to stock up my freezer.

My favorite childhood food memory is making chrusciki with my Busha on Christmas eve. Thank you all for this walk down memory lane.

Mary Zubritsky

Good to know. I really thought everyone did this up until a few years ago, and I’m in my 40s…

Jessica Hapak

My dads side of the family came from Poland, so every Christmas we would make perogi. I love the potato and cheese perogi, but never became a fan of the sauerkraut-filled ones.
As an adult I still don’t like it, but I do kind of wish I did because I know all of thag fermented cabbage would be good for me.

Mary Zubritsky

Yup, my grandmother made them too. I’ve tried and failed since I’m not a very good cook!

Jody E

This is more our New Year’s food. Half the in-laws are polish and other half Irish.
How ’bout those dry sauerkraut pierogi? I don’t like those

Mary Zubritsky

I don’t know about sauerkraut pierogi’s…only the usual suspects. That sounds good!

Jessica Hapak

This u is a so funny- I just commented about how I don’t like the sauerkraut perogi my family would make before coming down here and seeing your comment with the same thing 😅

Jody E

The stories we could tell with some of the food. Lol.

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