Craig Brozek

February 17, 2003

Post #1613 – 20030217

Hello Daniel, I live in the Buffalo Metro area and heard your comments a couple few weeks ago on WBFO 88 FM. You were talking about your dad coming from Warsaw and the thing you called “schaaf”. Well indeed it is “schaaf” or more properly “szczaw” in polish. It is sorrell in english. My mom and grandma made a creamy >soup from this plant which grew in our garden. It was quite tasty but required an acquired taste..

The story you told brought to mind the stories my grandma told me as a kid growing up in North Tonawanda, NY near Buffalo. She was from Warsaw and told me of these strange people called jews. We had very few in town. The folks in the stories in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s were what I later learned was the Hassidic jewish sect which was prevalent in Poland at that time. I only learned the whole story later from Public TV. A light really came on when I saw the type of dress etc. We had no idea about this type of lifestyle. I thought these were the ramblings of an old polish lady.

Well, we maintain our Polish heritage and culture wherever possible. N. Tonawanda and well and Buffalo is a hub of Polonia. You would be well advised to come and experience this first hand. We eat well and drink and most have the blubber belly syndrome.

I guess the bottom line is that when your a “polack” your are stubbornly loyal to what you know and like. I hope you continue your radio commentaries. I do enjoy them.

Sincerely yours and fellow countryman,

Craig Brozek

PS: Craig is not Polish and is pronounced by my relatives back in Poland as sraaeeg which is really strange and sounds like “dog do” with a “g”.

PSS: recipe

Easy Sorrel Soup

Shred 1/4 pound sorrell leves that are well washed, with stem and center ribs removed. Cook in 1 tablespoon of sweet butter for a few minutes until soft. Add 2 cups chicken broth and simmer for 15 minutes. At serving time, beat 3 egg yolks with 1/2 cup of cream and add to the hot soup, being careful not to let it boil. Season with salt and freshly ground white peper to taste and serve immediately.

Daniel replies:

They may have been Hassidic, and maybe not. My grandfather, (see photo), was fitted out with the traditional beard, but was not a member. I suspect there were a lot of gradations when Jews flourished in central and eastern Europe. My father loved Warsaw, and dreamed about it all his life.