Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-28-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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THE VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 4, 2018 CHRISTMAS IN THE VALLEY 2018 11 palate to enjoy the cabbage or fish dishes. But it is expected that they will at least taste and try everything on the table. According to Pryzbylko, the 12-course meal is not necessarily a dozen complete entrees. "Some people count a soup with three ingre- dients as 'three' of the 12," he said. One special beverage his family would make was called "kompot," consisting of dried fruits, steeped in water, and then cooled. Prunes were an available fruit in the area of Poland where he lived and were used in many dessert items. In old Poland there was no refriger- ation, so availability of certain fruits and vegetables dictated what was cooked and put into cold storage. Beets, cabbage and potatoes were staples. "The climate there is very similar to New England, and we did not have many spices. 'No fireworks like Hungary'" he added, referring to their hot Hungarian paprikas. Traditional desserts would be served later in the meal. One favor- ite is called "kluski" and it's a wide egg noodle pasta made with walnuts, honey and little orange zest. Another dessert called "kutia" is made from cooked wheat grain to which nuts, poppy seeds, raisins and a bit of vanilla are mixed. It's served cold with a couple of spoonfuls of sweet cream on top. "You make this ahead of time, some people add other things such as chocolate," he said. "Very traditional is to have gin- gerbread at this time," he shared. And this family always has to have a cheesecake made by Agata, Przybylko's wife. His mother, Zofia, is known for her cabbage and beans, and Marta, his sister for her pierogi. The families – including his broth- er, Leszek's – alternate who is the host family for the three main cel- ebrations: Easter, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, but they all pitch in with a few specialties. Their sister Renata, is living in Poland but well remembered. The most important highlight of the evening is when the family exchanges wishes. A blessed wafer called the "Oplatek," is given to each person around the table. They will take turns going from person to person, breaking off a piece of that person's wafer and then sharing a very heartfelt wish for that person for the whole coming year. "It is so personal, heartfelt and serious," Przybylko, shared. "Sometimes it is tearful and uncom- fortable depending upon each per- son's circumstance. But it is very meaningful," he shared. They value telling the truth. Oftentimes the wafers have been blessed in a church before the ceremonial "wishes" are exchanged. And of course it would not be Christmas if there were not Christmas carols sung around the table and later some presents to open. They exchange gifts after the dinner, songs and wishes have all been made. St. Nicholas leaves some surprises under the tree, having been guided by a star. From preceding page 2067 Mineral Spring Avenue North Providence, RI (401) 233-9000 THE INDEPENDENT APPLIANCE STORE Kick off the Holiday Season with New Appliances for all your entertaining needs DON'T MISS OuR HOLIDAy DEALS!

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