What do you get when you seat 5 1/2 Pollacks (and two spouses) at a table?

Submitted by Erin H.

We went away for the weekend and sitting at the table was NOT a problem.  Evan and I met a couple (J and M) we knew from college at a  state “park” in northern Indiana.  Friday night was spent catching up in the hotel room. While filling each other in on the months gone by, we pulled out a side table and adorned it with homemade guacamole, chips, pita chips, two kinds of hummus, clementines (a leftover snack from my raw days), chocolate chip cookies and beer. 

Saturday.  Among other events planned for the day, the biggest was the arrival of M’s parents and their friends for brunch.  This would add another four Pollacks to the 1 (M) and 1/2 (me) from the night before, bringing the total to 5 1/2.   They would be bringing the food for brunch and J (a doctor-to-be) was sure to warn us that they always bring too much.  Familiar with how my Polish side of the family deals with food, I had an inkling that she would be right.  Then they arrived.  To say J’s prediction was an understatement would be an understatement.  M’s parents alone had to use a luggage rack – stacked halfway up its height – to shuttle their goodies to the common room where we would be eating…umm, feasting.  And their friends followed behind us with two coolers of their own. 

Once it was all spread out on three tables the food (for 8 people, mind you) included: at least two pounds of cut cheese, two large serving platters of vegetables, 2 sliced pineapples, a sizable container of grapes (red and green), croissants, rolls, crackers, zucchini bread, a huge bowl of chicken salad, a very large container of cookies, bagels (too many to count), at least two kinds of cream cheese, full-sized doughnuts, tea, orange juice…and this is just the stuff I remember.  People passing in the hallways looked on in envy.  M’s mom prodded us to “eat more”, “try this”, “have some of that”.  M’s dad handed out the doughnuts.  The friends made sure we had a least one (no, take two) cookies.  Food was all around and we ate, and ate, and ate.  J complained that they were always bringing too much food.  I reminded her that we did the very same thing the night before.  And, when we broke up up and went our separate ways what did the “kids” do not 30 minutes later?  While sitting around playing games we broke out the second round of guacamole, some trail mix, and the remaining cookies and clementines.  M’s mom made a brief stop by the table before their walk and Evan tried to talk her in to eating a cookie, but strangely enough she was immune the the food-pushing techniques that she herself employs on others.

Oh, my friends, it does not stop there…because you must go to dinner, too.  Where do Pollacks like to eat?  At a type of restaurant that serves the food of a culture also famous for their large appetites.  At first, eating out was thought to be a problem for, as it has always astounded my grandmother, so, too the question “What is the vegetariangoing to eat?” also stumped these new dining companions.  After I assured them that the Italian restaurant they chose would most definitely have food I could eat, we headed out.  You can only imagine what was consumed here as many of you are experienced in the ways of Italian restaurants so I won’t get into the details.  But, I will share one interesting exchange that occurred:  upon the arrival of the bread sticks J and I were the first to notice the 1/2 inch thick pool of butter (really, no joking)  in the bottom of serving dish.  I think both of our arteries shuddered a bit at the sight.  Recognizing that these two girls had a “problem” with the butter, M’s dad was nice enough to offer us the two bread sticks at the top because the he said “the rest of us can handle the buttery ones”.

Ooof, it’s time to get back home and detox.  I love my Pollacks and I love me some food…but I think I have to take both in small servings.

And just because I can’t resist: A man walked into a bar and asked the bartender, “Hey, have you heard the latest Pollack joke?” The bartender replied, coldly, “No. And I’ll have you know I’m Polish.” That’s O.K.,” said the man, “I’ll talk slow.”

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