Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Behold, the Power of Sausage

I went to my mom's for Christmas, and because we are Polish, there is never a question that we will have kielbasa for dinner at some point during the stretch of luxuriant meals. We spend several weeks discussing what to eat when, what side dishes to make, where to pick up the best and freshest foodstuffs.

When it comes to kielbasa, there is only one place to go in Baltimore: Ostrowski's. And that is the first place we went after my mom picked me up from the airport. It's in a narrow-streeted section of the city called Fells Point, and when we pulled up, there were no parking spots to be found. My mom double-parked, and I sat in the car while she went in so I could move it if necessary.

At first, I was nervous. This was not my town; some of the people walking by and chatting on their stoops looked like stevedores who wouldn't think twice about roughing up outsiders. Then, one by one, other cars pulled up behind and in front of our car. Every driver did the same thing: double parked, put their flashers on and went into Ostrowski's. I relaxed and started rummaging for reading material and CDs.

Then my mom called from inside the shop to say it would be another 15 minutes or so because they were just loading up the sausage stuffing machine. Apparently the meat delivery had been late because of the storms, and the fresh kielbasa was going to be extra-fresh. By this time, the line of people was out the door and two houses long, and the line of double-parked cars covered most of the block.

My mom waited half an hour for the sausage we ate on Christmas Eve, and I'm here to tell you, it was worth every minute of that wait.

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