On Saturday I went up to Oak Creek to work on wedding stuff and to celebrate Mother’s Day. Our Save the Dates for the wedding arrived last week so I needed help getting them ready for mailing. We had an assembly line going on. Mom and I addressed envelopes working from a spreadsheet I created. Jess put return address labels on the envelopes. Steph sealed the envelope. Amanda (off to the right, not pictured) added the stamp and did some quality control.
Child labor may be illegal, but we employed it anyhow. Here’s Jess and Steph with envelope #1 completed:
It was actually fun to have everyone helping and cut down on the time a lot … compared to doing it myself. Some of the labels may not be totally straight and the writing may not be someone’s perfect calligraphy, but I don’t really mind. When you use cheap child labor, what do you expect. hehe
When that was all done, we had my mom and Amanda open some Mother’s Day gifts. Of course, Jess had to get in on the gift opening!
Later we took mom and Amanda out for Mother’s Day dinner. Amanda had Polish food from Polonez at some street festivals and had heard that it was the best Polish restaurant in Milwaukee so we decided to check it out. Polonez is located in St. Francis, south of Milwaukee and only about a 15 minute drive from where my brother lives. When we arrived, Polonez was a sort of no-frills, old-school, banquet-hall-style place. Like the kind of place where you order a salad and it’s a pile of iceberg with a slice of tomato and a side of French dressing, which is exactly the kind of salad I was served there. haha
But the Polish food. That’s what we came for. And how was it? Fantastic. I haven’t been to man Polish restaurants, and none in Wisconsin, but I believe it when they say this is the best. The food was sooo good. I wouldn’t expect that such an old style restaurant would have a Zagat rating or would be written up in Gourmet magazine or would be featured on the Travel Channel, but it has. On the Travel Channel, Andrew Zimmerman tried Polonez’s specialty, czarnina (duck blood soup), on his show Bizarre Foods. We declined to try the soup, but enjoyed a variety of other Polish specialties. Everyone ordered an entree, but then we all passed and shared what we ordered.
My dad and Stephanie both had the potato dumplings – 5 large German style dumplings filled with ground beef and pork, served in mushroom sauce. I thought these would dense and heavy, but I was surprised that they were quite light and fluffy.
For his vegetable he got the red cabbage. It was chopped and cooked red cabbage. Nice and tangy.
My brother got the special that day, wiener schnitzel. There was some discussion about how we always think “sausage” when we hear wiener schnitzel, but it’s not sausage at all. The wiener schnitzel at Polonez is two breaded veal cutlets served with mashed potatoes and a vegetable. They offer to serve the schnitzel “Holstein Style” which is with and egg and cheese. My brother opted to do this. Actually, he said he heard the waiter ask, “Do you want blah blah blah on that?” and he didn’t know what he said, but answered “yes” so that’s what he got!
Amanda and I got the Polish plate, a sampler platter that includes four pierogi, stuffed cabbage, a half link of Polish sausage, sauerkraut and a potato pancake. You could get any combination of meat, potato and cheese, sauerkraut, and sweet cheese pierogis. We both got one of each.
You know, I think I grew up hating sauerkraut and thinking nothing could be more disgusting, but it was quite good. I think this has something to do with growing up with close ties to the largest sauerkraut producer, but maybe I’m over it now! The potato pancake was light and fluffy. I didn’t know what to expect from the cabbage roll, but it was almost like a meatloaf inside. And the cabbage itself was not “cabbagey”. My mom got the cabbage roll as her entree and I think I would have been happy with that choice for dinner as well. I’m a big pierogi fan and these did not disappoint. The sweet cheese ones were so sweet they could have been dessert!
Jess was doing good down on the end with her not-so-Polish grilled cheese and fries. Look how impressively long Polish French fries are.
I mustn’t forget the Polish beer we tried. My brother and my dad each got porters and I got a light beer. I must admit, the porters were better. Very flavorful. The light beer was super easy to drink, though. I looked down and my beer was pretty much gone without my even realizing it.
At the end of dinner we were all stuffed, plus had a bunch of leftovers, but we couldn’t resist at least trying one dessert. One dessert for 7 people can’t be too much, right? So Amanda and my mom chose the Polish torte. It was so delicious. We all took a bite and passed it til it was gone. Jess especially loved it. We weren’t sure what was in it, since it wasn’t described on the menu, but it was so moist and tasty!
Later on as we were waiting for our check we heard another waiter at a table behind ours describing the desserts and he told them the torte was SOAKED IN RUM! So, one day when Jess becomes a rummy, she and her therapist will trace it all back to her entire family’s early encouragement of indulging in the vice!
We all had a fun time trying the new food and would highly recommend checking out Polonez. I’d be surprised if Amanda doesn’t make them go back today for dinner!
Fun day, and we got a lot of work done. Thanks for the help, everyone! Happy Mother’s Day!