Great Things Happen in Skook
My Dad and his family come from Pottsville, PA. And since Mom had no siblings and her parents died before I even entered kindergarten, our family trips were always to Pottsville to see grandma, uncles, aunts and cousins. And one of the first blogs I subscribed to here on Active Rain was Erica Ramus. She's a Broker/Owner in Pottsville, PA. Reading her blog makes me feel like I am always in touch with the family I have in Pottsville.
Well, when the opportunity presented itself to take a day trip to Pottsville with my cousin Patti, who now resides in New Mexico, I was in! The purpose of the trip was to buy hot bologna, but if you follow Erica's blog, you already know that. Turns out, we really didn't need to drive up to buy it. Erica posted the recipe online. But what fun is that? We can't have lunch with Erica if we don't make it to Pottsville, right?
We rolled into downtown Pottsville just in time to swing by Ramus Realty Group and pick up Erica for our lunch date. Some local fare was in order so she suggested Maroons. If you aren't familiar with Pottsville, PA you probably have never heard about the Pottsville Maroons. Let's just say that they ended up what is now the Washington Redskins and back in the EARLY days of the NFL, they won the first ever championship game, but were disqualified from receiving rightful recognition of their win because they refused to sit out a playoff game that the NFL asked them not to play that led up the championship. So Pottsville had it's own trophy made up and it sits in the Mayor's office.
Erica had her doubts about whether I really did have roots in Pottsville until we talked on the phone the night before the trip and really got into it over lunch. Not only did our fathers grow up in the same small town of St. Clair, just outside Pottsville, but my uncles were born the same year as her dad. My Dad was two years their senior. Guaranteed they all knew each other. We'll have to have Erica verify that since my uncles and father are no longer with us. My grandmother even went to the same church as her family.
Anyway, our lunch at Maroons was an absolute pleasure! Erica felt just like family. So easy to sit and chat with. It was like finding a long lost friend. As for the food, Patti and I split "The Skook" which had a whole bunch of food that grandma used to make like cabbage rolls, fried potato pancakes and city chicken, which is really pork on a stick. (Skook is the shortened affectionate name for Schuylkill County.) I know the names of the dishes to verbally communicate them, but never saw the names (except for perogies) in a menu until we lunched at Maroons. That's what happens when your grandparents grew up speaking Polish and Lithuanian. You can communicate to grandma what you want verbally, but God help you if you need to write it out. Should've taken a photo of the menu to be able to give you the real names of the dishes, but the photo of the dish will have to do.
We've now adopted Erica as an official cousin to the Balulis family and I look forward to seeing her next time I'm in Pottsville. Thanks for a great time, Erica!