Back in the days when my cousins were getting married most of the wedding food was catered by family members. What food establishment could cook better than any of my Great Aunts and Grandmother? -“ NO ONE !” then with some “Czech phrase” added that would follow, which, if I would repeat would have gotten me in trouble.
One of my favorite dishes served was the pigs in a blanket — stuffed cabbage rolls what my father’s family called Hulobky. Roaster pans full of them to feed the family and friends of the bridal party. Lots of other food too, but these were a staple at these family nuptials along with many other fine dishes these were eaten in vast amounts to only have the calories danced off by 3 consecutive hours of Polka dancing. Next was the traditional circling of the bride and groom by all the guests as we all sang “I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old Dad” ( All the women were wiping away tears with their embroidered cloth handkerchiefs that were kept in their bra straps just for the occasion), to be followed by an additional 2 hours of dancing after the bride and groom left for their honeymoon in Niagara Falls!
Every time I make cabbage rolls, wonderful memories arise of aunts and uncles, grandparents, cousins, immediate family and family friends that made these occasions so special. The uncle who could wiggle his ears without touching them, the aunts who could polka dance while holding their scotch and soda in their free hand without spilling a drop, and the family members who would join the band singing a few of their favorite songs. There was no “Money dance” to collect money to dance with the bride and groom; back then there were “Dowries” which, if I remember correctly, usually included a few farm animals. Oh, for the simpler days when you started off your marriage with whole cow and pig in your chest freezer (also a gift, usually from your grandparents!)