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St. Casimir, Patron of Poland and Lithuania

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fresh bread

Let go of your leeks and pick up your pierogi. St. David’s Day is come and gone and St. Casimir’s Day is here. St. Casimir (1458-1483) is the patron saint of Poland and Lithuania. (In Casimir’s time, the two countries were considered one country.) Though he was a prince, he felt the greatest bond with the least of his people. He called himself “father, son and brother” to the oppressed and the needy.

Invite someone who is alone or lonely to dinner today. And consider making a Polish or Lithuanian dish. Here is a recipe for the national dish of Lithuania, Kugela. We got this recipe from the folks at Allrecipes.

Original recipe makes 10 servings (so you might want to cut it in half).

1 pound bacon, diced
1 large onion, grated
5 pounds Russet potatoes, finely grated, and soaked in water
1/2 cup flour
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
6 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.

In a large skillet over medium heat, fry bacon pieces until crisp; remove to paper towels. Reserve half of bacon drippings, and set aside. Return skillet to stove; stir onions, and cook until soft and translucent.

In a large bowl, stir together reserved drippings, bacon, onion, and potatoes. Mix in flour, evaporated milk, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Pour into baking dish, and bake in a preheated oven until top is nicely brown, about 1 hour. Cut into squares, and serve with toppings like cheese, or sour cream.