Happy Fat Tuesday!
Not that any of us need to get any fatter (Ok, Ian could use a little more fat, but he's the only one), but Fiona and I happily made our way to Copernicus Deli this morning to buy some strawberry and prune filled paczki. Fiona was amazed to discover that the trays of paczki were stacked taller than her:
They trucked these, and many more like them, in from Hamtramck and they were tasty--yeastier than a regular donut and the not-overly-sweet prune filling helped my grown up taste buds handle the sugary richness.
Of course, we couldn't leave with just a few paczki, so I also picked up some sauerkraut with caraway, a baton of polish sausage and some mushroom-filled pierogi. We'll have those for dinner later this week.
The book I'm reading right now fits in perfectly with this splurge of Polish delicacies, Diane Ackerman's The Zookeeper's Wife. I really like the content of the book about the Polish family who ran the Warsaw Zoo and the ways they helped hundreds of Jews escape and hide during the Nazi Occupation.
But I am struggling with Ackerman's writing style. Her prose is florid, which I've appreciated in other settings (there is a lovely poem about pink Amazon river dolphins in her book The Moon by Whale Light), but which I'm finding distracting here. There are tons of digressions, some of which have scientific or historical information, but which also make following the progress of Jan, Antonina and their "guests" hard to follow. I feel like Ackerman is trying too hard to convince us of Jan and Antonina's heroism with this laden prose--their actions speak very clearly to their courage and I wish the story was told simply. Instead I find myself skimming and dodging through the book, trying to follow the narrative and not get side tracked.