Friday, July 24, 2009


Last week it was the annual Kopidlansky family reunion (my mom's side of the family). My daughter, Mary and I prepared our family's favorite ethnic treat, kolaches (we're Czechoslovakian) to share with our beloved family. Beloved might be a stretch. My mother was one of ten children. Most of her siblings had large families. I am the youngest of nine. I have 5 children, 30 nieces and nephews and 17 great nieces and nephews (so far!). I have over 100 cousins (or so I'm told). I have to take that fact on faith because I have never met them all and probably never will. So this annual family reunion is often a reunion of near strangers. We wear nametags to identify which branch of the tree we fell from. The only way I can stand out in this mix is to bring kolaches. Everybody loves them. They especially love the poppyseed kolaches. They all dig to the bottom of the pan just to find the poppyseed! My aunt Judy buys her kolaches from the bakery. Everyone says that mine are better, and (pardon the pride) I believe them. I bring 12 dozen kolaches every year, and every year I bring an empty pan home. What is it that makes my kolaches so good?

It's love. With each ball of dough that I pinch back, press down, fill, slather with butter and bake, I offer a prayer of love for the memory of my mother who taught me how to make them, and I offer a prayer of love for my children to whom I will pass on the tradition of kolache baking. I offer a prayer of love for my distant and not-so-distant relatives. And I honor my Lord by showing my love for my family with a special once-a-year treat.


  1. Wow! Name tags would definitely be a requirement... lol! Those kolashes sure sound good... I would love to try one this morning! I bet yours are better because they are made with "love" and have because they have a special prayer in the making! God bless you Annie (and your very large "beloved" family!) ♥x♥x

  2. What a blessing to have such a large family tree and the ability and time to bless them with a homemade gift of love! Just as the beautiful traditions of the Church strengthen us, there are those family traditions that do the same for our individual home churches!

  3. Wow! Sounds like our family, at least my dad's family, only he is one of 10 kids and I am one of the grandchildren and I'm one of the older ones and the only one having a baby this year, which is sad. The younger ones that are married, already have their 2 children. There are a few younger ones left, including 2 of my siblings between the ages of 23-31. Now there are Great-greats being born.

    I think I have 50 some first cousins and 60 some 2nd cousins. of course my grandma knows the exact number!!

    I love the part where you say a prayer while baking that is so neat and full of love!

    I have to tell you, that when I come here, for some reason, my computer will stop and make you disappear and say something like "the internet cannot show this" It drives me crazy, sometimes I can come and read, but not leave a comment, it will happen when I go to comments!!! SO, I am reading, just not always able to comment!

  4. I have a huge family as well! We had our last family reunion 2 years before my Mom died, and I wish we'd have another...I feel like as the older generation (my parents siblings) gets older, we are losing some of the traditions, etc...but that is my Italian side of the family (Dad's)...My Mom's side is much smaller, but with the half being part Polish, we too LOVE Kolaches-YUM!

  5. I just finished reading "M y Antonia", by Willa Cather...Kolaches play an important part.
    My husband wants me to learn to bake them...any advice???
    Pax Christi

  6. I'm not one smidgen Polish, but I am very Scandanavian in my sweet tooth. My husbands family is large like yours. I love it! Your treats sound de-lish. I would like one dozen please.