L and I did our annual Christmas eve trip to Hamtramck, Mich, to pick up chrusciki, kolacki, kielbasa and all that good Polish stuff that collectively serve as a Rustbelt version of Proust's madeleine.
A few places we visited (all within a couple of blocks on Joseph Campeau south of Caniff):
Picked up some kielbasa and some hunter's (snacking) sausage. They have both smoked and fresh sausage. Good selection of pierogi too. Service is a mite slow; learn a little Polish by listening to the people behind the counter.
Spiffy red awning enticed us into this market, which has an astonishing selection of imported cookies and sweets for the holidays in addition to their normal grocery items and bakery, meat, and seafood counters. Some nice gifty-looking jars with honey, peppers, etc. I particularly liked the carp-and-capusta (cabbage) bar.
New Palace Bakery
Wait in line with the little babushkas to get your Polish cakes, cookies, pies, breads. We got a nut roll (by the roll or by the pound), a small box of nut-filled crescent cookies, and a large box of kolacki, which are small folded cookies filled with apricot, prune, or rasberry and dusted with powdered sugar.
Sadly, on this trip we discovered that an old favorite, Oaza Bakery, is now closed. It looked almost like it was just closed for the day, but through the window you can see that all the counters, fixtures, etc. have been removed. Bummer! But the New Palace is a worthy substitute.
Where are the snows of yesteryear? If, like us, you grew up amid a gabbling horde of "New Europe" aunts and uncles, the answer is Hamtramck.