Jan 10, 2013

Pickled pig’s feet, anyone?

pig_feetI grew up with eastern european parents who made things like Galaretka, also known as Zimne Nogi (translated: cold legs) This is basically jellied pig’s feet. It was a mixture of meat & things that sat in a giant pot and my dad loved it! Polish food includes things like pork knuckles in beer sauce with sauerkraut, and carp in aspic with raisins. We ate things like, “Śledzie,” (pickled herring), beetroot soup, lots of kielbasa and pickled anything. They like to pickle things in Poland –  there’s even pickle soup! I still love some Polish dishes like Gołąbki and Pierogi, both of which I make often. My parents cooked with sticks of butter and no meal was complete without sour cream but I make things my own way now. I still crave the things I ate growing up and although pig’s feet is not one of them, I found a recipe online for anyone curious enough to try:


With a background like mine, I was bound to forge my own unique food trail and the things I eat seem normal to me, but maybe not to everyone.  For example, here are some of my favorite treats:

~Sauerkraut straight out of the jar

~Sardines, straight out of the can

~Pickled beets

~Pickled herring with onions

~A wedge of raw cabbage eaten like an apple

~Cold boiled potatoes with mayonnaise

~I could still eat some pigs feet but only after a beaker of czysta wodka, no ice.

If anybody has a more unique favorite snack, maybe I can add it to my repertoire. There’s nothing you people out there are eating that can scare me.  Bring it. – Jenny Jones

34 Comments on "Pickled pig’s feet, anyone?"

  1. Rob

    Hmmm that’s weird, I never ate mayo on boiled potatoes, sometimes I eat them with ketchup though. But I eat a lot of stuff cold, it seems better than nuked sometimes, but the airfryer has changed things up a bit. Cheers, I am going to make some piggies trotters.

  2. CeCe

    How about a nice big bowl of calves head soup? One of my kids loves it, the other will not touch it based on the way it looks. In Lancaster County PA one restaurant calls it mock turtle soup and it is a big seller.

    It is dark brown with little dough balls, hard-boiled eggs and potatoes floating around in it. Takes a very long time to make it because you have to brown the flour in a skillet over a very low heat. My mother made it with a veal shin bone. I asked my grandmother why it was called Calves head soup and she said because in the old days they used every part of the animal from head to toe. My rule is when I stare at my plate, I do not want anything staring back.

    Given my German/Polish/Jewish/Catholic upbringing in the heart of Amish country, I have no idea where this recipe originated from.

  3. Linda

    -Sauerkraut straight out of the jar – yes, yes!

    ~Sardines, straight out of the can – while dating, my ex-husband and I would bring sardines and saltines to the drive-in; still eat this snack

    ~Pickled beets – along with pickled eggs, delish!

    ~Picked herring with onions – OMG!!

    ~A wedge of raw cabbage eaten like an apple – this I never tried

    ~Cold boiled potatoes with mayonnaise – yum!

    ~I could still eat some pigs feet but only after a beaker of czysta wodka, no ice.- as a kid would sit on the floor watching TV with a bowl of it in my lap

  4. MAGGIE from Passaic NJ

    This was a staple in my Polish neighborhood, for any celebration…the Polish bakeries would sell it, but it was best home made. I learned Polish cooking as child and would always help out; so I made this too. Here is my Polish Mother’s recipe. This is hard to impossible to find on the internet. It may have been a regional recipe in Poland-but was brought to this country. I can’t remember the Polish name for it.


    2 cups rice Use Carolina Brand Rice (Can’t Fool Method)
    5 cups water
    1 tsp. salt

    Place rice in cold water, bring to boil, cook at slow rolling boil 15 minutes or until

    When cooked, blend into it:
    1/4 pound butter
    1/4 pound cream cheese

    In another bowl mix:
    2 eggs
    1 cup milk
    1/2 cup sugar
    1 cup Presto Self Rising Flour
    1 tsp. vanilla

    Add to rice and blend

    Add 1/2 cup raisins if desired (Do Not Beat)

    Bake 1 hour at 350 in 8x8x2 buttered Pyrex dish

    Bring to room temperature before eating

    Refrigerate leftover cake

    • Jenny Can Cook

      Thank you for taking time to share this. I added it to the “Your Recipes” section of the blog.

  5. Will

    So wonderful that you shared. I always watched my mom cook and always made sure that my children were in the kitchen as taste testers. I was always taught it’s not a tsp. or tbsp., it’s about memories of being close to the ones you cherish and passing down recipes.

  6. Budro

    Chocolate soup. Czernina AKA Ducks blood. That’s how my Mom got us to eat it. We said hey this doesn’t taste like chocolate! She laughed. But you liked it! Smelts battered& deep fried. Then dip in Ketchup mixed with Fresh grated Horse radish from the back yard. Guaranteed to make a grown man cry. Mostly my Dad. He would grate it with a fan blowing past him.

  7. Sue

    For Easter (at least I think it was Easter) my mom used to make pickled pigs feet. Only the Polish grown ups ate it. She took the meat off the bones and it use to get a white coating (the pig fat?) on top that she generously sprinkled with pepper. The meat was ok, I never liked the pig jello! Yuck

    My Grandparents (I only knew Grandmother) were from Poland. We always had beet horseradish for Easter, along with poppy seed (and nut bread), Borscht for Easter breakfast with Kobasi. I still make it all. Yum.

    It was all about family and food. I miss my grandmother, mom and most of her siblings, since they have all passed away. My son who is a mix of everything loves Polish food, so the traditions continue.

  8. Marsha Kaczmarek

    My husband is of Polish heritage and I would LOVE to see more of your Polish recipes posted to your website, so far everything has been amazing! Thank you so much Jenny, watched you as a teen 🙂

  9. Ruth

    My husband is Polish and loves to cook. I try to make the things he likes, but don’t have all the recipes. One of them is periski (probably not the spelling). They are buns filled with sauerkraut or kasha. I tried making them once and he thought I had made small loaves of bread. If you have the recipe for them, I would love to have it and surprise him. Thank you for all the good food you’ve been cooking, healthier, but looks great. I will now try the cinnamon buns.

  10. James

    No nut-roll recipe?? A good one to add for Polish cooking!

  11. jeff palcich

    I want to make croiation jellied pig feet whole with pork roast added in the mix I am 62 and trying to remember my grand ma and dads receipts we all cook basicly the same kind of food well I am going to wing this I been cooking for50 yrs I learned a lot of the old ways but this does escapes me give me a mesg. if you get this thank you jeff

    • Jenny Can Cook

      I got your message but unfortunately, my father never shared his recipe for picked pigs feet so I am unable to help.

  12. SPLT

    Jenny, Have you ever eaten beets in a tossed salad? It’s delicious!

    • Jenny

      Yes, I have. I love beets – just had some last night.

  13. SPLT

    Jenny, Thank you so much for your recipes and video’s. I’m going to make your wheat bread very soon, plus some of the healthier foods as well. I love watching you cook. I saw your list of foods you ate when you were a girl. The only one I couldn’t eat would be the pickled pigs feet.LOL

  14. Thomas

    Jenny, I just loved your presentations …
    I have also polish origins so that make me very impressed getting back to my young days …
    However, I’d be pleased if you add someting very important into your polish hot-list : “BIGOS” , “OMLETY Z JAGODAMI I SMIETANA”, “BARSZCZ CZERWONY” … !
    What do you think about ?
    Many thanks and kind regards.

    • Jenny

      I’m still working on my bigos (it’s never the same twice!) and I have a fantastic borscht recipe: ttp://www.jennycancook.com/recipes/beet-cabbage-borscht/

  15. Mary

    I would love to have the original recipe for placek ( polish coffee cake). I was never given the recipe for my polish family. The only ones I have found were make with potatoes. The supposed ones you buy in the store called crumb cake are definitely not it. I love the pancake recipe. I use to make it when my kids were little about 50 years ago. I forgot how to make them. Thank you in advance for your help.

  16. Roslyn Brown

    ~Sauerkraut straight out of the jar … YES!

    ~Sardines, straight out of the can … YES! All the time!

    ~Pickled beets … absolutely YES! Just had some today!

    ~Picked herring with onions … YES, YES! LOVE!

    ~A wedge of raw cabbage eaten like an apple … YES!

    ~Cold boiled potatoes with mayonnaise … YES x 1000!

  17. Anita Street

    Uh-no. Growing up in south Mississippi, I had to eat those when I was a child. Well, that and pig tails cooked in turnip greens. I love turnip greens, but I can live without the feet and tails.

  18. Dana

    I love ‘piggy jell-o’ ! Even though I was born and raised in Ontario my grandparents got me hooked on european food. My sister and I were crazy about the wiggly stuff on our plates so we decided to offer it to some of our canadian neighbours and they ran like wildfire upon seeing pig tails sticking out of the gelatin. After that incident they always hid behind the rose bushes when we would mow the lawn. Go figure. Hahahah.

  19. Terita


    I’m from the Chicago area and I miss your show sooo much. I like to eat Hot head cheese on bread. The meat looks gross but it tastes really good. Go Bears ; )

  20. Tara

    I love Vegemite, cheese and mayo sandwiches.

  21. MrsNews

    I’m thinking I will be able to stick to my diet today….yuck!

    I do love mayo, cheese and sweet pickles sandwiches….
    Potato chips on my PBJ…but that is about it.

    When I was little we ate hamhocks in our beans…looked nasty but tasted good…never again though!

    I think I have a little vomit in the back of my throat now….thanks.


  22. marty

    Jenny,There was one more thing I forgot to tell you there is a web site pulaskie meats.com pictures and everthing.One more question, Do your close friends call you J.J. ?

    • Jenny

      Been there (after I found their kielbasa at the deli). And no one calls me J.J. although I wouldn’t mind. Denis calls me “soft-and-smooth-and-sexy-and-fun-and-stuff.” I call him twice a day. 😉

  23. marty

    Jenny, I am also Polish my father used to make that pigs knuckes in unflavored gelatin and he would also put rice in it too. And you would only eat it in the winter time. In the summertime he would make Borsh I don’t know if I spelled that right but it is a cold soup you eat in the summertime I think its beets and buttermilk. As for perogies I couldn’t see mashed potatoes and pasta on the same plate.We have a good polish store close by they smoke all their meat on premisis great kiebasa and other polish meat. its called Pulaskies smoked meats . You walk in and there’s a big picture of Pope John Paul 11 looking at you. But I’ll tell you what you want polish go to Scanton,Pa You can get just about anything you want. Have a nice day. Marty

    • Jenny

      There’s a tiny Russian deli in my area and I have purchased good kielbasa there and guess what? It was Pulaskies! (no Pope pix, though)

      Chicago has a huge Polish population (2nd in numbers only to Warsaw) and I sure miss that. Go, Pulaskies!

  24. Nicole

    a BLT without the L and the T.

  25. Rhonda

    I have a couple sandwiches that some people I know think is kinda gross…

    My hawaiian ham and cheese sandwich…
    includes…Ham, cheese, pineapple, mayo and bread. Yummy!…

    My pickle sandwich…
    includes…Toasted bread with sliced pickles and mayo (really good)…

    By the way, I’ve had pickled pig’s feet before when I was little. My great grandmother was part Polish so my grandmother ate pickled pig’s feet. I haven’t had it in years though. I can eat cabbage cooked or raw. I like it better cooked and pickled beets I like to eat with cooked dry beans. I prefer pinto beans with the beets. Yummy! 🙂
    Sauerkraut and Canned sardines I’ve had as well 🙂
    Take care and have a great week Jenny…


  26. Becky

    Jenny, that’s pretty, uhm…gross. 😉

    My dad’s family used to butcher hogs to have meat for the family, while his mother would catch the blood to make “blood pies”. *cringe*
    They also scrambled eggs with brains—this was a REAL treat. *longer cringe*

    Needless to say, I didn’t carry on any of those delicasies with my generation.

  27. LOL Good thoughts for the day. =)

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