On Nov 01 2019 by Kristin
What’s in a Dish? Klasko’s Annual Firmsgiving
Once there is a chill in the air, leaves begin to change, and KILP staff members begin to receive a flurry of emails from the Social Committee announcing fall events, everyone knows what is coming: Firmsgiving.
The highly anticipated annual extravaganza has morphed into a master class on the logistics of event planning. Introduced in 2016, the inaugural event got off to a rocky start when there were way too many potato dishes and not enough outlets for all the crockpots. Though the Social Committee knew they were onto something because despite having to navigate a maze of extension cords to get to the dessert room, the event was a hit.
The following year, the team got organized with a dish signup sheet and strict standards for serving dishes (goodbye crockpots!) The event has grown over the years as more and more staff members have joined the firm, with 35 dishes in 2017 to more than 60 expected this year.
Here are some of the dishes the KILP staff members can expect to enjoy on Friday, November 8.
Pierogis by Deirdre Schmidt, Junior Paralegal & Avid Rock Climber
Deirdre will be honoring her Dziadzi by handmaking her family’s pierogi recipe just as she has done with her mother and grandmother. It includes her grandfather’s (her Dziadzi) dough recipe, complete with his secret ingredient of course. For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure, pierogis are filled dumplings originating from Central and Eastern Europe and are considered a national dish of Poland. Typical fillings are usually potato, sauerkraut, meat, cheese, or fruit; and can be served with toppings like butter, sour cream, or onions – or a combination of any of the listed fillings and toppings.
For Deirdre’s family recipe, she will be staying true to the traditional dough recipe of flour, egg, water, salt, plus Dziadzi’s secret ingredient. After rolling the dough flat, it’s cut into circles, the filling is placed in the center, and then the dough is folded over, pressing the edges together to seal it closed into a half-circle. She is still deciding what her fillings will be – perhaps bring two versions! After that, depending on if she’s working from a batch she’s previously frozen, or with a fresh batch, she’ll pan fry them with butter and onions, or give them a quick boil before the panfry.
Arroz Amarillo Con Gandules by Lyanna Rivera, Legal Assistant & Trained Actress
This dish is a staple at Puerto Rican parties according to Lyanna Rivera, who will be sharing it for Firmsgiving this year. In its English translation, it’s called yellow rice with pigeon peas, but recipes can use long or medium-grain white rice, a variety of spices, pigeon peas, tomato sauce, and sometimes pieces of ham, pork or peppers.
Lyanna chose this dish because she loves to introduce it to those who haven’t tried it because it’s so delectable and goes well with many other main and side dishes. While she is not making it from scratch, she is ordering it from a Spanish restaurant she frequents. As for her own Thanksgiving with family, it’s her aunt’s signature dish for all holidays and family functions, so she won’t be stepping on anyone’s toes in that regard.
Turtle Brownies by Michele Madera, Partner & Real Housewives Franchise Addict
Not all Firmsgiving dishes need to be homemade, handmade and involve family secrets to be enticing. You may have heard of the delicious Turtles Caramel Nut Cluster (which are trademarked and distributed by DeMet’s Candy Company). These classic, reptilian-shaped treats are what inspire Michele’s go-to dish for block parties, barbecues, and other potluck events. She loves that they are easy to share, easy to make and always a huge hit. If there happen to be any leftovers, she’s more than happy to take them home with her for continued snacking.
So, what exactly are they? As mentioned before, they are easy to make, so Michele starts with a boxed recipe of classic brownies, then adds in the special mixers, like caramel and pecans, for some extra pizzazz. The result is a classic and familiar dish, with scrumptious surprises in every bite.
Noodle Kugel by Micaela Miller, Paralegal & Rupert Grint Stan
Growing up, Micaela often enjoyed this traditional Ashkenazi Jewish casserole dish during holidays. It’s made with ingredients to make anyone’s mouth water: egg noodles, sugar, cheese, and butter – with variations for different recipes of course. The name “kugel” originated from a very old German term for “sphere” or “globe” referencing the shape of the original dishes as a sort of ring-shaped cake. Now the dishes are baked as either a sweet or savory casserole.
Micaela’s recipe will be more sweet than savory, using her grandmother’s special ingredient of Frosted Flakes on top to enhance the sugar content. Micaela loves to share this dish with non-Jewish friends, as there is usually some initial confusion with the sweetness of the dish served for dinner instead of with dessert.
Firmsgiving is an event the staff members look forward to every year as an opportunity to share and try new dishes. It’s also a chance to mingle and eat with other staff members that normally don’t get a chance to connect daily in their work.