PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Ash Wednesday at Mount Saint Peter Parish in New Kensington. The faithful receive the ashen symbol of the cross at a church that dates back 123 years.
Another sign of Lent: Fish frys start on Friday.
But across the Allegheny in Creighton, the Holy Family Catholic Church isn’t waiting for Friday. They figure Wednesday is a good time to start.
According to volunteer chef Dan Laur, “The labor is free. The food is not. But there’s a little bit of margin there, and that’s where we get money for the church.”
Mary Dee Herstek remembers limited menus of the past.
“Fish sandwiches and macaroni and cheese,” she recalls. “And then it just grew. For the last 15 years every year something new has been added.”
For customer Joshua Davis, the halushki is the ultimate comfort food.
“They told me it’s made by a grandmother,” he says, “so it had a grandmother’s love. That’s maybe what it is, it’s grandmother’s love.”
Customer Ken Moran likes that homemade horseradish.
“They take the root and they grind it and they put vinegar in it, and it’s real strong,” Moran said. “You whiff it up your nose.”
But nothing can match Ed Misera’s potato pancakes. Liz Casaretti says the recipe was cooked up by Holy Name’s former priest.
“We do it the way he did it,” she said. “And there was always a secret ingredient as far as he’s concerned.”
Will she share it with us?
“We’re not telling,” she laughs.