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Decades of Making the Perfect Potato Pancake

TAYLOR — Many Christians observing Good Friday make their meals a tradition. One woman has been providing such a traditional meal for 70 years, running the kitchen for her church’s potato pancake sale most of her life.

It’s a lenten tradition at St. George’s Orthodox Church in Taylor. They’ll sell gallons and gallons of clam chowder and thousands of potato pancakes.

Church members work like a well oiled machine, and inside the kitchen, calling the shots, is 90 year old Mary Kofira.

From her work station, she mixes together a recipe for potato pancakes passed down from her mother that only she knows.

“It’s something that a lot of people don’t make today. And some of them, from what their parents were doing, would like to have them but nobody to do it for them,” said Kofira.

Mary’s been happy to run the fundraiser for 70 years, and to play a role in raising generations of church members. Feeding them with life lessons and a really good potato pancake.

There’s no recipe for Mary’s potato pancakes. She doesn’t write anything down, she goes off taste and feel, but it’s obvious she’s doing something right.

“I try and ask her to write recipe’s down for me because I’ll be helping her make bread or something, and she’ll be measuring with a container. I’ll ask, ‘Grandma, how many cups is that?’ and she says ‘oh, just a little bit more.’ And it always comes out perfect, so I think it’s amazing,” said Sarah Fife, Mary’s granddaughter.

Mary won’t move from her spot in the kitchen for most of the five or six hour day, while she mixes and her 90 year old mind spits out measurements and quantities for her team of cooks.

Her friends and family said there must be a secret to her energy, but just like her recipes, she’s not telling.



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