Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas in Poland...

As not all of you are Polish ;) and Polish traditions differ from those "western ones", here is some short info about Christmas traditions in Poland. Hope you will enjoy this little read...


First of all - we celebrate Christmas on the 24th December, on Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Polish vegetable salad...

This is a traditional, very creamy, potato-vegetable salad, which can be found on almost all Polish tables - in Poland and abroad. I remember preparing it with my parents when I was only few years old. Sitting behind the kitchen table, peeling the boiled eggs, dicing all the vegetables (yes, I could do than when I was few years old, but my knife wasn't too sharp, just in case ;) ). The biggest "treat" and privilege was to be able to mix it all. Once all the diced veges and eggs were in the bowl, to be able to stir it all gently with a big wooden spoon. My Dad would be adding mustard, salt and pepper and I would be stirring, nice and easy. Then a big "blop" of mayo would follow and the veges would become sticky, and the job of stirring it carefully would be more and more difficult.
My Dad would usually reserve a small piece of carrot and cut some kind of shapes out of it to place it on top of the salad, a small bit of decoration, especially if the salad was being made for a family gathering, some kind of party or Holidays.

I can't imagine my Christmas or Easter celebrations without this simple salad, it might be simple but its taste holds so many cherished memories for me, so many happy moments and a true taste of my family home. I've just made one for Christmas...

Polish vegetable salad

There are many variations of this salad, probably as many as the amount of Polish families around the world ;) Some will add a tin of green peas (drained of course) or a tin of sweetcorn or some kind of beans. I like mine as per the recipe below, though my Dad will always add green peas.
The secret to a good Polish salad is to have everything finely diced, not bigger than a size of a green pea.


How to make it...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cinnamon cake - my beloved... and where it all started...

That's the type of cake I love the most! Very comforting and the smell is just incredible... That cake is a real hit at my workplace - it's great as a birthday cake (you can top it with lots and lots of chocolate) and its biggest advantage is... that it's very simple and quick to make.
You can make it in the evening, after work and what I usually do is to turn the oven off and leave the cake to cool down it in, overnight. Next day morning I just pour a lot of chocolate on top, and it's ready! The cake is light and spongy, with a hint of cinnamon which goes perfectly with a cup of strong coffee. Thick layer of chocolate on top gives it an extra sweetness.

This cake is pretty special to me too. It's really a very first cake that I mastered, tweaked to work, to be just as I want it. It took some "trial and error" effort, some stodgy cakes, some flat as a pancake ones, some really weird tasting ones... but I got there in the end! This cake - is my "start line", a start point of my journey on how to become better baker and cook, on how being in the kitchen became one of my biggest passions in life!


What I would also usually do, is to grate about 50 g of dark chocolate 70% cocoa, directly into the batter, at the very end. It gives that little extra chocolate hint within! :)

How to make it...