Jeszcze jedna Opowieść Świąteczna

o-17417Nazywam się Tetliteas, a pochodzę z krainy doryckiej po wschodniej stronie Morza Egejskiego.  Moim rodzinnym miastem jest Kos, położone na wyspie o tej samej nazwie. W chwili obecnej jednakże zamieszkuję na stałym lądzie w Halikarnas, skąd pochodził wielki historyk i podróżnik Herodot.

Niechże wyjaśnię pewien szczegół dotyczący mojej ojczyzny. Doryda to region niejako przedzielony morzem Egejskim na dwie różne części.  Strona zachodnia ze Spartą znajduje się w dolinie rzeki Pindos na Peloponezie. Wschód Dorydy to wybrzeże Karii w Azji Mniejszej. U nas mówi się dialektem doryckim, ale zaledwie kilkanaście mil na północ od Halikarnasu dominuje miękki akcent joński i eolski.  O nas pisał Tukidydes jako o Dorach, sąsiadach Karyjczyków, którzy zresztą zamieszkawszy w naszych miastach, skutkiem rządów Mauzolosa, zhellenizowali się całkiem i przejęli naszą mowę i obyczaje.

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Why Slavic race is indestructible

Now I am going to disclose the greatest secret of the mankind. All the historians and ethnographers frantically try not to admit that there is one group of humans which expose extraordinary values. Not only has it been indestructible over millennia, yet its genes tend to dominate the entire Caucasian type. The behavior of this nation has a lot to do with the situation, because it assimilates itself with the conquered or otherwise visited nations, yet it no other race or ethnotype can match its exceptional vitality.

Yes, we are speaking of the Slavic people.  Why are they healthier and stronger than other nations? Well, it is a matter of their life style, very close to the Nature and living with strict accordance to the natural laws which includes the way they prepare their food.

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Tatar or Cannibal Sandwich

Here we go.  This is probably the most savage dish in the famous Polish menu. I  am taking the privilege of presenting a raw meat snack.  It can be consumed in form of a sandwich or as is, with a piece of fresh Polish bread on side. It is recommended to eat it in moderate amounts since it is loaded with nutrients and served usually before meal, such as kind of an appetizer.

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Another exotic soup

Of Polish soups, we in America know only a few kinds.  At Polish events the most often a black soup (czernina – pron. tscher-nee-nah) is served. It is prepared with a duck blood, or rarely pork blood preserved with vinegar. The dish is rather not nutritious (vinegar as ans ingredient) and in my opinion, not attractive visually or flavor-wise.  Yet, some people like it.

When a young man visited parents of a girl he wished to marry and he was not welcome, he was served czernina.  This was a polite way to let him know to leave the daughter alone.

Nowadays, we can safely state that czernina is not part of Polish cuisine.  Pigs blood is used to make sausages of various kind while duck blood is simply wasted.

But wait.  We have something exciting. A soup or maybe rather stew that is impatiently awaited by most Polish people. It requires much more preparation work; therefore, it is not consumed as more or less everyday’s food.  It is rather an event dish or special attraction food.  It is called Flaki, that translates as beef tripe.

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Back to the Origin

As we have mentioned many times, one of our multiple mission here is to viciously fight those darn false myths about Polish cuisine.  Yes, we do admit that there are some traditional dishes which are not extremely healthy yet please do remember that over centuries of its stormy history, the nation has been exposed to extremely harsh and Spartan environment.  This situation is reflected in several kinds of foods, which are either simple and loaded with nutrients, such as Tatar beef, White Cheese and Zhur,  or perhaps somewhat time consuming when being prepared, but virtually non-perishable such as Bigos (Hunter’s Stew), Kiełbasa (pron. Kiew-bossa) or bryndza (salted mountain quarg cheese).  However, one must realize that in our strange world basically everything that contains concentrated nutrients, bears a label “no good for you”.

Hey, people, get up from your couches, turn your idiot boxes off and live the way our ancestors used to live.  Then, you may be allowed to have their kind of delicious food which won’t affect your health.  Otherwise, you will have to continue having those tasteless empty substances called Food of Twenty First Century.

Now, to sharpen your appetite, here are some examples of light fresh soups, usually made in the summer time.

Lemon soup is prepared with veal, lean beef or chicken wings.  Yes, lemon soup is included in the Polish cuisine, even though citruses are typical to a Mediterranean region rather than for Northern climate (where Poland is located – FYI).  Half-pound of meat is placed into seven cups of cold water with a pinch of salt and one bay leaf.  The pot is slowly brought to boil and cooked for 30 minutes. Then, vegetables are added:  a medium-sized carrot, parsley root, a piece of celery root, one stalk of leek, one small onion and green parsley.  When vegetables are tender, the soup is passed through a strainer or food processor.  Two egg yolks are now beaten well with a cup of sour cream and juice of one lemon and added to the pot.  The pot is now simmered without boiling for one minute.

This soup is served with broken or whole barley (kasha), cooked the following way:  First, a tablespoon of fresh butter, preferably unsalted, is melted in a pot and two ounces of kasha is lightly fried in.  It takes no more than 3 minutes on medium low heat.  Then, four fluid ounces of cold water with a pinch of salt is poured in and brought to boil. Now we mix well the contents of the pot, cover it, wrap in a towel, then in folded blanket, cover with another blanket and wait for at least 40 minutes.  Do not worry about burning or overcooking.  Uncover the pot and stir the cooked kasha with a fork.  Do you smell this wonderful aroma?  Rice can be cooked using the same method.

What to serve when your guests stayed overnight and woke up with a terrible hangover? (remember not to drink and drive)  Give them a glass of cold tomato juice and meantime make the hangover soup (kacówa – pron. cuts – oova).

Get 2/3 oz of dried Polish or Chinese mushrooms and soak in two pints of warm water for 2 hours (we may want to start preparing this soup the night before).  Bring to boil in the very same water, add one onion, 4 grains of allspice, 4 grains of whole black pepper and simmer until soft and aromatic.  When using less expensive Chinese mushrooms, be aware that they smell very ugly during initial stage of cooking, yet the stink quickly dissipates.  Fish the mushroom out, chop finely and return to the soup.  Add one pint of sour kraut juice.  Use only genuine Polish sour kraut juice, from a cabbage kept in a wooden barrel.  So-called sour kraut sold in plastic bags or jars, contains vinegar and acidulants other than naturally fermented lactic acid, so be careful.

One tablespoon of flour is mixed with water to consistency of cream, 4 tablespoons of sour cream are added to flour and stirred into the soup.  Now the soup is slowly simmered for a while and our hangover soup is ready.  Tastes great with egg noodles, cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

What to do if your guests brought in a six-pack of a popular American beer such as Michelob or Miller?   Of course, we have a real beer for them in our fridge yet of course we will not throw away a product proudly crafted in this wonderful country, especially because it is euphemistically called „beer”!  Polish soup made of American beer will be an interesting addition to the evening snack.

Heat up three cans of beer almost to boil (intensive foaming!), add a piece of cinnamon, a little nutmeg and several cloves.  Beat well four egg yolks with almost one cup of sugar and add to beer.  Now add remaining three cans of beer, a shot glass of rum or cognac, mix and serve immediately, pouring into soup bowls with some white cheese (Quarg or solid Farmer’s Cheese) cut into 1.4 inch dice.

Now, my dear Anglosaxon chefs, here is Garus, the strangest soup you may have ever heard of!  A plum soup with potatoes, very popular in the mid-southern part of Poland.  Potatoes may be served as a side dish or just dumped into the soup bowl.

A pound and half of plums or similar fruits (peaches, nectarines, etc), are cleaned, pitted and very slowly cooked with 2 pints of water and 5 –6 oz of sugar for 30 minutes.  A little pinch of cinnamon can be added but it is not absolutely necessary.  Soup is thickened with sour cream.  Potatoes are cooked the ordinary way, may be mashed or whole.

Try the above recipes on your barbecue party and finally feel free to be proud of your inheritance because no one can cook like Polish people.

And remember that Pierogi don’t come from Poland!  It is purely Russian food, adapted by the Poles for its organoleptic and nutritional values.dill-pickle-soup-2-kopia-1024x668

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Epitafium dla Psa


Odpoczywaj, Piesku.

Bylismy razem przez więcej jak trzynaście lat.  Byłeś najlepszym, najpiękniejszym i najmądrzejszym Psem, z jaki miałem kiedykolwiek do czynienia.  Nierzadko warto było odejść od ludzi żeby z tobą porozmawiać.

Wiele dolegliwości wieku podeszłego dokuczało Ci już równocześnie. Na pewno Tam jest ci lepiej.

W moim imieniu poliż po rękach świętego Franciszka, który czytał Słowo wilkowi, bratu twojemu.  Przytul sie do św. Brygidy, która pouczała, że nasze pieski będą o nas mówić tam na Górze.   Pokłoń się nisko św. Bernardowi, który mawiał: Qui me amet, amet et canem meum.

I czekaj cierpliwie, bo i za mną kalendarz chodzi już krok w krok.
Do zobaczenia, Pikusiu.

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Kuchnia starożytnego Rzymu epoki augustiańskiej w skrócie, cz.2

Przyjrzyjmy się może teraz codziennemu pożywieniu Rzymianina czasów augustiańskich. Jak już było powiedziane, cywilizacja rzymska powstała na bazie rolnictwa, jak zresztą każda cywilizacja, ktora się liczy w historii.  Cywilizacje rozbójnicze jak wiadomo nie miały znaczenia, lub ulegały unicestwieniu.  Przeto, tradycyjnie posiłki Rzymian bazowały na produktach rolniczych i oczywiście pochodzenia morskiego, jako że Półwysep z trzech stron otoczony jest wodą.  Urozmaicenia i udziwnienia przyszły później, zarówno od ludów zamieszkujących przyłączone prowincje, jak i skutkiem fantazji kulinarnych rodzimych kuchmistrzów, w tym rzeczonego Apicjusza.

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