Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Polish Feast

After spending Christmas with my parents, I retuned to home for my annual "week of nothing". I always intend to relax and rest during this week, but it usually ends up being a time for doing all those bits and pieces I usually don't have time to do . . . writing letters, painting doors, reorganizing closets and, this year, making a Polish feast.

My maternal grandfather was a Polish immigrant, but he died when my mom was young and she was raised by her very Scottish mother. I never really thought about this too much (in fact, I didn't even know I was part Polish until I was in my twenties), but I've become more interested in culture and food over the past few years. And, when one of my co-workers raved about her Hungarian Christmas Eve feast one day, I began to wonder what my family would have eaten, had Polish traditions been maintained. And so, I decided to give it a try and make myself a Polish dinner for New Year's Day.

I started with an unbelievably fuchsia coloured borsht. If anyone out there has vegetable adverse little girls, I think that this pink soup would be a hit!

Next, I made perogies. I was worried about the labour intensity of this task, but they were actually kind of fun to make.

First I made the dough.

Then I stuffed each pocket with a mixture of potato and cheese.

And then I ate them. Yum!

Lastly, I made makowiec, a sweet poppy seed cake. This recipe had quite a few steps, but it came together really nicely and I enjoyed the process.

To me, this dessert is more of a bread than a cake, but either way, it is delicious. I love poppy seeds and macowiec is certainly a way to get your fill!

I am not sure if I will make borscht again (I prefer my beets in their non-soup form), but I plan to keep homemade perogies and poppy seed cake in my repertoire. Food is so much more nourishing when it comes from a history and not from a box!

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