a meaty, beety barszcz

Barszcz is borscht.  And borscht is борщ.  And probably some other names.  We are going with barszcz here.   You got me?

Now the history of barszcz is deep and complex.  And that is how it should taste, even if it’s simple.  I’m sure someone will write a book about it’s interesting evolution and history, and I will read it.  If there is a book out there, correct me please!  Apparently first made with fermented hogweed (a common plant) in Poland, it eventually was just sour things.  But basically the beet was not introduced to this so called barszcz for a long time.  I, myself cannot imagine a barszcz without beets (unless it’s a white barszcz, which is delicious!).

I have been thinking about making barszcz all winter.  I have an awesome cold barszcz recipe here.  The kind I made below is a winter soup to me, it’s rich and hearty.  Polish barszcz is a clear broth most of the time, but I like having some more substance, something like the Ukrainian’s do but still simple.

Mine starts with a kwas.  Which is kvass, which is also квас.  Kwas is a fermented juice/liquid.  It can be also made with bread, which we will make white barszcz from.  I also added bread to my beet kwas to help it ferment.  Here is how I made mine.

Kwas

a couple of fresh small beets

1 tbsp sea salt

2 cups of filtered water

a couple of garlic cloves

stale bread – rye is best

1 liter jar with a lid

– make sure your jar is cleaned really well!

– chop off the ends of the beets.  wash them really well with a scrubber.  chop them into small pieces, leaving the skin on.

– mix 1 tbsp of sea salt with the water until evaporated.  place the beets in the jar, pour the water on top.  crush your garlic cloves and place in the jar.  cover it and shake it around a bit to mix everything.  you want to make sure the beets are fully submerged.  remove the lid and add more water if needed.  place the stale bread on top, also making sure it is covered with water.

– let the beets sit 1-2 weeks.  if your lid is very tight, open it once a day to release pressure and check for mold.  the jar I used is pretty loose so I don’t do it every day, maybe every other.  if there is mold best to not risk it and throw it out.

Meaty Beety Barszcz

1 lb beef short ribs

1 onion

3 bay leaves

5-8 peppercorns

1 carrot, ends cut off and skin peeled

4 medium beets

5 small waxy yellow potatoes

4 garlic cloves

1 tbsp oil

2 cups beet kwas

juice of half a lemon

herbs for garnish, like dill, parsley or cilantro

– place the short ribs in a large pot. cut the onion in half and place half of it in the pot along with the carrot, peppercorns and bay leaves. cover everything with 4 cups of water, a little more if not covered all the way. bring to a simmer and then cook on low heat covered for an hour.

– meanwhile peel the beets and chop them into match stick size pieces. dice the potatoes and set aside.

– cut the other half of the onion into thin half diamonds. heat the oil in a skillet on medium heat. cook the onions on medium low slowly until they start to turn soft and lightly brown, then add the garlic. cook about 8-10 more minutes. set aside.

– once the meat has cooked for an hour and softened, remove the carrot and onion. either strain the broth and place the liquid and meat back in or try and pick out the peppercorns and bay leafs with tongs and a spoon (what I did). add the beets and potatoes and simmer covered for another 30-45 minutes until the beets and potatoes have cooked.

– add the onions. add the beet kwas and lemon juice and stir well. you can take out the meat to serve and chop the more meaty parts into small pieces, it’s quite fatty usually and hard to leave in the soup whole.

Enjoy!!

 

brooklyn food guide

The thing about New York, and maybe this is similar in other big cities, is that it is always changing.  You have your favorite place you go to, and then you go back a couple years later and see that either that place has changed to keep up with the times (sometimes in a good way and sometimes not) or it is gone for good.  So in that way it’s hard to make guides sometimes, but here is to hoping these places make it in the big apple for a while!

I recently went back for a weekend and did a lot of wandering around Brooklyn, because I tried to not go into Manhattan unless I really had to.  So here is a tip for traveling, if you go to New York spend some time in Brooklyn.  Honestly, if you booked a trip only in Brooklyn I bet you would have an awesome time.  You can go along the waterfront and take the ferry and look at Manhattan from a distance. There are so many different neighborhoods and awesome parks, museums and the best food these days seems to be happening in Brooklyn.  Sure, Manhattan will always be cool, but Brooklyn is like super cool now and it’s worth spending more than a day there.

These are places I actually would go to, and I don’t go out a lot because I am a babushka.  Some were neighborhood spots and some were more places my friends would go.  I am not sure you need to plan a whole trip around these places, but if you find yourself in these neighborhoods check them out!

EAST WILLIAMSBURG

(This has become a very hip place to live lately but if you look past the ramen and juice shop and the tattoo parlor that used to be a gravestone shop you will find an old Italian neighborhood where people still walk around talking to each other in Italian and grow tomatoes and basil in there tiny yard and walk to church at 7am with rosary in hand ❤️. Things you’ll only see living there.  I lived here for a bit and I really miss it.)

Emily’s Pork Store

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This place is the best.  It has all your Italian staples.  Jerry is such a nice guy, works hard and makes amazing food.  They have real cheese and meat, they have pictures on the wall of all the people who love this place, some famous! They have awesome rice balls, or aracini.  For sure get the dried sausage, that is what he is holding up in the picture, it is my favorite thing there, spicy and sweet are both delicious.  Also, if you are hungry and just want a sandwich they make awesome roast pork sandwiches with mozzarella and sweet peppers.  Gevork has one of those shirts hanging up there and was wearing it in Chicago and got stopped by a man who used to live nearby and also loved this place.  It is that good!

The Blue Stove

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This place is pretty popular.  Other bakeries have tried to open in this neighborhood but this one always does the best.  They keep it simple.  Pies, biscuits, quiches, scones, cookies.  I think it has become a bit pricey but sometimes you can treat yourself.  Also, it feels like grandma’s kitchen, and you know I love that.

Beco

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I have a soft spot for really small restaurants.  This is one.  They serve Brazilian food.  Just simple, good stuff.  It’s great in the summer when you can sit outside but also great in the winter huddled inside at a big table.

GREENPOINT

(This is the Polish neighborhood of Brooklyn that is slowly being taken over by hipster families.  My favorite hole in the wall Polish restaurant shut down and I kind-of stopped exploring.  But there is one I really like that is super cool)

Polkadot

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This is kind-of like a updated deli, not intimidating at all, it’s appealing to those who maybe don’t know Polish food as well.  Meats, pickles, soups, blintzes.  They make everything really well and it’s very fresh.

PARK SLOPE

(This was the first area I lived and worked, I worked at a restaurant called Miriam, it’s pretty good but I’m not putting it on my list because I haven’t been there since I stopped working there like 5 years ago.  This is a yuppy neighborhood.  But some good classic food spots.)

Brooklyn Larder

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They just make really good stuff, and sell really good stuff, it’s like a little taste of what Brooklyn’s about.  Get the tune egg anchovy sandwich, deliciously salty 🙂

Blue Sky Bakery

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Oh the days when I used not wake up or have the right groceries to make breakfast and instead would get a muffin and a coffee here. Solid, interesting muffins, they sell them other places too but here is the original. Cute vibe inside, it feels like someone’s beach house. Newspapers being read, books in case you don’t have one, people chatting. It’s been a while since I’ve gone here regularly but I’m guessing it’s the same.

BED STUY

(I really like Bed Stuy, it’s really the epitome of gentrification but it has really pretty brownstones and it’s far enough from Manhattan that those people don’t make it out.)

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Saraghina

This place is so hipster, it’s hasn’t been here forever but long enough. It’s so good though. Sit outside in the summer in the back and get pizza, it’s the real deal. Also it’s called Saraghina. Fellini anyone?

So there is my short list. I wish it was longer, but these are all solid places. Enjoy!!

pączki!

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I’m so happy to be back in Chicago where people actually know what Pączki Day is!  Do you know what it is?  It’s Fat Tuesday, which is the day before Ash Wednesday.  Which is the beginning of Lent, the 40 days before Easter.  Catholic’s usually give something up as a fast.  A lot of time it’s sweets, or other indulgences.  In Europe it’s Fat Thursday, and in Poland you eat Pączki, which are jelly filled donuts.

I tried making pączki in New York twice and failed, because I really suck at frying things.  This year however I made sure to use a good digital thermometer, fresh yeast and I found a method I like best to seal the little dough balls.

So my recipe is with fresh yeast, which is just better, it grew so much more!  You can find it in some regular grocery stores in the refrigerated section, or if you have an Eastern European store they will sell it in big chunks.  This method of folding over the dough works best when the dough is really yeasty and slightly damp from that.  So I think its best with fresh yeast!  Obviously instant dry yeast is fine.

Pączki

5 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour

40 grams of fresh yeast

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted European style butter, melted

1 1/2 cups warm milk (not hot, just warm when you stick your finger in)

1 whole egg

4 egg yolks

1 liter frying oil

jam or jelly for filling, I used a whole small jar of plum butter

powder sugar for dusting

– prepare your yeast to bloom.  place it in a bowl and squish it a bit so it is easier to stir.  add a spoonful of the sugar and 1/2 cup of the warm milk and stir to mix well.  add more milk if it’s not mixing up.  let it sit for about 5 minutes until it’s doubled and it’s bubbly.

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– mix the flour with the rest of the sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer or a large bowl. with a stand mixer, using a dough hook, mix the flour on low, slowly adding the rest of the milk, the butter, the yeast mixture and the eggs.  or mix everything bit by bit in a big bowl, eventually using your hands.  mix well until everything is combined but still slightly sticky.  you don’t want to work the dough too much, but you want to form a nice ball.

– place the dough in a clean, lightly oiled bowl.  cover with a dish towel and let it sit in a warm place for about an hour, for it to double in size.  once doubled, flour your surface and roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about 1/4 inch thick.  make a light mark down the middle with your hand, not piercing through but just so there is a mark on the dough indicating half.  do the same thing with a large cup on one side of the dough, just lightly marking circles with space in between.  these will be your pączki.

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– fill each circle with a spoonful of jam or jelly.  once they are all filled, take the other half of your dough and place it over the side with the jam, make sure it fits all the way over to the other edge.  lightly press around the little jam hills to slightly seal.  take your cup again and place over the circle so it goes all the way through.  it should seal well from that but if not, lightly press to make sure the jam is not coming out.  set aside, under a dish towel is good to not let them dry out.

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– once you do one set of circles, mix your dough again and roll out to repeat until you have no more dough.  i did it even with one circle.  let all the circles rest and rise for 30 minutes.

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– wait about 20 minutes and heat your oil in a large pan on medium to high (i used a shallow cast iron and it worked well!). you want the temperature of the oil to rise up to 356 F.  keep checking the temperature and adjust the burner if needed.  once the oil is at 356 F, place a couple of the pączki in the oil and fry about 3-4 minutes on each side, they should be a nice dark golden brown.  remove with a slotted spoon on a plate with a paper towel or on a cooling rack.  repeat until they are all cooked and then dust with powdered sugar.

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Enjoy!  They are so good when fresh 🙂

pickle soup / zupa ogórkowa

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Let’s talk about the weather, because food and weather always go together.  We are in that strange time of year where fall starts to creep up slowly. It starts with a couple of cool days that feel like heaven because the sun is still warm enough to tingle the surface of the skin.  Then it comes in fast with a day where we do not have enough clothes and we get a little tickle in our throat that turns into full on sore the next morning.  I am very much not looking forward to that day or to my first winter in Chicago in 8 years.  Every year I have dreams of trying to enjoy winter, we will see if I am better this year.  I really really want to like winter, but every time it comes around I can’t seem to keep my spirits up. What about you?

This soup seemed to me to represent this time, mostly because it isn’t really seasonal.  In some ways it is a winter soup because well, it is soup. But also because it is made from pickles so you don’t really need the bounty of summer produce to enjoy it.  But maybe it’s actually perfect right now when we are not in love with squash yet and so cold that all we want is fat.  We still want a little funky freshness, so try this funky delicious soup.

It is made with pickles, simple as that.  It’s a basic soup that is flavored with brine pickles to add a little tang, just enough.

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Pickle Soup / Zupa Ogórkowa

2 tbsp butter

1 onion, diced

1/2 tbsp dried marjoram

salt/pepper

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 small parsnip, peeled and diced

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

6 cups of vegetable stock

4-6 pickles in brine (not vinegar pickles), grated on a cheese grate

1/2 cup pickle brine

1/3 cup sour cream (optional)

1/2 tbsp flour

dill

– in a large pot heat the butter. cook the onions until soft. season with salt and pepper and marjoram. add carrots and parsnip. cook about 5 minutes.

– add the stock and potatoes. bring to a boil and then simmer 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.

– grate the pickles if not already grated. once the potatoes are cooked add the pickles and simmer another 10 minutes. add the brine.

– mix the sour cream in a small bowl with the flour until combined and then add 1 cup of the warm soup. mix it well until everything is dissolved. add it back to the soup. season with more salt/pepper to taste and serve with chopped dill.

enjoy!

catania, sicily (plus a little florence)

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Espresso.  Granita.  The Catholic Church.  Scooters.  Lemons.  Oranges.  Bellisima.

I did not go to Catania simply to travel and make a guide, however, I spent a lot more time there than I thought I would, so here is a little guide of some places to go to.

This trip was my first to Italy.  I am usually not the type of person to believe the hype.  Ever since I can remember Italy has been hyped up, nearly everyone goes there for vacation and everyone loves Italian food.  I now understand why.  The majority of my time was in Sicily with a couple of days in Florence, so my experience is not all of Italy but there is really something amazing about the food in Italy no matter what part you are in, everything is so good.  They really care about their food, about where it comes from and how it is prepared.  Especially wine and cheese.  I still don’t understand how the simplest dishes can taste so good, and so much better in this country.

Before I rave about Sicily, here is my experience on mainland Italy – Florence.

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Florence was so touristy!  But it is worth it.  If you go to Florence, go to the other side of the river and wander around also, it was super chill there.  And it really is a breathtaking place, I feel like if I would have spent more time there I would have seen the different sides through the tourist parts.  It is so classy.  It’s classy without even trying to be classy, they like invented class.  It’s culture and beauty and life.  Around every corner awaits something old and beautiful and there is this ease in the people and their way of life.  I would go back.

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A lot of restaurants in the city are only open for lunch or only for dinner.  In general the food in Florence is heavy, the most famous being the Florentine Steak.  When you are here, eat local.  Don’t eat seafood, because it probably comes from Sicily (unless you are not going to Sicily, then eat it, it’s not that far away), but their specialty is meat, using all parts of the animal.  Drink Tuscan wine.  And we always went for the paté.

Here are some favorite places:

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Le Volpi e l’Uva – I marked this place after seeing it on Emiko Davies’ blog.  And I am pretty sure we had the best wine here from our whole trip.  Everything they have there comes from really small wineries, where they don’t even have to say they are organic or natural, you just know it is the real deal.  They also have little plates of food, and it is kind of hidden from the touristy parts.

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Fiaschetteria Nuvoli – Fiaschetteria means wine shop, and there are lots of these little eateries everywhere.  I don’t remember how we found this one, but we liked it so we went back a second time.  It is not just wine and it is pretty close to the main square.  It is simple food, quick service.  We had some tripe that was slow roasted with vegetables and some delicious herb sauce, I didn’t think I would like tripe (I’ve only had it in soup and tacos), but they prepared it in a way that was delicious.  Like many places in Italy, courses matter, here it was a bit more laid back which we appreciated.

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Piazza Santo Spitio – a plaza on the other side of the river that was super chill and cute, a great place to have a espresso or a Spritz.

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Trattoria Del Carmine – In general we liked trattorias, it’s more family, home cooked type of food, not fancy.  This place was old school.  If you don’t order courses you are looked down upon.  Our waiter only spoke Italian and I was having trouble making up my mind looking at an only Italian menu, and he seemed to be a bit annoyed.  I was also trying to not eat so much meat, which was stupid because that is what you do when you are in Florence.  He suggested the rabbit and I regret it to this day I didn’t get it, I bet it was delicious.  The steaks are super affordable, get a steak, if not here look for another small trattoria that is only open for dinner.  This place was open more often and that is why we ended up there.  We were in Florence during a Sunday and Monday, which are not good days for restaurant hopping.

Now on to Sicily.

Ok before I went to Sicily I must say I read a really strange book called Conversations in Sicily by Elio Vittorini.  It kind-of imprinted in my mind what Sicily is without even using too many words.  It’s short, I recommend to read it if you go (maybe even on the plane), you will have a more unique experience.

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My first walk on Italian soil was Catania.  As the small plane from Frankfurt made it’s way to the island you could see Mt. Etna, the volcano that defines Sicily and especially Catania.  In some ways Catania is a dirty little city.  The Baroque buildings scattered around the city actually look dirty, and that is because Catania was built on a volcanic eruption.  But that is also what makes it unique.  Catania is the second largest city in Sicily (some say it is bigger because a lot of people live more outside the main part), but it still feels like a small town.  You start to see the same homeless people, you see a guy walking eating a danish and then later see him selling something on the street.  We walked around and ended up walking in circles because it’s just not that big.  I am not sure if we would have liked Catania as much without our French tour guide.  My fiancé was taking care of some art stuff while we were here and we had a French man who lives in Sicily as our guide unexpectedly.  He loves Sicily and actually hates France, especially Paris.  And he knew all the best spots.

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When in Sicily you eat local which means seafood, oranges, fennel, artichokes and much more.  And Sicilian wine. It is strong, but because of the volcanic soil it is complex and abundant.  Eat dessert, Sicily is known for it’s dessert, like granita, marzipan and we must not forget, the holy cannoli.

Here are some of my favorite Catania spots:

First is breakfast.  Breakfast in Sicily is a pastry, and then cappuccino (or espresso).  You only have a cappuccino in the morning, so that afternoon drink has to be espresso.  Cappuccio in Italian means hood, and cappuccino means small hood, thought to have been inspired by capuchin monks (who wear brown hoods). The pastry can be simple, but it will most likely be filled with cream or jam, some even eat a brioche with gelato.

Pasticceria Savia – This place is old school, as many of the pastry shops are. There are a number of newer ones though that are a bit fancy.  Sit here and have a nice little breakfast and head over to the the park right across the street.

Then what to see? Go to the fish market and the main square.  Right across from the main Cathedral is another small church that you can go to the top of, do that, we spent probably 1 hour up there watching a funeral procession for a firefighter and just enjoyed the view along with some German tourists who parked up there for a card game.

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Just wander around. Get a bibite, an Italian soda, at one of the little stands.  And another espresso of course. Go to the University area, a nice place to stroll.

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Catania is totally Sicily.  It’s raw and it’s rough. Sicilians are a little tougher, they are intense, but can be very nice at the same time. If there is still a big mafia influence we didn’t see it, no need to worry about that anymore it seems.  There are flee markets, where immigrants sell bootleg clothes, or just thrift items.  People drive not dangerous but without a real order.   It’s not your typical tourist place.  I heard the monastery is nice, we didn’t make it because we were busy with other things.  The beaches have little walk ways, and are nice in the summer.  And you must go to Mt. Etna, another one we didn’t get to. Overall Catania is a real place with real people.  So if that is your thing, then it’s a really cool unique place.

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Where to eat:

People go out later in Sicily, it’s always better to go earlier if you think it will be a crowded day.

Tratorria La Norma – This was our hosts favorite place.  They knew him well when we went, and the people were so nice!  They are a bit more relaxed again when it comes to ordering courses.  But the portions are not huge, they are just enough so get a little of everything, it’s fresh and simple.  Their table wine is very good, it comes a bit cold and is super fresh, and so is the olive oil.  Also my favorite dessert was here.  Just a simple lemon cake and almond and pistachio semifreddo.  And they gave us the most amazing homemade coffee liquor at the end of our meal.

Trattoria Da Nuccio – The kind of place you look for: simple, locals, fresh, the owner serves you.  Again, having a guide was nice because sometimes these places only have things written in Italian, but who cares, go anyway.  Order whatever fresh fish they have, table wine and some pasta.  You can’t go wrong when there is a table of 8 Sicilian men in the back having a good time.

Al Vicolo Pizza & Vino – This place has a wait, but it is so very good.  We were there during Easter and there is a small church up the street people visited, and there are chairs all along the sidewalk.  It is only open for dinner, and when you walk by during the day you might not even notice it.  Get pizza, any kind is good and maybe some Nero d’Avola.

And before you leave go to:

Enoteca Regionale di Sicilia – This little unassuming shop is awesome.  We wanted to take back some local wine and olive oil, because they just do it better in Sicily.  At first we walked past but then came back and decided to go into it.  The woman who owns this shop is so passionate and beautiful.  Go and ask her questions and she will tell you all the wonders of Sicily and what to get.  Such a treat on our last day.

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Overall, Italy is great, it is refined it is seasoned, it knows it’s good.

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Sicily is great because it has a little bit of everything.  It has mountains and beaches and dry areas.  It has small little villages tucked in here and there.   It has space for something still, and that is always exciting.

bay leaf pudding

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I have so much free time right now, but I am so not using it wisely!  I am now living in a new city and looking for new jobs and trying to save money so my mind is not focused yet.  It’s so exciting though, I feel positive.

I lived in New York, Brooklyn specifically, for 7 years.  It was such an amazing adventure.  I learned a lot, worked my butt off, did stupid things, did really cool things, wasted time and wasted money.  After everything I was burnt out!  I needed a different pace, I needed to spend less money and I needed my family around.  New York is amazing, but after a while, it’s just too much for someone like me, a year goes by like three months.

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(New York from a rooftop in Brooklyn)

I have never really put together a list of stuff to do in a city but maybe I will do it for New York/Brooklyn, from the perspective of someone living there and seeing how much there is and not really having money, time and especially energy to do it all.  It can either be a really good list or a really lame list, we will see.

And now Chicago, I really love this city and kind-of want to keep it a secret, let’s just keep it at that for now…

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(Lincoln Park in Chicago)

And even though I have lots of time right now, you might not, and this is a such an easy but amazing dessert!  This stuff is addicting!  Seriously, I can eat the whole thing and more.  I have a thing for puddings, any pudding: rice, chocolate, lemon.  But bay leaf?  I am not sure how to describe the flavor, it’s a bit herbal, maybe a hint of licorice, but it’s very subtle and does not overpower.

Bay Leaf Pudding

2 1/2 cups milk

6-10 dried bay leafs (I used a lot, and you can also use fresh, experiment and taste!)

1/3 cup of sugar

1/4 cup cornstarch

– heat 2 cups of milk in a small saucepan on medium heat until almost boiling.  remove the milk from heat and crush up the bay leafs into the milk.  let it sit for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so the milk does not create a film on top.

-strain the milk and reheat until almost boiling again.

-mix the remaining 1/2 cup of milk with 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a small bowl a little at a time so it breaks down evenly so there are no lumps.  turn the heat down a little on the milk and add the sugar.  stir for about 5 minutes.  keep stirring and add the cornstarch.  stir occasionally on low heat for about 5 minutes.

-remove from heat and let it cool down a bit.  pour into a bowl or whatever your using and place plastic right on top of the pudding to help not create a film (or not if you don’t mind).  cool in fridge for a couple of hours.

yummmmm

-Jrad

 

celebration salad

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The celebrations are over obviously.  But there will be more.  I also got engaged over the holiday and so I have that to celebrate still and I get to start practicing making a wedding cake.

I am calling this salad celebration salad because I am not sure what to call it really.  It is obviously olivier salad, which in Poland they call sałatka jarzynowa – which basically means vegetable salad.  It is a salad my family has pretty much every time there is a holiday and possibly birthday.  I am sure if you are Polish you might have a similar experience.  If you are not Polish you might think it is a rather weird salad.  I was eating it yesterday and someone asked me what was in it and I said “Vegetables with mayo, and pickle and egg, and apple”.  She is from Michigan and said that sounds like her potato salad, and I agree.  It is a bit like potato salad with potato not being the main component, but instead each bite has different layers of flavor.  By far not the most stylish looking salad, unless we are back in the 1950’s, but that is why I love this salad, it has a lot of charm to me.

(If you didn’t read the link to olivier salad, this was very interesting: The first version of olivier salad was apparently “grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, and smoked duck” – so I guess our version is like the poor man’s version!!!)

I have many good memories with this salad.  My dad is always the chopper of the vegetables, he doesn’t cook much but can be (like many men in the kitchen) very precise about his chopping, but my mother always gives him a hard time anyway.  And my brother, who doesn’t like many other traditional Polish dishes, loves this salad and often complains it doesn’t always taste the same, probably because there is no real recipe.

Alas, here is a recipe.  There are so many versions of it, but this is how I like it, no meat or fish just simple.

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Celebration Salad

2 medium potatoes, peeled

2 medium carrots, peeled and ends cut off

1 medium parsnip, peeled and ends cut off

1/4 big celery root (or half a small one), peeled

4 eggs

1 green apple, peeled

2 cups defrosted frozen peas

3 big dill cucumbers in brine (pickles), diced

1 small leek, very thinly diced

1 1/4 cup mayo

1 tsp dried marjoram

2 tsp dijon mustard

2 tsp grated horshradish

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

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– place the potatoes, carrots, parsnip, celery root and eggs in a large pot and cover everything with water.  bring to a boil.  once the water is boiling set a timer.  after 12 minutes takes out the eggs and place them in cold water.  after about 30 minutes take out the potato, parsnip and celery root.  if they are not soft yet leave a bit longer.  leave the carrot in for about 35 minutes.  keep checking because each vegetable is different.  remove everything when ready.

-let the vegetables and eggs cool. chop up the apple, pickles and leek into even diced pieces.  once the cooked vegetables have cooled to room temperature chop them up the same way.

-place all the ingredients in a big mixing bowl.  mix the mayo, mustard, horseradish, marjoram, salt and pepper in a small bowl until well combined.  mix the dressing with the vegetables thoroughly, adjusting seasoning as needed.  place in the fridge to cool some more.  will last a couple of days in the fridge.

and celebrate!!

peace, jrad