FUNKIE FOODIE 2: Jim's Funkie Foodie cravings- Poland

Funkie Foodie 2:  Jim's Funkie Foodie Cravings.

This section's food cravings are like walking down memory lane. My loving grandmother and mother have moved on, and I am currently living far away from anywhere where I could remotely find Polish food. My grandmother and mother would both lovingly prepare foods like you will see below, by hand. I remember as a child during special events as well as just common times enjoying their cooking. Luckily, I looked over their shoulders enough to cook  some of these basic favourites, but not nearly as good as theirs would have been like. Each time I go back to Poland I enjoy the opportunity to satisfy these special food cravings. Maybe I can get you hooked also after you finish reading this blog?

Gołąbki- this is a real traditional favourite, and my grandmother and mother made this often. I also can make this well when I have the time and patience! When I was younger and was vegetarian I would substitute the ground meat for red salmon and mix with rice! Equally wonderful I must admit! (but not traditional)

Tongue sausage. Very unique and quintessential Eastern European flavour, I remember getting this wonderful cold cut in my sandwiches when I was a school boy! I miss it!  ( when my father was making the sandwiches he would put mustard on it but I didn't like it that way)

Czarnina- this is a classic soup with the main ingredient being duck's blood. My mother went to a farm who raised ducks to specially get the fresh blood from a duck to make this soup. It also contains plums and, at times, noodles. I remember it being served during Christmas.

Kielbasa- Almost everyone knows these, but they are better than the ones found in the usual supermarket. I like the skinny smoked ones, and also a kind of sausage made from blood called Kiszka. (I can't find a photo of that) but my mother would make that frequently when I was a kid. I loved it!

Pierogi. My grandmother taught me how to make it all by scratch! when I want to impress my friends at a dinner I make them. When I was a vegetarian I would put plums, also cheese, blueberries, and, traditionally, meat or potato.

Oscypek- My family comes from Podhale area in the Tatra mountains of southern Poland. This cheese is a very traditional ( from 1500s !)  smoked salted sheep milk cheese. Traditional carvings are in the cheese shapes from the carved wooden mould they were made from. They hang over the fire area and slowly season from it!  I love this cheese and whenever relatives or friends would return from Poland, they would bring some back.

Polish head cheese. I really like this meat also. I had it in sandwiches, for lunch time, and have fond memories of the taste.

Easter Lamb- My mother and grandmother would make this for the festival and would decorate it in varying ways, ( sometimes they would use shredded coconut and a raisin for the lamb's eyes) I miss those occasions.

This is a strange but yummy concoction of beets and horseradish. Usually eaten around Easter ( there is a white version of this too). The taste is "unique" to say the least, but it helps us remember the suffering Jesus Christ did for us during his death. ( he had some bitter thing to eat on the cross)

Made of beets. I make my own too (but I omit the eggs in  this)

Polish porter beer- this beer is a perfect accompaniment to most of the food I mentioned above. It is chocolaty, coffee back rounds and nice! It has a nice foam head when poured into a glass.

Sliwka- a wonderful dried plum covered in dark chocolate! There seems also to be some taste of alcohol inside it. Wonderful! I can finish a box of these in one day!

Kołaczki-  I can remember my grandmother making these by scratch! She would make them for all the relatives and her neighbours. I remember her rolling out the dough, and the back room had trays of these all around the room, and I would sneak and eat a couple- maybe she never noticed. I miss her so much. She passed at age 95. My grandfather passed at age 99 !


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