Archive for 'traditions'

Let’s have some gołąbki!

Posted on 25. Nov, 2014 by in cooking, Culture, traditions

I’m not a big cook…but I really enjoy cooking traditional Polish meals! I always kept telling my dad that my future husband will cook for me! He used to say: “You will never find a husband who will cook for you all the time!”

Well..I did…Although I really enjoy making traditional Polish meals! And my husband enjoys these nights when we have Polish dinners! One of his favorites are gołąbki! Gołąbki definitely remind me a lot about Poland..it was always my favorite dish! The history of traditional Polish stuffed cabbage begins in the nineteenth century. It comes from Eastern borderlands, from the vicinity of Tarnopol. Pigeons/Stuffed cabbage (gołąbki) were initially prepared as a Christmas dish with buckwheat and potatoes. Recipes passed from mouth to mouth, from generation to generation has evolved into a well-known forms – wrapped in cabbage minced meat with rice.

So today I would love to share my favorite recipe! It is almost like my mother used to make it…but I made few changes to make it my own:)

Składniki:

  • 1 główka kapusty
  • 1 szklanka ryżu
  • 1 funt mielonego mięsa wieprzowego
  • 1 funt mielonego mięsa wołowego
  • 1 puszka koncentratu pomidorowego (0.5 uncji)
  • 1 cebula
  • 3 liście laurowe
  • 2 łyżeczki vegety
  • 1 łyżeczka pieprzu
  • 1 łyżeczka soli
  • Sos
  • 2 łyżki mąki
  • 1 puszka koncentratu pomidorowego
  • 3 łyżki śmietany

Z kapusty wytnij głąb. W dużym garnku zagotuj osoloną wodę i włóż do niej główkę kapusty. Gotuj przez 10-15 minut. Wyjmij z wody i delikatnie oddziel liść po liściu. Odłóż je na bok (nie wylewaj wody w której kapusta się gotowała).

W międzyczasie ugotuj ryż (ugotuj na pół twardo, reszta ryżu dogotuje się w gołąbkach). Pokrój cebulę w kostkę i przysmaż na maśle.

W misce wymięszaj mięso mielone (wołowinę i wieprzowinę), koncentrat pomidorowy, ryż, sól, pieprz, vegetę , przysmażoną cebulę.

Z masy uformuj kulki (wielkość w zależności od wielkości liści) i zawijaj je w liście kapusty. Ułóż gołąbki w garnku. Teraz wodę pozostałą po gotowaniu kapusty użyj  do zalania gołąbków. Ja przeważnie do tej wody dodaję sól, pieprz i odrobię koncentratu pomidorowego, oraz liście laurowe. Upewnij się że woda zakrywa wszystkie gołąbki. Gotuj na wolnym ogniu przez godzinę.

W międzyczasie zrób sos: mąkę rozmieszaj z obrobiną wody. Dodaj koncentrat pomidorowy i śmietanę, wymieszaj na jednolity sos na gorącej patelni.

Gołąbki podawaj z gotowanymi ziemniakami.

Smacznego!

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Ingredients:

1 cabbage
1 cup of rice
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
1 can tomato paste (0.5 oz)
1 onion
3 bay leaves
2 teaspoons of Vegeta (Polish spice of mixed vegetables – can be replaced with any vegetable mix spice)
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

sauce:
2 tablespoons flour
1 can of tomato paste
3 tablespoons sour cream

Cut the core of the cabbage out. In a large pot boil salted water and add the cabbage to it. Cook for 10-15 minutes. Remove from the water and gently separate leaf by leaf. Put them aside (do not pour out the water in which the cabbage is cooked).

Meanwhile, cook rice (cook half way through, rice will get fully cooked inside the cabbage rolls). Chop the onions and saute them on the butter.

In a bowl, mix the ground meat (beef and pork), tomato paste, rice, salt, pepper, Vegeta, sauteed onions.

Make meat balls (size depending on the size of the leaves) and wrap them in a cabbage leafs. Place them in a large pot. Now use the remaining water after cooking cabbage to pour over gołąbki. I usually add salt, pepper, a little bit of tomato paste, and bay leaves. Make sure the water covers all the gołąbki. Simmer for an hour.

Meanwhile, make the sauce: mix the flour with a little bit of water. Add tomato paste and cream and mix to a sauce in a hot pan.

Stuffed cabbage serve with boiled potatoes. Pour sauce over it.

Have a great meal!

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Polska flaga

Posted on 16. Nov, 2014 by in Countries, traditions

The official Polish flag for general use consists simply of two horizontal fields of equal size, with the top one white and the bottom one red. The flag that features Poland’s white eagle set against a red shield on the white field is known as a “bandera” (ship’s flag or ensign). According to Polish flag tradition, it is meant to be flown by Polish ships at sea and by Polish diplomatic missions and other official institutions abroad.

Image by Szift on Flickr.com

Image by Szift on Flickr.com

Many Polish Americans, however, consider the eagle flag more distinctive and prefer it to fly from flag posts or display it at various functions.The colors of red (amaranth) and white began appearing on banners and flags in the 17th century, although they were still not the official national colors. The SEJM (assembly) introduced Polish national colors in 1831, but they were officially recognized as state colors until Poland regained her independence in 1919, when the white and red flag was first flown. Polish institutions and offices abroad and airports, harbors and merchant vessels fly the flag with the national emblem.

Image by roovuu on Flickr.com

Image by roovuu on Flickr.com

Poland’s official crest is a white eagle (biały orzeł), its head poised to the right, and set against a red shield. The eagle first appeared on coins minted in the 12th century and subsequently on the heraldic seals of the Piast dynasty. Toward the end of the 13th century, during the reign of Przemysław II, the Polish eagle was depicted with a crown (korona) .Over the years, the Polish Eagle became a symbol recognized throughout the world. It is seen on flags, in Polish publications, on Polish American specialty items, and products imported from Poland.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)

Great book worth reading…

Posted on 15. Oct, 2014 by in History, traditions, travel

There are so many amazing Polish books…I don’t even know which one to really recommend and choose. However, few years ago, I have read a book about Polish migration to USA and I have to say that it is really, really worth reading.

The story’s factual content reads like a documentary of ocean travel at the end of the 19th Century. The reader will become familiar with the details of traveling by sail in 1869 – the conditions of travel as well as the physical and emotional problems the passengers. The story is told mostly through the eyes of a newlywed couple, Paul Adamik and Jadwiga Wdowiak Adamik. At its beginning, she finds him, an obedient soldier in the Prussian army, intending to re-enlist, carry on his family’s farming tradition, or accept an offer to become the caretaker of his German lieutenant’s lands in occupied Poland. But she is a strong-willed fisherman’s daughter from the Baltic coast, and she has different plans for him.

Father and son augmented the stories, remembered by the father, with scrupulous research. They portray the tensions among Poles caused by the political situation of those times when Poland was partitioned among three neighboring powers, Russia, Prussia, and Austria. The difficulty of life in occupied Poland was the main reason why so many people left their homeland in that time, responding to the stories of a free America. This is shown in the book very well. If you enjoy adventure and romance – you will find it in the book also.Unknown-2

People who decided to travel oversees had to be very brave and desperate, like the statement from the book, “the fearful never left and the weak never survived.”Anybody who decided to go oversees had to sell everything before travel, knowing he might never return. He needed all that money to start life in a different part of the world.

Early in the 19th Century, just getting to a port of embarkation might mean days or weeks of travel on foot, by rivercraft, or in horse-drawn vehicles. But by the middle of 19th Century, the spread of railroads made it easy. The first part of travel of Jadwiga and Paul is done by train to Bremenhaven, Germany. Then they embark with other Polish immigrants on the ship Frederika in the cheapest steerage class amid livestock.

Under normal circumstances, the travel would have taken about a month, and Jadwiga’s baby – she is now pregnant – would be born in America, as she has planned. But the Frederika, pressed into service for the emigration trade, is not competently managed and the ship is damaged, extending the travel. Food grows short, and steerage passengers get the worst of it. It is painful for parents to see their children hungry, and the situation calls for desperate measures.

Despite the difficulty of such travel, there are many joyful moments as an elderly couple entertain children with Bible stories and tales that will boost patriotic feelings for both Poland and America.

Do następnego razu… (Till next time…)