Polish Language Blog

Czasowniki w Mojej Kuchni Posted by on Aug 10, 2010 in Vocabulary

In the summertime, especially when the heat and humidity are at their worst, the last place you want to be is slaving over a hot stove. However, it’s birthday season for my family with birthdays almost every weekend. So in preparation, there really is no alternative but to be in front of the hot stove, making the goodies to be devoured by my eager Polish friends and family. I can honestly say, I wish I had finished the basement project of creating my letnia kuchnia (summer kitchen).

Stop the presses. Basement. Summer kitchen? What? If you’re like many of my American friends, the thought of this is a little crazy. Why would you have a kitchen in the basement when you have a perfectly functional kitchen on the main floor? The answer from many Polish women is a simple one. Because it’s cooler. In Poland, my aunts have separate buildings on their property where the letnia kuchnia is located. That’s right; separate buildings. That way, they can cook up a storm without turning the whole house into a sauna. Well, as separate buildings on the same property are hard to come by here in the States, many of my Polish relatives and friends have created pseudo-letnia kuchnia in their basements. Under the same premise, it is cooler to cook down there and with the door closed, the heat stays in the basement and not wafting to the cooler living spaces in the house.

Now to get to the meat and potatoes of this post. What verbs would you use to cook the meat and potatoes? Okay, cheesy, I know, but I had to. Here are some czasowniki to impress your Polish in-laws, starting with some cooking methods:

  • gotować ~ boil
  • piec ~ bake
  • smażyć ~ fry
  • przypiekać ~ broil
  • gotować na parze ~ steam (literally, cook in steam)
  • wędzić ~ smoke

I had to add wędzić because a friend’s father gave me a wonderful cut of meat that he had smoked. The meat was a pork loin, and in Polish it is called polędwica wieprzowa. All I can say is DELICIOUS! In tribute to my late Father, I too am going to learn the lost art of how to wędzić po Polsku. Stay tuned for the post on my lesson.

A little in reverse, but before you cook you have to prep. Here are some czasowniki of prep methods used w kuchni:

  • kroić ~ cut
  • po kroić na plastry or szatkować ~ slice
  • mieszać ~ stir
  • obierać ~ peel
  • ubijać ~ beat
  • trzeć ~ grate

One of these verbs makes me smile every time  – mieszać. My Ciocia Marysia would always serve us tea and jokingly add every time, “Mieszać, mieszać. Cukier stary.” This translates into, “Stir, stir. The sugar is old.” What was even funnier is I preferred my tea without sugar, so adding it and stirring vigorously for her benefit was all the more humorous for me. Ah, good times.

Hope you have had your fill of verbs in my kitchen! I am going to leave you with a bajka. I know, shocking that it’s not disco polo. Soon, I promise. But I have been spending a lot of time with my sons lately with all the to do’s, and one of our favorite things to watch are Disney’s Phineas and Ferb. Coincidentally, there is a Polish version of the cartoon, Fineasz i Ferb, which I have to say I love more. Mostly because I think the voices for the kids in Polish are ADORABLE! So share with your little ones or just enjoy for yourself! This is a bajka that both children and adults can get into, and it happens to be one of my favorite songs from the show.


Do następnego czytania…

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  1. FunnyPolish:

    My family has a Summer home back in Poland. Not only is it good for cooking but ours is surrounded by berry bushes and fruit trees. We always had so much fruit for jams and cakes. I haven’t thought about putting a kitchen in the basement, though!

  2. Gary Neitzke:

    On my uncle’s farm in central Wisconsin they had a very small house on the farm they called the “shineda”. I was told this referred to a summer kitchen. I’m not sure that is correct.