Polish Language Blog

The Taste of Summer Posted by on Jul 21, 2010 in Vocabulary

I love summer! I love the weather. I love the activities you can do because the weather is so nice. And I love the abundance of fresh vegetables and fruits that are available to eat. And between my fruit garden and my Mom’s garden, there is a tasty buffet all within an arm’s reach.

And since harvest time is upon us, I thought I would throw out some garden vocabulary at you so you too can take pride in your harvests – in Polish!

Tuesday night, I took my sons over to my Mom’s house. Babcia (Grandma) had a day off, and she had made a delicious summer obiad (dinner) for us to share. Lean panierowane kotlety schabowe (breaded pork chops) were on the menu, with a delicious side of pieczone ziemniaki (baked potatoes) and a Polish favorite, mizeria (see Anna’s post, “Not so Miserable Mizeria“). Now, I personally prefer the traditional gotowane ziemniaki (boiled potatoes) topped with a little bit of fresh koper (dill), but this dinner just brought back childhood memories and made me feel good. Plus, I like to mix my potatoes into my bowl of mizeria, which just turns it into a little bowl of heaven. Mom is not very keen on this, and she reminds me regularly that it’s a trait of dziadek (grandfather) that lives on in me. His justification was, “To wszystko idzie do tego samego miejsca!” (It all goes to the same place!) I agree, but I just really happen to like it when the juices from the mizeria soak my potato. Yum!

So after dinner, as if we were not full enough, we ventured to the backyard to pick some fruit. Unfortunately, the brzoskwini (peaches) are not ripe yet, which was fine because the pestka (pit) is tough to deal with for my youngest son, and he ends up spitting out the skórka (skin) too. There was plenty of ripe jeżyny (blackberries) to eat. Some were słodkie (sweet), but many were zgryźliwe (tart). Apparently not tart enough for my oldest son, because he went back and picked the red jeżyny and ate those too. As any good Polish mom would, I reprimanded him immediately and told him, “Brzuszek będzie bolał!” (Belly is going to hurt!) Sure enough, later he did get a bit of a belly ache, but nothing a bedtime story and snuggling couldn’t cure.

Little boys are awesome; they have an endless supply of energy and a bottomless pit where their stomachs should be. My oldest set out on a quest to find everything that Babcia was growing in her garden. He was amazed by the climbing vines that bore fasolka szparagowa (string beans). And after looking at one green pomidor (tomato) after another, he found the first ripe pomidor, a yellow variety my Mom was growing that she brought back from her September 2009 trip to Poland. Now, my Dad’s side of the family has a tradition. When someone picks the first harvest, you go up to that person and tap their forehead typically with a spoon, saying, “Na balinki, na balinki.” What does it mean? I am honestly not sure at all. Since my father passed away, I have sent requests to his side of the family for clarification. If any readers have insight, please share in the comments.

Back to the garden, we have a few more items to review from Babcia’s ogródek (garden):

  • buraki (beets)
  • ogórki (cucumbers)
  • papryki (peppers)
  • chrzan (horseradish)
  • pietruszka (parsley)
  • rabarbar (rhubarb)

In addition to jeżyny, which we covered, you can find the following in my ogródek owocowy (fruit garden):

  • truskawki (strawberries)
  • jagody (blueberries)
  • agrest (gooseberries)
  • żółte i dwa rodzaje czerwony maliny (yellow and two red varieties of raspberries)
  • zielone i czerwone winogron (green and red grapes)

Hope you enjoyed a short walk through our gardens! It’s easy to see why I love the taste of summer? Do you have a garden? What are your favorite tastes of summer? Share them with us in our comments!

Do następnego czytania…

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  1. Mary:

    The best thing about summer fruits and summer in general is that it generally means it’s Pimms O’Clock!

  2. Basia:

    We grew potatoes for the first time this year in our garden and they came out great! I decided to make placki – potato pancakes – yum!

  3. Katarzyna:

    Yum! I didn’t like them as a kid, but I have to admit I thoroughly enjoy them now. How do you eat yours – with sugar or with sour cream?