Polish Slow Food

This week we were celebrating 650th location anniversary of Ptaszkowa, a village of 3,000 inhabitants located near Nowy Sącz in Beskid Niski mountains in the south of Poland. We were there because of my husband who wrote a book about the truly fascinating history of this noble village.

There was a community contest of local food prepared by the farmer’s wives’ associations from different villages in the district of Grybów. That was a real feast. With delightful food and what is more with smiling faces of vibrant personalities in their regional clothes, singing lively folk songs and celebrating also thirtieth anniversary of the ordination of their parish priest. That was the place where we had our just right to taste!

Let's eat and sing...

...and share the joy of life!

I would go mushroom-picking every day with that kind of stuff! And eat bigos from Biała Niżna! The secret - I was told- is in the way you cook the cabbage!

The traditional figurine made of butter, usually put on the table during the Easter, here we have hen - shaped in the mould counting 150 years! It was made by the grandfather of one of the ladies. Have you recently tried the real butter - I mean did you find the taste of the sour cream in it? I did! There’s no comparison to anything else you name butter. It would be worth to come here just for this one thing! But since there were also traditional sausages...

Cold meat in aspic and traditional Polish yeasted wedding cake called "kołacz" (kolach).

Here one could sample the fruit home-made wine with dog rose syrup - from Polna village. Good mood guaranteed:-)

I got the loaf from Mrs Janka from Gródek and have tried on the regional costume!

But above all we met extraordinary people.
You are highly welcome to Ptaszkowa! The recipes and people are priceless!!!



A few weeks ago I made a discovery of good wine of Catalunya. This is a red wine Coronas which aroma and flavor is a combination of elements of blackberry and strawberry fruits oak and truffles. Its tannins givea fruity, velvety touch of smoke and spices acquired during ageing. This combineation of flavors is a good background for meats like beef or lamb. I have tried this wine with Irish stew with lamb. So it was a good mix of Spanish wine and Irish meal. After that diner I became interested in Tempranillo produced by Torres, because I didn’t know that strain of grapes.

It was a big surprise for me when a read about this grape because I knew another names. Tempranillo is known by other names in certain regions and I tried this kind of wine from South America but wine of Catalunya tastes the best for me.
Tempranillo is a variety of black grape widely grown to make full-bodied red wines. It is the main grape used in Rioja. It’s name is the diminutive of the Spanish temprano ("early"), a reference to the fact that it ripens several weeks earlier than other Spanish red grapes. In the last 100 years it has been planted in South America, USA, South Africa, Australia, and Canada.

Tempranillo grapes prefer a cooler climate and have low resistance to many wine diseases and pests. Wines tolerate heat well, but the fruit develops indistinct flavors and undesirable characteristics in warm climates. Tempranillo grapes tend to be low both in overall acidity and sugar, but relatively high in tannin from their thick skins. In favorable climates such as the cool higher elevation of Ribera del Duero, Tempranillo can make wine that is moderate in alcohol, but long-lived.
Tempranillo wines can be consumed young, but the most expensive ones are aged for several years in oak barrels.

Tempranillo is less frequently bottled as a single varietal. Being low in both acidity and sugar content, it is most commonly blended with Grenache (known as Garnacha in Spain), Carignan (known as Mazuela in Spain), Graciano, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Blending the grape with Carignan makes a brighter and more acidic wine. Tempranillo is the major component of the typical Rioja blends and constitutes 90-100% of Ribera del Duero wines. In Australia, Tempranillo is blended with Grenache and Syrah. In Portugal, where it is known as Tinta Roriz, it is a major grape in the production of some Port wines.

So I tried Tempranillo many times but I surely wasn’t aware of that because wine makers used different brand names hiding the real origins of the grapes. The first time I came across the actual Tempranillo name was with Coronas wine from Torres.
The traditional Tempranillo variety is the basis of Coronas, blended with a small proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon.
I recommend this wine. Enjoy!


Walnut Asparagus Omelette

Since my husband doesn't like eggs as they are I have nearly lost hope to find my soulmate. Thanks God there is Nuria. She has announced the blogging omelette contest. My first thought: asparagus and walnuts. Spring and autumn together. Brain's stimulants. So that is the story: Nuria's responsible for that spark.

Walnut Asparagus Omelette
for 1 person
(still I must to eat it alone)

2 eggs
pinch of salt and baking powder
5 thin asparagus
a handful of walnuts

1. Roast walnuts in the frying pan.
2. Boil asparagus in water with salt and sugar, drain and cool down immediately. Cut into 2 -3 cm pieces.
3. Beat the eggs with salt and baking powder (I did it really well with my mixer).
4. Mix in asparagus and walnuts.
5. Pour out on a hot oiled frying pan. Cover with a lid and keep on a medium fire for 2 minutes. Turn and keep for a minute longer.
6. Eat as fast as possible!!!
What I like in this dish is the green crunchy stuff and my favourite nuts. You didn't expect that hardship in an omelette, did you? And I like that bubbles caught in the structure. It gives the illusion that it is a light treat;-)
I can't wait to see more wonderful recipes!!! Viva España!


Cabernet-Negrette Aubergines

Hungry mind walks strange ways (you can quote that). Do you too starve yourself to stimulate your mind to create some tasty dish? Lying in bed at night I was thinking about stuffed aubergines, marinated roasted aubergines, pickeled aubergines. For me there is no more French vegetable than this one, even leeks lose the contest with it.

Rosemary Cabernet Negrette Aubergines
(for 2)

1 medium aubergine
1 tsp chopped rosemary
2 Tbsp extra vergin olive oil
100-150 ml Cabernet-Negrette or another red table wine
100-150 ml double cream
salt, freshly groung pepper
pasta for 2 people

1. Slice aubergine into thick slices (around 1 cm) and cut them into four pieces. Start boiling pasta, by the time it will be ready, you will finish with the aubergine and a sauce.
2. Heat the oil in the frying-pan, add rosemary, stir for half a minute. Add aubergine, saute for 2 minutes, mixing halfway.
3. Pour wine and stew under cover for 3-4 minutes tossing.
4. Pour cream, season generously with salt and pepper, mix and leave under cover for another couple of minutes.
5. Remove the lid and reduce the souce, seasoning if necessary.
6. Arrange pasta on plates, cover with the aubergine pieces and the nice purple sauce. Decorate with herbs.

Enjoy delicious flavours of rosemary in this red wine sauce! Absolutely amazing dish, although so simple and quick.

Small note on wine: the good thing about cooking with wine is that you don't need a superb wine to cook a superb dish. Sometimes something hardly drinkable can go well if used in the cooking process.

Whatever is your experience with VdP du Comte Tolosan Allegoria Cabernet-Negrette (vintage 2005) or Negrette in general, please share it here. I only can assure you, it goes well with aubergines!!!


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