From doughnuts to herrings - Polish Shrovetide

I like the time in Poland when carnival ends. Winter is still cold but people make hot atmosphere around. This special time starts on Tłusty Czwartek (eng. Fat Thursday ;)) and finishes on Ash Wednesday. This culmination of carnival in Poland called “Ostatki” (eng. Shrovetide). “Ostatki” in Poland has long tradition. Carnival had a lot of traditions in the old Poland but “ Ostatki” had more because in that time rich and poor people needed to enjoy. All social classes had their own traditional plays and meals but everybody wanted to forget about coming Lent. Polish aristocracy organized balls, fancy-dress balls, sleigh rides, feasts. During “Ostatki” all the events piled up in one big event. Everything began on Tłusty Czwartek when people ate a lot fatty meals during feast and ball. The mark of this day was and is doughnut (pol. pączki). On Friday night after the balls all participants kept move sleigh rides to another house and start new plays repeatedly until Ash Wednesday when at midnight a host changed fat meals on Lenten fare, spilt ash and ended carnival.There was always a dish with herring. Of all of these herring and ash are marks of Ash Wednesday. Fatty meals didn't mean only fat food. the old Polish cuisine had wide selection of dishes and pastry, and every host wanted to serve special nad fancy dishes, so that way Polish cuisine became more diverse. At present the feasts aren't so rich but everybody wants to enjoy on party or fancy-dress balls with friends and eat good, a lot and fatty. And on Fat Thursday rich and poor people eat doughnuts, a lot of doughnuts.

This year I made traditional Polish doughnut for my Irish friends , below the recipe.

500 g. flour
30 g. yeast
6 fresh yolk
100 g sugar
100g butter
100 ml. warm milk
1 tbs. vodka
1/3 tsp. Salt
1 tbs grated peel of lemon
lard or cooking oil to fry
jar of rose petal jam or other jam

1.Yeast and 2 tbsp. Sugar dissolve in half portion milk and keep this liquid in warm place for half hour to grow.
2.Yolks and rest of sugar to mix for white mass,add melted butter and rest of milk and mix well.
3.Flauor and salt sift to bowl and add yolks milk mass and mix well.
4.The next add milk with yeast and peel of lemon and vodka and mix very well. Dough must be smooth and shine.
5.Keep it in warm place about half an hour for grow.
6.When dough grew, make on your hand circle and on middle part put small portion rose petal jam and make ball. Put this ball on dishcloth and make next doughnuts. When you made last cover they next dishcloth for 15 minutes after this time turn on doughnuts and keep next 15 minutes for grow.
7.When doughnuts grew, heat up lard or oil in wide pot. When it is hot put few doughnuts and fry for gold colour one side and turn on and fry second side. Ready doughnuts put on plate and sprinkle they with icing sugar and fry next doughnuts.
Serve cold down. Enjoy!!!

PS. Below the movie with famous Polish song about sleigh ride (pol. Kulig), and true Polish winter.


Cookiemonster is me

Oh yes, and I'm soo good in it! Some time ago I was watching a fitness tv (yes, it was me and I am clear) where a beautiful coach was presenting her recipe for ginger cookies, one of my many favourites. And I am still meditating, stimulated by her advice, whether is it really necessary to eat one cookie at a time?! NO WAY!

No way. With the Griffin's ginger cookies? Impossible. Check out the company. My favourite from NZ:-). I am still developing my own recipe for ginger cookies (as I am too stubborn to use the others). Hopefully chocolate cookie was conquered recently and irrefutably. Anyone interested in the recipe?

100 g butter
60 g icing sugar
2 Tbsp milk
130 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp candied orange peel
1 Tbsp cocoa powder

1. Cream butter and sugar until soft.
2. Add milk and orange peel.
3. Sieve flour, baking powder and cocoa powder.
4. Combine all the ingredients with mixer until smooth.
5. Place seperate spoons of the dough on the baking sheet keeping much distance. Spread in a round shape but do not make too thin layer.
6. Bake in 180 degrees for not more than 20 minutes (until it starts getting dark).
7. Despite the smell allow to cool down!

Chrunch and chew:-).


My subjective guide on restaurants in Cracow - part 2

Part 2:My fast food on Grodzka street.

In Kracow Grodzka street is very important place for everybody. This street connects Market square and Wawel castle. When I lived in Cracow I was on this street every day because it was my way to my job. Grodzka street is beautiful and has long and rich history. But today I'm not going to write about it.

Today I'm writing about one place on this street. This place is a milk bar “Temida” (eng. Themis). I like this bar and it was important for me. “Temida” isn't sophisticated but it always has fresh food and staff serves quickly. I know “Temida”since my childhood. My parents took me sometimes for diner after city walk. During communism time this place was open for everybody and was cheap and good and it was in the city center. When I was a student often I had a fast lunch and also ate there in the breaks in my city guide job.

What does Milk bar mean? “Bar mleczny” (direct translation – milky bar) was a government owned place to sell as many fast meals as possible. Something like a Communistic Fast Food – a McDonalds for working class, always hungry people, students who wouldn't`t have much money or homeless people. After that time places like that became famous for cheep and good meals, so the same class of people would eat there. In this particular one you can still see an university lecturer along with students, or people straight from work. Food remained good and really cheap, maybe not the most sophisticated but really tasty.

Why this common place has name of an ancient Greek goddess? I'm not sure but I guess why communist governors called that place in this way. They usually called milk bars with ordinary names like “Daisy”, “Miner”, “Central” etc. It was different in Crakow, where council had and still have high opinion of oneself so all milk bars in Crakow had fancy names like "Barcelona", "University", "Europe", etc. Probably the Themis (pol. Temida)milk bar owe its name to location. There is a university faculty of law in the same street so maybe the name of Greek goodness of law was the best name for this place.

What can we find in Milk bar menu? We find Polish food, simple and tasty cuisine. In “Temida” I recommend “pierogi”. There are a few kinds of pierogi. Pierogi with meat, cabbage and mushrooms, with cottage cheese, and “ruskie”. “Pierogi Ruskie” are my favourite, there are stuffing with potatoes and cottage cheese and this dish is served with fried onion and malted butter. I loved them.
There are many kinds of soups. Soups in Polish tradition are very important and we can find all soups which are traditonal meals served during important Polish holidays. There are mushroom soup, beet root soup, żurek, and of course rosół, tomato soup and borsch.
Sometimes I took my visitors for fast lunch and we ate typical Polish dinner composed of soup, main course with meat and salad and kompot. Kompot means a drink with cooked fruits served sometimes hot, sometimes cold - as you like. Typical meats in main course are kotlet schabowy (meat with pork breaded), kotlet mielony (like hamburger), zrazy (beef roulade), and others.
But I also like vegetarian food there. There are many kind of salads, I recommended salad with beet root, spring salad, or salad with lentils. My favourite dishes are: placki ziemniaczane, they look like pancakes made of potatos, dumpling and pancakes with cottage cheese and strawberry.In the second branch of “Temida” on Poselska street they serve variety of pancakes, but this is only kind of meal that you can order in that branch.
There is also a wide selection of breakfasts in “Temida” milk bar. We find there eggs served of many kinds, sandwiches, sausages and other meals.

“Temida”has still the same style of decoration typical for the communism. Even though it is busy place it's always clean and tidy inside. There are four rooms: the first room is serving area. Milk bars are always self-service. You'll take a tray and line up. Queues are sometimes long but don't worry, staff works very quickly and you have a meal in a few minutes. Once you paid and got your meal, you need to find a free seat. Sometimes it may be a problem because people don't like strangers at the table but when you are alone you'll find a place quickly. When you are with companionship it's a good idea to split a task. One person is looking for a place and the rest is waiting for a meal in queue.
Currently in “Temida” we can meet students, professors, workers, clerks, homeless and turists but all are kind and polite to each other. I met a lot of interesting people there and I heard amazing stories.
I recommended you “Temida”if you need to eat during a tour. Maybe we meet there? Enjoy.

Ilona thanks for your help. Your photos are really great.


Similar Posts:

My subjective guide on restaurants in Cracow - part 1

My subjective guide on restaurants in Cracow - part 3 - My zone around Bagatela theatre.


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