I grew up in a family where meals were cooked at home and from scratch. I’m guessing that I must have been eight or nine when I joined in, making fudge and chocolate chip cookies. By my freshman year in high school, my mother had started working (usually evenings), so it became my job to make dinner for our family. I had a very limited repertoire in those days, fried chicken, roast beef and hamburger pie; I learned early on, the hard part was getting everything ready at once.
Flash forward ten years, as newlyweds, the Air Force sent us to Spain; that’s when our real adventure with food began. We had such fun trying new dishes; Spanish food is still one of our favorites. My love of cooking has continued, and I’m happy to say it’s a passion shared by many in our family. When we thought our time was in Poland was ending, I went home and started a home bakery with our daughter. We bake amazing biscotti and sell them at a farmer’s market in downtown Phoenix. I say “we” very loosely, because this has largely been her project.
About my food:
Tastes change as we age, but I had a medical scare that also spurred a change in food choices. Shortly before moving to Poland, a 14 mm lump was discovered in my breast. It turned out not to be cancer. . . yet, but my surgeon made a very strong case for exercise, vegetables, and organic foods. She was very happy to hear that I was moving to Poland, knowing that Europe has outlawed many practices that fill the American food supply with hormones and chemicals.
I try to eat more vegetables and to buy organic when I can. I’ve given up artificial sweeteners and make a point to eat real food. Let’s just say that years ago, I might have loved the convenience of a recipe that called for “whipped topping,” but now, if I was going to make the same recipe, I would substitute whipped cream.
Poland is full of farmland, and in the summer fresh produce is being sold everywhere, at the tram stop, in pedestrian underpasses. So many Poles garden, growing their own vegetables and fruit trees. Canning and preserving are popular pastimes. I’m eager to do some gardening now that we’ve returned to Arizona. That’s why I asked my mother to write some gardening posts for Polish Housewife. It’s hard to find advice for desert gardening,
About the Polish Housewife blog:
Early on, I came to love the Internet for finding recipes. I was a food blog reader for a year or two before I began blogging. I loved the generous use of color photos and the personal stories that accompanied the recipes. I felt like I got to know the blogger and that it would be fun to hang out in the kitchen with them. After following a few blogs, I decided to join in. I started writing Food is My Love Language in 2009, telling myself that if nothing else, I will eventually have all of my recipes neatly organized online.
One of the first things I did was join a group of food bloggers baking their way through Rose Levy Beranbaum’s cookbook, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes. We were the Heavenly Cake Bakers. There were about 40 of us, most in the United States, but scattered all over the globe. Every week, we all baked the same recipe and posted our results. You would be surprised by the variety we achieved every week, given the fact that we were all using the same recipe. I learned so much in the process. It’s something I’ve heard a chef friend recommend. Get a cookbook and make everything in it. Not just what you think you’ll like, make everything; you’ll learn a lot. It was an amazing group of bakers, and I’m happy to say that I’m still in touch with several of the group. Blogging is about building relationships for me. Many of us are now baking together again in Rose’s Alpha Bakers and Bread Bible Alpha Bakers.
Shortly after I started blogging, my husband began working in Poland. Uncertain about what Poland and that job would be like, we both spent a lot of time commuting back and forth for a year. That was exhausting and crazy. Six months later, I left family, friends, and a job that I loved behind and joined my husband full-time in Poznan, Poland. That was the beginning of my second blog, Polish Housewife – the story of our adventures in Poland and travels around Europe.
In 2014, I combined the two blogs with a more modern, flexible format. I kept the Polish Housewife name because it was shorter; it just made a better url. Here you find our culinary and cultural adventures, in Poland, the rest of Europe and at home in the United States.
My husband, Ed, and I spent five years living in Poznan, Poland – half way between Warsaw and Berlin. When his work schedule allowed, we spent time traveling around Poland and Europe. It’s all so close there! It was a wonderful history lesson, and I have to tell you, going overseas as civilians was different from going overseas as a military family. We were on our own.
Now, we’re back in the United States, Arizona is home for us. I’m working as a Parish Administrator for a large church, and looking forward to vacationing in Poland in the near future.
Lois and Polish Housewife featured in the media:
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