I’m having my third cup of tea – trying to get moving this morning. I really need to get on my bike and peddle myself around the lake. When you hear how I spent yesterday, you’ll understand why.
My Polish friend, Elżbieta, invited me to her home in the nearby town of Swarzędz. A tram and bus get me there. My thoughtful hostess lived in the state of Washington many years ago. She knows what is like to be the foreigner, and has made a real effort to reach out to me and help me get to know Poland. I so enjoy our time together, but it does remind me how much I miss my girlfriends back home.
The first time I was in Swarzędz, we rode bikes and I had a tour of the town complete with their lake, the old square, and an open air museum devoted to bee keeping. Elżbieta is a wonderful cook, and I’m always learning new recipes from her. My food blog talks about the salad dish we had on my last visit.
Let me tell you about yesterday. We started off with second breakfast, a popular Polish concept, coffee and pastries on the patio. Then Elżbieta brought out homemade egg liqueur – egg yolks, sugar, evaporated milk, and spirytus (95% alcohol) – it goes very well on rhubarb cake. I’m going to have to give this a try at home.
Later, we rode bikes to a dairy farm in a neighboring village. We saw their 3-day old twin calves.
The farmer and his wife invited us in for a cool drink and as we chatted, with my friend translating, the potato pancakes came out of the kitchen, and then some of their homemade cheese. I brought home some of their fresh eggs and cheese. I really wish I spoke Polish so I could speak directly with these hospitable folks.
Back at Elżbieta’s, she had selected three different kinds of kiełbasa (which just means sausage in Polish, not a particular kind) – a white sausage, a smoked Frankfurt style, and parówka (hot dog, to you and me). We cooked them on the electric grill and they were delicious! I ate four! (Thus, the bike ride that must happen today.)
With the sausages, we had salad with greens and herbs from the garden, beet root with horseradish (traditional for Easter breakfast – very tasty), bread, and for dessert. . . strawberries, with little meringues (beza) in whipped cream.
And then we tried strawberries, beza, in whipped cream with a little egg liqueur. Are you getting the feel of Polish hospitality? The farmhouse visit and my time at Elżbieta’s remind me of a barbecue we had in Boleslawiec with Ed’s golf buddies, Sławek, Ela, and their son Alek. In all of these situations, I felt like the honored guest. There was leisurely conversation, laughter, and the good food just kept coming. Don’t get me wrong, these are all very fit, trim, active people. It’s not the food itself being celebrated, it’s getting to share the food with friends.