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All Things Christmassy in Poland


rozumiemnic 8 | 3,827
16 Dec 2015 #31
IME all those tiny birds like guinea fowl, pheasant and so on, might weigh a kilo but alot of that is bones (assuming they have been cleaned, gutted, plucked etc) and there is v little meat on them in the end. V tasty though.
OP Atch 17 | 3,289
16 Dec 2015 #32
Each bird is about a kilo, so after cooking I reckon one could feed two people, three at a pinch.

Oh Roger, you must have the appetite of a bird yourself! One per person dear. When I cook duck I roast one for each person and they weigh nearly twice that. I do the same with lamb shanks and pork hocks. Mind you I couldn't eat a whole hock but I could easily eat a lamb shank weighing a kilo and I can polish off most of a duck. I have a small appetite as a rule and I'm a petite person not some giant, guzzling gargantua with her snout permanently in the feed bag! So when cooking for men or mixed company I don't stint, better have a bit left over, it won't go to waste.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,827
16 Dec 2015 #33
Yep, one per person it has to be. If there are leftovers, then you also have tasty sandwiches for the next day.
Even a good sized duck will only serve two really...
dolnoslask
16 Dec 2015 #34
Yep i sometimes use the leftovers to make a Christmas curry on boxing day makes a nice change. not sure if my neighbours would like it tho.
rozumiemnic 8 | 3,827
16 Dec 2015 #35
I have found that Polish people like curry OK., they just might take a little persuasion....
OP Atch 17 | 3,289
16 Dec 2015 #36
Just make the curry mild or keep a couple of cans of coconut milk handy and make a spicy batch for yourself and a mild batch for your Polish guests by adding the coconut milk.
Roger5 1 | 1,458
16 Dec 2015 #37
Oh Roger, you must have the appetite of a bird yourself!

That I do. It's the wine and chocolate that makes me fat.

I could easily eat a lamb shank weighing a kilo and I can polish off most of a duck

Good grief!

Polish people like curry

My turkey and ham pie has been a revelation to friends. "Meat cake", my in-laws call it.
johnny reb 28 | 4,996
16 Dec 2015 #38
At our house there is always a fight of who gets the turkey carcass.
Buddy you want to make some good soup that's the ticket.
And with what little bone is left after that the dog gets his Christmas dinner.
The only thing from a turkey that does not go to use here at Christmas is the gobble.
Same with a ham bone. Oh my the split pea soup that makes.
You kids just don't know how us poor folk use to survive.
We use to go to the store with a dollar and get leg of lamb, potato's, loaf of bread, some pickles, a couple bottles of good wine and a few other things for Christmas dinner. (But that was before security camera's.)
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
16 Dec 2015 #39
turkey carcass

Ya know, my Polish Babcia always made krupnik (vegetable-barley soup) using the Xmas turkey carcass.
OP Atch 17 | 3,289
16 Dec 2015 #40
We use to go to the store with a dollar and get leg of lamb, potato's, loaf of bread, some pickles, a couple bottles of good wine and a few other things for Christmas dinner. (But that was before security camera's.)

Ha, ha, ha!! Good one Johnny.
smurf 39 | 1,981
16 Dec 2015 #41
Is Christmas pudding Irish? or Plum Pudding it get its proper title.
Love that stuff, make it every year, load of dried fruit, a bottle of Guinness stout and a few shots of Jameson, breadcrumbs and a couple of eggs.

Boil that for 6 hours and you're ready.

I always make that and it's a big hit with our Polish guests and a ton of Irish coffees too.

We used to eat goose for Christmas dinner too.
Might do a sherry trifle this year. I've noticed that cakes with a feckload of booze in them are really appreciated here :)

People from Kawrk (Cork) eat spiced Beef on Stephen's Day, but I've never had that.

Cadbury's Roses, ain't Christmas without them. Me Ma sent mine in the post there yesterday.

Trying to think what else is usually prepared around Christmas......Christmas cake obviously, that's a fruit cake with icing on top. Really easy to make. Ginger-bread men, or ginger-bread cake.

Some people have a turkey and glazed ham dinner, some have goose, although the goose tradition is dying out....some people think it's more difficult to cook.

Mince pies....a dozen after you come home from the pub on Xmas eve.....after you've been to mass of course.....even the priest is a bit tipsy for midnight mass ;)

Christmas pudding....as above. A yule cake too, have seen that a few times. I suppose it's a bit like a Swiss Roll.

Stephen's Day is a bigger day in my gaff. Xmas day is just the family and you do your penance, then the real party is Stephen's Day with your extended family and friends, a few card games, a few bets on the horse racing and the football. And drink, lots and lots and lots of drink.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
16 Dec 2015 #42
Christmas

SORRY MODS & PF-ERS! When I saw Atch's "Christmas miracle" remark I instinctively thought it was in the Christmas thread and added my two groszy worth. Maybe someone more e-gadgetarian savvy than me can remove it from there. I am re-posting it here where it belongs:

POLISH YOUR YULE-THEMED POLISH!

ADWENT: Pronounced: "AHD-vent", Advent, the nearly four-week period of spiritual preparation for Christmas. It is the time to build a Christmas crib, welcome Święty Mikołaj, prepare home-made tree ornaments, light successive candles of the Advent Wreath, pray and mediate a bit more and think of the needy.

ANIO£: Pronounced: "AH-nyo", the Polish word for angel, a figure who recurs throughout the season in Christmas carols, nativity plays and holiday decorations.

archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/POLAND-ROOTS/2008-12/1228364907
Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
16 Dec 2015 #43
I miss Christmas crackers.

Got mine last week from Marks and Sparks in Sopot..... ring them and ask.....?
Harry
16 Dec 2015 #44
I miss Christmas crackers. Haven't seen them anywhere and don't want to go all over Warsaw in search of them but does anybody know if they can be obtained?

The only place I have ever seen them is at M&S. But the things are hidden in various corners of the shops and nobody seems to have any clue as to where they are or even if there are any.

How many are you after? I may well be able to spare four (or even six), would need to check how many I have.

Got mine last week from Marks and Sparks in Sopot..... ring them and ask.....?

I got mine at M&S last year on Christmas Eve (with a serious price cut).
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
16 Dec 2015 #45
Christmas

Dedicated to Pan Atch(-ski?)

Polish Christmas Eve

'Twas the day before Christmas - the house was astir,
Tatuś had brought home a ceiling-high fir.
It filled our whole house with a nice woodsy scent,
After setting it up, again off he went.
From the kitchen there wafted those Christmas Eve savors.
They made our mouths water for once-a-year flavors.
Babcia sliced noodles from the dough she made best,
Round the bread-board she tossed them to give them a rest.
Dziadzio cleaned fish and, when there were no more,
Went on to help with the next Christmas chore.
With a bowl 'twixt his legs Janek sat on the floor,
Crushing the poppyseeds his back to the door.
The mushrooms had soaked and now could be cooked,
The uszka would taste just as good as they looked.
The finished pierogi were arrayed and all ready
To be cooked in a pot boiling ever so steady.
Mama laced herring with onions and cream
And started preparing the carp, pike and bream.
Teenage Krystyna was trimming the tree
Behind a locked door so Ola couldn't see.
She wanted to keep it a special surprise
To see the excitement in her sister's eyes.
One by one later they slipped from the home
To go to confession, repent and atone.
For nothing today should be blemished or soiled.
Both body and soul must be cleansed and unspoiled.
So as evening approached they all bathed and dressed
And chose from their wardrobes their holiday best.
In the window stood Ola her gaze fixed on far,
Trying to spot the evening's first star.
She silently wondered there as she stood
Whether today she had been extra good.
For Babcia had told her: 'Oleńka my dear,
How you are on Wigilia you'll be the whole year!'
The table was laid - what a sight to behold!
That once-a-year ritual soon would unfold.
The top had been strewn with a handful of hay
In memory of Jesus and the bed where he lay.
A table-cloth followed - pure snowy-white
The only kind suited for this wondrous night.
It was an old heirloom all trimmed with lace.
And at the table there was one extra place
For some lonely, poor traveler who night knock on the door,
Hungry and weary and chilled to the core.
On a plate on the table amid fir sprigs and hay
A snowy-white wafer majestically lay.
Dziadzio took it and blessed it and broke it two,
Giving one piece to Babcia with feelings so true:
'I wish you, Mamusiu, God's very best,
With joy and good health may you always be blessed.'
Babcia wished him the same and the two of them then
Extended to all those warm wishes again.
We all shared opłatek, shared wishes and kissed,
Assuring that no family member be missed.
During that moment so tender and dear
In more than one eye there glistened a tear
For the dearly departed and those who were far
And could not break bread on the Feast of the Star.
There appeared on the table a covered tureen,
Its savory fragrance betrayed soup unseen.
Within was the barszcz ruby-red and so clear
With floating small dumplings - each shaped like an ear.
Next came the herring with crusty rye bread
Or boiled potatoes which some liked instead.
There were three kinds of fish and kapusta with peas,
Pierogi with cabbage, potatoes and cheese.
Although this alone was more than enough,
Next came the sweet things - such wonderful stuff!
Poppyseed noodles, stewed raisins and prunes,
All you could hear was the clatter of spoons.
Then came makowiec, that fine Wilia cake,
So luscious as only our Babcia could bake.
Piernik and keks, figs, dates and nuts.
'You must sample each with no ifs or buts!'
When we'd eaten our fill and had room for no more,
Someone rose from he table and flung open the door.
There in the parlor all ashimmer and aglow
Glistened the tree as if sprinkled with snow.
Its ornaments sparkled in the tapers' gold light,
Bringing radiance and warmth on this cold winter's night.
Then all of a sudden we heard a loud knock.
It was Święty Mikołaj rattling the lock.
His white beard was bushy, his cheeks cherry-red,
And a gold bishop's miter was gracing his head.
His long robe brought with it a gust frosty cold.
'Niech będzie pochwalony...' came his greeting of old.
We youngsters were quizzed on our good deeds and prayers,
While our puzzled dog Kajtek just whined on the stairs.
St Nick passed out presents as he sat by the tree,
Filling us youngsters with rapture and glee.
When he left there resounded a familiar old chord
On Dziadzia's accordion in praise of the Lord:
'Wśród nocnej ciszy' and 'Lulajże' too
Were sung with great fervor as Poles always do.
Since 'Dzisiaj w Betlejem' was the favorite of most,
Dziadzia played in again - a most amiable host.
By now it was late and soon Babcia said:
'It's time for Pasterka - Oleńka to bed!'
She needed some coaxing, at last she gave in,
To much excitement this long day had been.
All bundled up we then trudged through the cold
To hear the nativity story retold.
Pasterka was glorious and always has been,
A Mass that awakens the goodness in men.
And that more or less is the end of our poem,
For after Pasterka we all returned home.
May the joy of Wigilia, so Polish and dear
Fill you and your family throughout the New Year.
Harry
16 Dec 2015 #46
If anybody does want any crackers:
allegro.pl/tesco-crackers-prezent-luksusowy-krakersy-6-szt-i5860193649.html
or
britishshop.pl/pl/p/Family-Fun-12.5-Christmas-Crackers/3846
Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
16 Dec 2015 #47
I got mine at M&S last year on Christmas Eve (with a serious price cut).

Yep, they were giving them away in January here in Sopot. Like a berk I didn't buy any :)

May the joy of Wigilia, so Polish and dear
Fill you and your family throughout the New Year.

Very good Polonius:)

You do leave out the bit of information (for those who don't know this) that a Polish Christmas Eve is oft horribly formal with suiting up and that bloody oplatek, the food is uneatable, and there is no boozing.

The poem was super evocative though!
dolnoslask
16 Dec 2015 #48
I must admit this "No boozing" on Christmas eve is new to me, we used to go to midnight mass then come home, my uncle and father would then drink vodka until the early hours , but I suppose it was Christmas day so I guess that's ok then, I never noticed the significance until now.
Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
16 Dec 2015 #49
we used to go to midnight mass then come home, my uncle and father would then drink vodka until the early hours

LOL. I used to drive on the morning after Wigilia to pick up a pal and regular as clockwork the police would stop me. They couldn't work out for the life of them why I was driving on an empty dual-carriageway on the 25th of December and how the alchometer registered zero:)

We would make up for the late start later though:))
dolnoslask
16 Dec 2015 #50
Well here is a story, I was born on Christmas day true to form dad and uncle were drinking vodka, mum says to dad baby is coming, dad says don't be so silly doctor said it won't happen until next week, shock horror dad and uncle have to go to telephone box (3ft of snow) to call the midwife. At 2:30 I popped out onto a copy of the polish soldiers daily.

I think that may have sobered my father up (or maybe not!).
smurf 39 | 1,981
16 Dec 2015 #51
allegro.pl/tesco-crackers-prezent-luksusowy-krakersy-6-szt-i5860193649.html

You de feckin man Harry!!!!

Awesome!

that bloody oplatek, the food is uneatable, and there is no boozing.

Pfft, jeans and tshirts in my gaff.
The oplatek thing is weird though, actually it's really, really feckin weird.
I don't mind the food, less cabbage-based stuff would be nice though and that cake, whats it called, with all the poppy, that's horrible, the rest is nice though..........except carp, f!ck carp.

As for no drinking, man, you need new inlaws ;) coz that ain't normal.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
16 Dec 2015 #52
horribly formal with suiting up

There is more to Christmas than food, drink and presents! It is largely spiritual experience full of time-honoured ritual and symbolism, emotion and nostalgia. You can get soused anytime but Wigilia is in a class all its own. There are probably some on PF incapable of appreciating such sentiments. So be it!
Harry
16 Dec 2015 #53
As for no drinking, man, you need new inlaws ;) coz that ain't normal.

If anything, pretending to not drink (teacups full of tea that's half vodka, shots of vodka on the balcony with each cigarette, swigging from the krupnik bottle while granny's in the kitchen, etc) is the essence of Polish Christmas.
Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
16 Dec 2015 #54
I was born on Christmas day

Really bad luck Dolno - what with the lack of one lot of presents when you were a nipper.... as to the "three foot of snow" - poetic licence eh! More like 3 inches, as the frustrated actress grumbled to the bishop.
jon357 63 | 15,441
16 Dec 2015 #55
what with the lack of one lot of presents when you were a nipper

As the Three Wise Men said when they handed over the gold, frankincense and myrrh, "now this is for your birthday AND for Christmas..."
dolnoslask
16 Dec 2015 #56
Dougpo wish i was poetic 1961 look it up one hell of a snowstorm.

Yeah presents were tough for my parents they didn't have much, but I never noticed or felt that i was missing out.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448
16 Dec 2015 #57
horribly formal

I didn't think too many on PF fancied the slob chic!
Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
16 Dec 2015 #58
Lol - fair comment. Though I envy Smurf..... the suit is just another thing to get me worked up, and sneaking down to the garage for a snorter of Ballantines old :)

1961 look it up one hell of a snowstorm.

Ah - you didn't say it was 1961/2:)) The Great Freeze.
I was 5, and I still remember the cracking snow and skating on the lake at the back of the house. That lake never froze again in all the years I lived there.
mafketis 24 | 8,817
16 Dec 2015 #59
Not drink on wigilia? AFAIK wine or vodka with the wigilia meal is pretty common now, not hardcore drinking but sipping wine or a few small shots though the meal.

Maybe this is like the no-dairy rule that few people follow anymore (since herring in cream is pretty common).
Dougpol1 32 | 3,274
16 Dec 2015 #60
sipping wine or a few small shots though the meal.

Father in law in residence this year... he would be offended if there were any alcohol on the table. I seem to remember him de-rigeur being blitzed at 9 am the next morning though.

Where's the logic?:)


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