Saturday, January 01, 2011

Polish Chrimbo Part 1 - Ging It On

Wesołych Świąt!! Wesołych Świąt!!

The world of whiteness was abound and flooded by many Kolędy or Polish Christmas Carols. Man, have I been hearing plenty. Having my Australian family over here before Christmas meant that we were spending time in shopping centres, restaurants, cafes, bars, museums and basically any place that had some form of broadcasting, and they all were pumping out the old Christmas tunes. I even got to hear some from one of the Tram drivers with his little portable radio. I thought it was a nice touch for him to have a radio to cruise the railed streets with, alas I also had, by that stage anyway, pretty much turned my brain off to all festivus good will in carol form. Especially Feel singing "Pójdźmy wszyscy do stajenki" or in English "Come Everyone to the Stable".

So we ducked off to Sokolka for the holiday period. First things first, I needed to recharge the old battery a little after the wedding and trying to cram in as much work as possible into a shorter time span. So I grabbed a big plate of flaki. Mother-in-laws are supposed to be horrible creatures if you believe many comedians and divorced people, but mine is, to quote Little Nicholas, FANTASTIC. She always manages to make me something nice to welcome me there, and one of her prize dishes is flaki or, in English, tripe. I know almost everyone in the "Western" world would turn their nose up at the thought of eating bits of animal that don't cost the earth and are seen as waste or hot dog meat. But, if you prepare it the right way, it is just delicious. I like to add a little extra chili to mine, as I love spice, and it just balances the other meaty flavours.

After the soup it was time for hard work. It was time for us to make this year's gingerbread house. To see last year's click here, this years was to be a castle rather than a house. I even got my father to design it, as I knew he would love it and, well, he was here and bored. So we got a twin turreted little thing that I baked in Warsaw and then constructed with help from Marty. It was fun, messy and a great way to fill in a sunny afternoon, before I went and shovelled snow for 1.5 hours.So to start your gingerbread house you need a solid Base. Marty made one from an old box.
All taped up it was nice and flat.
Next, you need to lay out your bits.
I made some icing earlier, with icing sugar, butter, egg white and a heap of good dark cocoa powder. Then put it into an icing bag.
So now you can see why you never buy a cheap icing bag. They just split down the seams.
Looks a little like you have had problems with bathroom activities or your M&M's did melt in your hand and not in your mouth.
After washing up a little it was time to start on the decorating with tiles and prettiness.
It at times requires delicate skills and at others just loads of chocolate icing :)
We filled the inside with chocolate buttons, even if Marty said they tasted like arse.
The towers got Maltesers and some pink rose flavoured marshmallowy-jubey things.
We even put things in the windows too.
I could say Marty worked out and helped, but I could also say she enjoyed it quite a lot as did her stomach.
Then the finale after adding the small meringues, was to drizzle it with some "snow" aka white chocolate mixed with a little butter and rum to help it slide, and taste tangy rather than just sweet like white chocolate does. Even though in some countries white chocolate can't be called Chocolate as it actually has no cocoa powder in it. Just the cocoa butter. Either way, it makes good fake snow.

So next post will about about Christmas Eve. The big day of celebrations, unlike Australia where it is Christmas Day.

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