Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cheese and honey

Well, searching through the old laptop to try and clean up and make some space I found some photos from earlier this year that I hadn't put up! Hopeless, I know. Sorry.

So these are from earlier in the year, when my 'adopted' cousin Darren and his lovely Margie popped into Wawa after they had spent some time in the South of the country around Krakow and Auschwitz. After being in such pretty cities as Krakow and Berlin, coming to Warsaw is certainly somewhat of a shock. As they say, if you can survive your first viewing of Warsaw, you can survive a lifetime. Especially when you come from the Central Train Station. To me, the station itself really isn't that unattractive, however if you ask a Varsavian, you will most likely find they loathe it in no uncertain terms. People say the design is horrible, but it isn't so much that, it is just poorly organised inside. The hallways are filled with take away stalls and the heavy smell of fried food and melted cheese is hard to escape.

The colour scheme, although a mix of grey, black and darker grey, really could be polished up and buffed into something that resembles sleek and modern design. I think if you gave me 50 strong men with crowbars, some big bins, a number of high pressure hoses and some decent lighting, I could make the station into a really nice, welcoming and warming place, where the homeless wouldn't want to stay drinking cheap vodka, maybe they would change to Italian red wine instead, and the new coffee shops wouldn't look out of place. Oh well, that is another subject for another day.

So we had some guests come and visit. They unfortunately got the worst of the weather, it was raining most of the days they were here, and as soon as they left we had 4 weeks of rain free, stifling heat. So alas the weather wasn't a big display for them.

We thought it would also be nice to give them a taste of something else very traditional. Here in Poland, alcohol is a big part of history and tradition. Although men will brag how they drink loads and loads, like in every country in the world, but here they do have a rich history of warming beverages. Hot spiced beer and wine, cherry liqueurs, and then this family. The honey based family. This drink is Krupnik, it is basically a honey vodka. I do like it especially on a cold and wet day.

It appears that Darren and Margie are a little hesistant, probably because Marty and I were smiling so much. They must have thought it was a joke or something.

You will be happy to know that they survived and actually thought it to be rather pleasant. I keep thinking about making some Krupnik or maybe even some mead, but it can take at least a year to make good mead, and well, I am not that patient when it comes to alcohol. We will see.

Back to our city guests, well we started by giving them a tour from the train station to their apartment on the best eating street in Warsaw. Yes, you guessed it. Chmielna St, home of my favourite hot donuts! yum! So on the way through, they were forced into having two each. We tried to show them a little of Warsaw's highlights, Old town, the university library, CK Oberza, Nowy Swiat and most of the "downtown" areas. We took them to eat traditional food, and Pierogi dumplings. It seems they might have liked it as they ended up staying longer than they had expected. Which is a good sign.

We got them to try some of one of the growing number of Polish Cheese on the EU Food Heritage List. Oscypek a regional smoked cheese from the Southern Highlands is great with Cranberry Sauce, here Marty gave up a cheesy grin to match the cheese.

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