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Polish table

The vacation mood is long gone but the memories are still very present. I brought pictures and recipes from my travels and now I can serve them on my table.

As always, I pay attention to how the food is being served and presented. On the picture there's a lovely folk style kitchen cloth, that I got as my souvenir.

From the perspective of a mother, I often think about the kitchen as work and ordinary and tiring everyday routine.

From the perspective of a child, it's so much more than just the food. It's all the things that we associate with it, mother's care and love, desires to establish tradition. Nothing tastes better than our mothers' food.

Here will be a few of my favorite Polish dishes that I attempt to master!

First course - beet soup

Most of the Polish traditional dinners start with a soup and I like it more and more, maybe because I just miss them. This one I'm still practicing and with every try, it tastes better.

It starts with the garden picked vegetables, beets, carrots, leeks, parsley, green onions, garlic and lovage.

It's a messy preparation as the beets stain, my hands and cutting boards but it's fun as well. I also used the stems of the beets and its green parts.

Almost all Polish soups include bay leaves and allspice so that's what I did to bring the water to boil and then added the vegetables.

Since the vegetables are shredded, it doesn't take long to cook. At the end the soup needs some salt, black pepper, heavy whipped cream and dried herbs.

The end result looks and tastes great!

Second course - white beans

This is definitely one of the tastes that I fancy and still didn't get it right yet. It also fits well into comfort food for the cold days.

These are white medium size beans and my mother uses dry ones that she soaks overnight. The traditional Polish food takes a long time to make.

They are cooking for a while too, until they are very soft. Other ingredients are fried meats like sausage, ham and bacon.

Then the beans and meats are combined together with some ketchup and lots of marjoram.

At last, to make it creamy we make roux. The dish is seasoned with salt and black pepper and fresh green parsley.

Ready and served beautifully!

Dessert - yeast pancakes

Another food that takes a long time, probably because there's not such a thing like fast dry yeast, it must be fresh.

Firstly yeast, sugar, sour cream and a little bit of flour are mixed and left to rise.

After seeing the dough increased its volume, next ingredients are added: eggs, milk and more flour. They are all combined and let to rise again.

Then small batches of dough are being fried and the pancakes are almost ready.

They are served with cream and fruit. The taste is worth the wait, it's really delicious!

Winter stock - pickled bell peppers

Bell peppers are one of my favorite vegetables and I enjoy them in many forms but the best one is my mother's pickled version. This was the winter side dish for the weekday's dinners. Now, more often I actually use them in green salads for a twisted taste and texture.

It starts with preparing the brine, which is water, apple cider, sugar, salt, onions, bay leaves and allspice that are all boiled together.

The main ingredients are red and yellow bell peppers.

They are put into the jars, with the brine and mustard seeds.

Then the prepared jars are boiled and after cooling off, put away in the pantry. This is the seasonal cooking, so they'll be eaten during the winter.

I can't recreate the very same taste that my mother would do. I'm creating my own though! Hopefully that's what my family enjoys even more.

Happy cooking and creating loving traditions to you, beautiful!

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