Wednesday, November 29, 2017

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are." ~Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Another BITE gathering! This time we met at Clare's, and cooked up her chosen theme of Poland. This is the second time recently that we have had themes reflecting my heritage. My father's mother Stella was Polish. I never knew her because she died when my father was a teenager, and we really did not grow up with much Polish culture. It was nice to be able to visit some of the foods that my grandmother might have cooked while she was living.

We began with Polish vodka over ice, but we did add tonic - quite a bit! It was lovely to have it in glasses from Poland, on loan from Clare's sister.

We paired this with Ellen's appetizers. Who would have ever thought that prunes wrapped in bacon would be so delicious! However, bacon wrapped anything is pretty heavenly. She also prepared kielbasa in a tangy sauce - wonderful! 

(all recipes are provided at the bottom of this post)

Clare's Polish dinnerware provided a perfect table scene. 

My side-dish contribution was a Polish crock pot soup. My home smelled seriously of cabbage by the time I was ready to head to Clare's. I admit that it's not my favorite scent, but the soup was delicious. I had also attempted to make some rye bread, but what a disaster! There was definitely something wrong with the recipe - honestly. I followed it to the letter and when the directions called for "kneading the dough" I knew that something was seriously wrong because my "dough" was the consistency of pancake batter. So- a failure, but easily remedied by purchasing a wonderful loaf on my way to Clare's.

Clare's main dish was a family favorite. Galumpkis, or stuffed cabbage, and reminded me a bit of meatloaf. You will find in the recipe below that it is traditionally made with beef and pork, but Clare uses ground turkey instead. The tart tomato sauce really contributed to its overall hearty flavor. Delicious!

We concluded with Chris's Polish poppyseed roll. Not too sweet, it was definitely a different dessert. The poppyseed filling reminded us a bit of fig and was wonderful! I love an alternative to something too sweet.

As always, a lovely evening with wonderful food and even more wonderful friends. BITE now takes a hiatus until the spring, when those of us who head south for the winter return. Lots of time to think about new themes!

First Half

Second Half

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

"Let us always be thankful for those who will raise their voices for what is right."

As has become tradition, I am sharing a Thanksgiving postcard that had belonged to my grandparents. Growing up, Thanksgiving was always held at my grandparents' home in Hamilton, NY. The happy memories live on, including burnt crescent rolls and singing around the table. As we gather again this year, as in years past, not everyone can join us. They are with us in spirit however. 

While I am most thankful for the family and friends in my life, it is easy for me, and many of us, to look back on this past year with despair and anxiety. In that vein, I am thankful for the chorus of voices, for the marching feet, for those of us who will not remain silent in the face unkindness, discrimination, exploitation, bullying, and misogyny. 

Let us always be thankful for those who will raise their voices for what is right. 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

"When wonder tastes like this, who am I to argue." ~ Anthony Bourdain, Raw Craft - Episode 13

And now for a Raw Craft Episode with an appeal for everyone! Anthony Bourdain introduces famed pastry chef Dominique Ansel, inventor of the Cronut. I love how Raw Craft honors and recognizes how "craft" takes many forms. 

Remember that if you receive my blog via email, and a video does not come through, please go to my blog site:  My Retiring Life. Also remember that all episodes of Raw Craft can be found n YouTube.