A Polish Feast

It would seem that last weekend was all about excesses and late nights, which would perhaps explain why I've been on slow mo today. On Friday night I was invited to a Polish feast at a friends house. When I think of Polish cuisine the words that spring to mind are heavy, rich, meaty and bland. How wrong could I be?

My Polish friend Aga and her other half Pavel welcomed us from the cold with a bowl of hot steaming gloriously red Beetroot soup, Barszcz. With a distinct taste of fresh lemon against the earthy sweet beetroot with the added meat dumplings, it was delicious. Beetroot features heavily in Eastern European cooking, we in the UK know this soup as Borscht. Originally from the Ukraine it is widely eaten across Eastern Europe, this Polish version is traditionally eaten at Easter, whilst the vegetarian version is always served on Christmas Eve.

Then came the Golàbki, cabbage leaves stuffed with juicy sausage meat and rice, in a light tomato sauce served with new potatoes smothered in lashing of butter and dill.

This was all washed down with 70% proof shots of vodka!

Pudding was a lovely warm Szarlotka, apple pie with a crumble topping accompanied by vanilla ice cream.

Can't wait to have a go with these recipes myself but will have to explore our local Polish shop for a few of the ingredients first. Like that is a chore?! If you know me you know I can spend hours in a food shop. I've just come across this beautiful book Rose Petal Jam: Recipes and Stories from a Summer in Poland, with exquisite photography, traditional recipes, and tales of what appears to be an idyllic childhood, this is my idea of perfect bedtime evening.