Archive for March, 2005

Traditional blessing of the food

Saturday, March 26th, 2005

Easter Basket, Swienconka

As a Catholic and with a Polish origin, Holy Saturday is a day when we go to church for the traditional blessing of Easter food. We bring baskets containing samples of the Easter food, Swienconka, decorated in various ways. The blessing of the Easter food is an old and lovely tradition that I’m raised with. I don’t think that the tradition is common for all Catholics, only for Eastern European Catholics. People put great effort in decorating the baskets and it’s nice to look at the beautiful baskets at church.

The content of the Easter basket varies from family to family, and here are the most important contents and their meanings:

Pisanki: Coloured boiled eggs symbolize life and rebirth, and especially Christ’s Resurrection from the Tomb.
A peeled boiled egg: The same meaning as above, the egg is shared with the family on Easter Dinner.
Kielbasa: A spicy sausage of pork products, indicates God’s favor and generosity. In the old days, all types of pork were forbidden until the coming of Christ when it became acceptable.
Baranek Wielkanocny: A sugar lamb, representing Christ Resurrected. It’s a typical Polish Easter symbol.
Pepper and Horseradish: Symbolize the bitter herbs of the Passover and the Exodus.
Bread: Symbolizes Christ, “the Bread of Life”.
Salt: “You are the salt of the earth.”
Vinegar: Symbolizes the gall given to Christ at the crucifixion.
Wine: Symbolizes the blood of sacrifice spilt by Christ at the crucifixion.

In my family we don’t bless neither vinegar nor wine, and as I didn’t have any Polish sausage nor Horeseradish at home, I had to go to church without them. Tomorrow on Easter Day we will have an Easter Dinner and before the dinner begins, the whole family will share the peeled boiled egg and exchange best wishes to each other.

I wish you all a Happy Easter!

Now what starts with the letter C?

Friday, March 11th, 2005

Cookie Monster
(image from Sesame Street Encyclopedia)
Now what starts with the letter C?
Cookie starts with C !
Let’s think of other things that starts with C
Oh, who cares about the other things?

C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me
C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me
C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me

Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C

C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me
C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me
C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me

Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C

Hey you know what?
A round cookie with one bite out of it
looks like a C
A round donut with one bite out of it
also looks like a C
But it is not as good as a cookie
Oh and the moon sometimes looks like a C
But you can’t eat that, so …

C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me, yeah!
C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me
C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me

Oh, cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C, yeah!
Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C, oh boy!
Cookie, cookie, cookie starts with C!

(“C is for Cookie”, Cookie Monster)

We all love cookies, at least I do and Zarah Maria at Food & Thoughts… :-) I tried and adapted the below recipe (found at Kakakademin, the recipe there says more dark chocolate and no Smarties though) last Friday while I was waiting for Fredrik to arrive from Stockholm. So with some support from Dean Martin and his best of album i baked cookies and also tried a vegetarian recipe from a book that I bought on the special “bokrea” (book sale) that we always have in Sweden in February. It’s a rather big event here and a great opportunity to buy new cook books even if I only bought one this year, “New Vegetarian: Bold and Beautiful Recipes for Every Occasion” by Celia Brooks Brown, but more on that in a future post.

Chocolate Chip Cookies 24 large ones
100 g butter, softened
2 deciliter sugar
2 tsp vanilla sugar
4 tbsp milk
2 eggs
2 1/2 deciliter wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate
200 g dark chocolate, chopped
100 g walnuts, chopped
38 g (a small tube) Smarties, chopped
4 deciliter rolled oats

Mix the sugar and butter until white and porous. Add vanilla sugar and milk during mixing. Then add the eggs, one at a time while you continue mixing. Blend the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate in a separate bowl and then combine it with the sugar and butter mix. Add the rest of the ingredients. The cookie mixture will at this point be very hard to stir, but it’s supposed to be like that.

Cover two baking sheets with cookie sheets. Place 12 spoonfuls of the cookie mixture on each baking sheet, it’s important that you allow room for the cookies to spread. Bake the cookies (one sheet at a time) in the oven for 12 minutes in 225 C. Let the cookies cool on a wire rack.

Now pour yourself a big glass of cold milk and enjoy the cookies, but watch out for any cookie monsters! :-)

Weekly Dinners With My Big Brother

Wednesday, March 9th, 2005

I have two older brothers, Sebastian and Dariusz. The latter one lives in Gothenburg just as me, and since January we meet for dinner once a week. We take turns cooking for each other, and tonight it’s my turn. I think that it’s a really nice “tradition” we have, it’s cosy to meet so often and it’s nice to get a lunch box with leftovers for the next day. At work when I warm the leftovers from my brother’s dinner every second week, I proudly say that my brother made it for me :-) During dinner we talk about all sorts of things: movies, computer games (escpecially World of Warcraft that we both play) and many other subjects. I’m glad that I meet my brother so often and that we have a good relationship. In December this year he will turn 40 and I will turn 30 next March, so we have even talked about arranging a special birthday party together. But until then we will continue with our weekly dinners.

Now a few words about not blogging for a long time. I’ve been really busy at work, please don’t mention Denmark and electronic invoices or I’ll have problems breathing :-) Life as a programmer isn’t always easy…. And also I’m nowadays an online game addict, thanks to Fredrik and my brother I can’t stop playing World of Warcraft… Shame on you! But I do have some photos and recipes from recent baking och cooking that I will post very soon.

Tonight when my brother comes I will serve a great vegetarian lasagna, I’ve meantioned it in my blog earlier. Yesterday I prepared the sauce and today I’ll assemble the whole lasagna and put it in the oven.

Vegetarian Lasagna

Red Sauce
2 carrots, chopped
2 zucchinis, chopped
2 onions, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
0,5 fresh chilli, finely chopped
1 handful fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp sugar
400 gram crushed tomatoes (tin or box)
1,5 deciliter cream
black pepper. minced
1 stock cube, vegetable

1 bag of fresh spinach
125 gram Feta cheese

100 gram grated cheese
Some grated Parmesan

Last but not least
Lasagna sheets

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees C.
Fry the garlic and the onions. Add carrots, zucchini, cream, tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients for the sauce. Let the sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Assemble the lasagna by first greasing a casserole dish with olive oil. Add the first layer of lasagna sheets and then the sauce. Add half of the spinach and half of the Feta cheese. Then add a new layer of lasagna sheets, sauce, spinach and feta cheese. Then add a last layer of lasagna sheets, cover with the remainings of the sauce and put all cheese on the top. Cook in the oven for about 25 minutes. Serve with a salad.