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A Christmas Bite with Magda

Christmas Bite with Magda! Should you ask me what is my most memorable episode from Polish Christmas when I was a kid – I would not mention a Christmas tree (we always had one, of course), or gifts (which we were offered), or the extraordinary cleaning of the apartment one month in advance, or the preparation of the Christmas dinner for three days in a row (which was actually the case), or not going to school and even not playing and singing Christmas carols, handling family meetings and so on – but rather « hunting » a carp, a soft water fish probably most appreciated in our region, and maybe in China.

In the eighties, when I was a kid, we had been suffering from food shortcomings. The preparation of tasty Christmas meals was - for a family living in a city like Krakow - a challenge. We had to spend long and boring hours in lines at food stores. A lot of basic food products, like sugar and meat, were in limited supplies. Even to purchase a carp fish was not easy. Additionally, the poor fish were taken home a few days before Christmas Eve and they were being kept alive in.... bathroom bathtubs.

No worries! I will definitely not serve you the carp fish. But there are many other specialties, typical for the Christmas Eve and Christmas time....

All products come from Stary Kleparz, the most renowned food market in Kraków, and Targ Pietruszkowy (The Parsley Market) – the organic food market in Kraków! The list below is just an example, it will be a 4 course meal so you can have an idea how Polish Christmas looks like...

EXAMPLE APPETIZERS:

-No Polish Christmas Eve without herrings...be prepared for matjes herrings in cream or mustard, served with potatoes or with raisins, or just sprinkled with chopped shallot and linen oil....

-Delicious sweet and sour Polish bortsch with home made soup starter - this is vegetarian Christmas Eve version...served with "uszka" - tiny dumplings filled with dry porcini mushrooms made according to a recipe of my 89 years old grandma....

-Home made puff pastry with nigella seeds

- Christmas pate + sauce tartare and horseradish

-Żurek - traditional sour soup served for Christmas Eve ( vegetarian )

EXAMPLE MAINS:

- Home made pierogi with sauerkraut and dried forest mushrooms

- softwater fish (depending what I can get) in cream or horseradish sauce

- vegetarian cabbage rolls (buckwheat or pearl barley and wild mushrooms)

-sauerkraut with raisisns

-potato - walnut crockets

-or maybe pierogi with fish....

EXAMPLE DESSERTS:

poppy seed cake or cheese cake

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O kucharzu, Magdalena

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Hello foodies and travelers from all over the World! My name is Magda. I like to share my love of Polish cuisine, its history and the history of Kraków, my hometown. Over the last few years, I have developed my passion for gastronomy, working as a food writer. I am addicted to everything that is connected with food; I like to find out about the history of each food item or food preparation. Where do pierogi come from? What is the history of some famous Polish soups, such as żurek or bortsh? I love modern books about food, but I am really into old cookbooks which are a great source of inspiration! I spent several years in France and my cooking sometimes has a little French touch, but always remains Polish. It will be great if you could join me at for my pierogi class or a dinner. My place is located nearby the Old Town of Krakow. I am curious about where you come from and whether you will be happy to discover tasty Polish classics and some great local products which I will buy for you on my favorite food markets. Polish cuisine is great and is full of treasures which should be shown to the entire World!

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