Just few moments ago I was writing about Polish Christmas traditions and now I’m already writing about Easter! It’s my second Easter in a row that pretty much suck – last year I spent it at the Moscow Airport, this year Sing made me sick and my wisdom tooth decided to go out. I think my wisdom tooth is synchronized with lunar calendar and just wants me to be on a diet during those days.
For Polish people food and meeting family is as important as the Lunar New Year for some Asians. But of course Sing’s Hong Kong and Shanghainese blood makes him picky about food – you will never satisfy him, it’s either not salty enough or too salty, not sweet enough, too sweet. Sometimes I think he makes this things up because the same dish he ate the day before now suddenly became ‘better’.
Anyway – to make Easter satisfying for everyone my family came up with ideas for dishes that will combine our traditional Polish taste with little bit of Far East flavor. Maybe some of that will help you and your partner to adapt more to culture and taste differences between West and East.
- Bigos – I already wrote about it last September (click click). Good for any occasion and doesn’t need to be modified because honestly, once you eat it you cannot like it. Although my mom thought about adding shiitake mushrooms instead of the one you can find in Polish forest during Autumn. Taste is really similar.
- Kielbasa – white sausage. This one is classic and should not be modified. There’s one thing Poland makes the best and it’s sausage/meat. We’re so good in it we are called ‘The Land of Kielbasa‘ (you can Google that). Even my husband and MIL love it and when she likes something it has to be good. Try to argue with her about the food and she will constantly talk for 6h. With spicy horseradish it should satisfy any fan of spicy food. A friend of mine suggested giving wasabi instead of horseradish but somehow in my mind it just doesn’t match. If you try it, let me know!
- Sour rye – soup made of soured rye flour and meat that everyone in our family loves, often served with fresh bread on a side. But since European bread is much different from Asian or American one it used to hurt my husband’s gums and he couldn’t enjoy the meal so instead of giving a fresh bread we buy a special bread shaped like a bowl so the soup will melt the bread a bit and it won’t be so hard for him. I must say I love it too!
- Boiled eggs – I don’t know why but Sing is obsessed about eggs ‘don’t give me too many or I will die’. No, he’s not allergic, he’s just making things up. Normal boiled egg for him in his mind will bring him a heart attack and he won’t eat more than two. In Poland you have an egg fight, then you have to eat your eggs and to solve the problem of ‘egg-death’ we make few eggs as tea leaf egg and the lovely brown shell of the egg is perfect place to paint or craft. And no – tea leaf eggs somehow in his mind are more healthy and acceptable.
- Chicken or pork jelly – salty jelly made of meat, carrot, slice of egg, green beans and spices. It’s just delicious, quite popular in other countries like Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Greece. My family always serves it with white vinegar but special for my husband we got 镇江香醋 – Zhenjiang Vinegar. For me it’s like a sin, adding rice vinegar instead of white, distilled one since the taste is different but for him it made the dish ‘tastier’. Plus if you make gelatin out of chicken feet you can serve them as a side dish!
- Cakes, cakes and more cakes. Poppy seed cake, mazurek, cheesecake, babka (spongy, brioche-like yeastcake), apple pie and many more. We just cannot spend Easter or Christmas without a dessert. OK, I cannot spend a day without a dessert. Let’s face it – I have a sweet tooth and I just love little bit of sweetness in my life. As for Sing if anyone of you can make up a onion-garlic-salty-spicy cake, please give me the recipe. I have no clue how I could marry someone reacting on cake like a little baby reacts on injection. This way we thought about making less sweet, cold cheesecake based on milk with raspberry jelly and fruits. Refreshing and perfect for anyone who doesn’t like too sweet desserts.
- Polish-style clay pot. Or kielbasa-pot. I found a recipe that allows you to make a Polish style clay pot that includes delicious white sausage, beans, tomato sauce, soy sauce, spices, wine (to make it even more Asian I go with Chinese cooking wine), onion and water. The taste cannot be wrong. If you’re interested I can translate the recipe for you! :)
- That’s the ultimate favorite because it contains everything Sing loves – fish and onion. Herring in oil and onion spiced with salt and pepper goes perfect with veggie salad. Whenever my husband eats it my dad laughs he’s eating ‘Polish sushi‘ since the fish is served raw but that would make it more like a sashimi. So if your partner likes sashimi you should definitely let him try this dish!
Besides that there’s always famous Polish duck or other bird, pork, any meat on the side for main meal. Not all of this is acceptable for me since I like the original taste more but it makes my husband happy and more involved in celebration which is nice. It makes our family closer.
Is there any traditional dish you would never give up? Have you done something similar to anyone? How did it end? Share your stories and traditions from your hometown :) Happy Easter everyone!