Tuesday, May 30, 2017

May 30, 2017

We've been studying Poland in school. 
I am in love with that country...
it has tons of lakes like Maine, 
one of the oldest and largest market squares in Europe, 
some of the smartest people in history (Nicolaus Copernicus, Madame Curie, Chopin), 
and one of the most oppressed histories in the world - 
invaded or fighting for freedom 43 times from 1600 to 1945. 
We studied Polish immigration to the United States, and the Borscht Belt, which was fascinating...
even after the war, in the US,
Jews were not welcome at most resorts,
so the Jews in New York City flocked to the Catskills resorts for summer vacations.
Many of them were Eastern European immigrants,
and borscht was a staple in their homes.
It was served in all the resorts and became synonymous with Jewish.
It's a cold beet soup with a sour cream base, green onions and cucumbers, and it is yummy.
I wish I had a white bowl to show off that gorgeous color!

Our Polish food experiments included kugel, a custard dessert made with noodles or potatoes.
I made it with noodles, a touch of cinnamon, and raisins.
It has a lightly sweet taste and is pleasant,
but I think I would prefer just the custard, without the noodles.
I like the texture of custard and the noodles mask it a bit.
I shared it with two neighbors, both of whom have lived and traveled throughout Europe, 
and they thought it was good, so what do I know?  :)


Debbie said...

Oh my...there are HUGE Polish communities here in Parma and Cleveland. Wish I had known you were studying them. If you study the Ukraine, let me know...there's a Ukrainian Village area just down the hill from us. Maybe I could get you some postcards or some info.

Your Borscht looks good, although I just don't like beets. Your kugel looks good, too. I made one as part of our Easter/Passover dinner one year, but ours was savory. It's a very rich dish...but Phil said mine was good & he's had them before. I'd trust your neighbors' judgement.

I love that food is a part of your learning experience. Say hi to my buddy, Jed!

Grace to You said...

Thanks for the offer to help with the Ukraine! I'm not sure yet if it's on our list but I'll definitely let you know. I saw some recipes for savory kugel and I might try one of them sometime...I think I might prefer it to the sweet.

We've experimented with foods here and there over the years as we've studied different countries...one of my favorites was a Japanese tea, which included one of Jed's homeschooling friends. They dressed in kimonos and even gave themselves Japanese names. :)

We're also studying ancient history in Africa and last week we fried plantains and I made a rice dish with papayas. Should have taken some photos!