Young Beetroot Soup and Postcards from Warsaw
Greetings from Poland! About a week ago Mialina and I travelled to Warsaw to visit family and friends, to enjoy a change of pace of sorts. And, of course, to sample plenty of local cuisine.
I admit whenever I travel, especially on holidays, I take leave from the 90% healthy /10% indulgent rule of eating and indulge a little more while away. The offerings here are plenty. Most remind me of childhood. Some, like the variety of traditional rose hip jam donuts, yeast pastries and cakes on offer – inevitable treats when they are 50 cents each, and served whenever we’re visiting friends and relatives – are more indulgent than others. To make up for those, I’ve been walking 6-8km a day and have also taken up cycling places whenever I venture out without Mia.
Others, like barrel-fermented sauerkraut and pickles from local markets are treats on the healthier kind.
We’ve done some sight-seeing, visiting Royal Lazienki Park where we fed squirrels and caught up with a friends. My Dad also got to meet Mialina for the first time and she instantly took to him. It’s been so precious and special to watch them enjoy their time together!
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Given that Warsaw is known for a number of popular flea markets, I spent most of last Saturday browsing through the stalls and stores at Kolo Antiques and Flea Market. I picked up plenty of amazing props – many reminded me of the treasures you can find at The Lost and Found Department in Sydney’s Artarmon.
The weather has been quite mixed and since the mercury did not rise much above 10C last weekend, I was pleased to arrive home to a steaming bowl of Botwinka, a traditional Polish Young Beetroot Soup.
The allure of crimson in the soup – a traditional spring offering across most of Eastern Europe, is matched by the intense flavour of beets and a playful sweet and sour taste. Perhaps because of its peasant origins, the recipe lets nothing go to waste. You get to use the lot: the beet root, the stems and the greens.
Oh, and I think the prop shopping mission was quite a success!