Eugeniusz Paukszta (1916 – 1979) was a Polish writer probably best known for his historical short stories and novels for young people. Our particular favourite is ‘Zatoka Żarłocznego Szczupaka’ (about a canoe camping holiday in Mazury) and ‘Znak Zolwia’ (about two hitch-hikers exploring and having adventures in Lubuskie in the west of Poland). Many of his works examine the attitudes of the newly established peoples of the so-called ‘Recovered Territories’ (the areas which became part of Poland after 1945).
Unfortunately none of his works appear to have been translated into English. Someone should most definitely do this!
Jaroslaw Kaczynski on the cover of his book ‘Polska naszych marzen’ (The Poland of our Dreams).
After weeks of speculation the opinion polls have been proved right with the conservative Law and Justice (PiS) party winning a majority in yesterday’s parliamentary election.
The broadly eurosceptic popularist party is presided over by the former-Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, twin brother of late President Lech Kaczynski. The probable new Prime Minister will be Beata Szydlo.
Elections promises included: opposition to closer EU ties; a lowering of the state retirement age; higher tax on banks and supermarkets; and help for small business.
The basic sounds of the Polish language are often difficult for anyone learning Polish as a foreign language. Here are examples of what might be called Polish tongue twisters. Sentences which are difficult for even native speakers of Polish to pronounce. Give them a try!
Nie pieprz Pietrze wieprza pieprzem, bo przepieprzysz wieprza pieprzem. Peter, don’t add pepper to the boar because you might over-pepper it.
Krol Karol kupil krolowej Karolinie korale koloru koralowego. King Karol bought a coral coloured necklace for Queen Karoline.
W Szczebrzeszynie chrząszcz brzmi w trzcinie. In Szczebrzeszyn a beetle sounds in the reeds.
We’ll add MP3 recordings of each over the next few days.
Some of our free-ranging hens pecking around searching for bugs and worms near our currant bushes.
Regular visitors will know that we live in a rural setting. Here’s a photograph of three of our hens in front of one of two henhouses. We currently have nine chickens, which keep us (and some of our extended family) in tasty free-range eggs. The chickens are free to wander anywhere on our core three hectare plot and each hen generally lays one egg each and every day. Dropping in winter to perhaps one every egg two or three days. Many Poles in our rural part of Poland keep a few chickens and some friends even keep a pig or two to fatten up and eat!
Two of our ‘Polish chickens’. These hens are around two years old and spend most of their time with each other. Best friends!
On the subject of eggs. Here is our recipe for Polish Egg Salad.
Polish cinema has a long history going back as far as almost any country in Europe with the first cinema (kino) founded in Lodz (Łódź) in 1899. Today, there are cinemas in virtually every large town and city in Poland.
A photograph of Kino Piast (Piast Cinema) in Slubice, Poland, c.1964.
Here are three old images from our archive of cinemas during the Communist-era.
The Tatry Cinema in Wolsztyn, western Poland, c.1970. The building was a synagogue before the war.
Notable Polish filmmakers / directors include: Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Agnieszka Holland, Andrzej Wajda, and Andrzej Żuławski. With the best known Polish films (outside of Poland) probably: A Short Film About Love; The Three Colours trilogy; and the The Double Life of Veronique.
The Kino Milenium (Millennium Cinema) in Slupsk, Poland, c.1974.
The first of this year’s pick of wild mushrooms have now dried and are about to be put in store. Dried mushrooms, kept in a sealed container, will happily keep for up to a year, so will be used over the coming winter and beyond.
Here are a couple pictures of some of our dried Porcini (borowiki) and Bay Bolete (podgrzybek) mushrooms. All have been picked over the last week or two by our family in the forests of the province of Lubuskie in the far west of Poland.
Dried mushrooms are re-hydrated by soaking in boiling water for about 30 minutes and used in Polish dishes such as Bigos (Hunter’s Stew) and Polish Wild Mushroom Soup.
An FSC Żuk truck, SYRENA, and WARSZAWA cars seen in Sanok, Poland, c.1982.
Three communist-era images from our collection featuring the once common but now rarely seen ŻUK trucks. In excess of half a million Zuk’s were produced between 1958 and 1998 by the FSC (Fabryka Samochodów Ciężarowych) motor factory in Lublin. The same factory also made Nysa and Lublin vans and Honker military vehicles.
A photograph of a ŻUK truck seen through an arch in Gliwice, Poland, c.1974.
Did you know: the Polish word ‘ŻUK’ means ‘BEETLE’ in English.
A Zuk 1.1-ton pick-up truck parked up outside a Rolnik store in STRZELIN, Poland, c.1982.
This is the 500th post on the Polish Poland website since our switch to this format in 2009!
Related content: More on the rather wonderful Zuk vans!
Zurek (żur, żurek) or Sour Rye Soup is traditionally made of sour rye flour, pork sausage, and hard-boiled eggs. Some families substitute the sausage for wild mushrooms, such as Borowik (Porcini) or Podgrzybek (Bay Bolete). Other households also add potatoes or even turnip. Chopped parsley or marjoram is almost always added as a garnish.
Zurek is eaten throughout the year in most Polish households but is an essential part of a Polish Easter. In some Polish restaurants this soup is now served in an edible bowl made of bread, although, I’ve yet to see any normal family here in Poland serve zurek in this way.
Here is our own family’s recipe for Zurek soup. This is the one we use at Easter.
• 100 grams Sourdough
• 50 grams of sausage
• 3 or 4 hard-boiled eggs
• a handful of dried wild mushrooms
• 2 cloves garlic
• 1/2 cup cream
• 1 bay leaf
• 3 or 4 allspice seeds
• 2 tsp marjoram
• 1.5 litres of water
A selection of shop bought Zurek (sour rye) soups taken from our store cupboard and on display in our garden!
Many shops now sell very good ready-made soups, sold in cartons or as a powder in packets. Popular brands include: Knorr, Winiary, Rolnik, and Krakus. We do when in more of a hurry make use one of these as a base. Adding our own sausage or wild mushrooms, and hard-boiled eggs, to make more of a hearty meal.
Zurek is similar to another Polish soup – barszcz biały (white borscht), which is made from white wheat flour rather than rye.