Sunday, 20 December 2015

Smoked meat

Hi there,

Christmas is going and in my house the preparations are in progress :). I would like to tell you about home-made smoked meat. Where has this idea come from? As you know, today many meat and cold cuts producers economize on production costs. They often add to their products many preservatives, which could be harmful for our health. These are for example potassium sorbate or glutamade. In meat you can also find unneccessary liaisons like guar or xanthan gum. You could not be sure what is really in a piece of meat you eat, It is also said that in cold meat there is little real meat. I am sure you like sausages, who does not like them? However, have you ever read the list of ingredients on a packaging? Many people do it rarely or never. Somebody could say that there is no list on a packaging or there is too long queue behind them to ask a sales assistant. It is true that many people are angry when one asks for many 'unimportant' things, making them waiting so much time for their queue. My family has found a solution to all of these problems,

I live in a detached house in village so my father has decided to built a smokehouse. It is small but very useful and profitable. It has been made with bricks with a chimney as a part. My parent buy about thirty kilos of pork to smoke. They do it with bacon, loin and ham. The product are very delicious and a big advantage of this method is that meat can stay fresh for so much time. It is a possibility to froze it and it does not change its taste. Nonethless, it is important to remember that meat must be marinated for almost one day. All the smoking process can last from one to three days. It depends on th effect you would like to achieve. I am very happy with the opportunity of having a home-made smokehouse. I know what I eat. I can buy a certified and safe meat to prepare really delicious cold cuts. Somebody could say that the taste is not nice for them. In fact, cold meat bought in a shop has different taste than that home-made because of flavour enhancer.

Next week when I got home, I will upload photos of Christmas smoked meat :).

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Christmas time

There are fourteen days left to Christmas Eve so I would like to tell you about Polish Christmas traditions.

As in many countries, every year shop windows are decorated with chains, Christmas baubles and fairy lights. The shops present special Christmas collections, which encourage us to buy almost one piece of cloth or decoration. For me, in Poland Christmas decorations appear too early because it happens immediately after All Saints' Day. From that time, there are more than two months to the holidays.

Before December 24th, that is Christimas Eve, Polish families decorate the Christmas tree with colorful baubles, fairy lights and many more special elements. Some people decide also to ornament balconies, windows and gardens of their houses. During Christmas Eve in Polish Christians' houses is organised a special solemn supper. That time we meet members of our family to pray together and rejoice at Christ's birth. A very important tradition of that time is sharing a special wafer when exchanging Christmas greetings. There are several Christmas carol which can be sing during Christmas.

There is a tradition to prepare twelve dishes, which are presented on the table during Christmas Eve. The meals symbolize twelve apostles. There are many types of dishes we can make and the choice often depends on the region of Poland we derive from. The special ones are borscht with ravioli and mushroom soup. There are also dumplings filled with sauerkraut and mushrooms, a cabbage stew and of course fish like a carp and in my house a cod and a Greek-style fish. Some ladies also prepare a dish consisting of boiled grain. A compote made from dried fruits is also very popular. My mother does it every Christmas but I must say that in the past I did not to used to drink it. It has a really characteristic taste. My mother dries fruits on her own to make the taste and a flavour unique. We cannot omit to bake cakes but there are no manily related to the Christmas tradition.

I will promise you to add photos of my Christmas dishes :)

Sunday, 6 December 2015

A holiday trip to Swinoujscie

Hello everyone,

I would like to tell you about one special trip I took in 2014. It was a free sunny August day in which we decided to visit Swinoujscie. I think it is a special place because of its island location.

A few words about its history. Swinoujscie is quite a young town, which became its status in 1765. It is located in three islands called Kasibor, Wolin and Uznam. Swinoujscie is not only a port town but also a captivating health resort and a holiday centre. This medium town is one of the biggest in West Pomeranian Voivodeship. As I said, Swinoujscie is separated from the rest of Polish land because of its island location but there is not a problem to go from the mainland territory to the island. Wolin and Uznam have a constant ferry crossing, which is free of charge and comes very often. To tell you the truth, there are two ferries.

The name Swinoujscie has been created by a amalgamation of two words, Swina and ujscie. Swina is a local river and ujscie means a place in which the river comes to the Baltic. It is said that the name Swinoujscie was translated from German language.

Swinoujscie, as a health resort, was built in nineteenth century. One curiosity is that in the past the town had a constant overland connection to the rest of Poland. Unfortunately, in 1945 it was broken down by the natural disaster related to an ice floe of Swina River. From 2006 in Swinoujscie it has been construted a gas terminal, which is considered as a chance for Poland to independence in the area of energy.

Swinoujscie is also a charming town with a few interesting monuments to sightsee. One of them is undoubtly white characteristic lighthouse, built in 1857 as the biggest in the world in that time.

 I recommend you to see also the Church of Christ King, which an example of gothic architecture.

If you like seeing buildings from the distance, you can reach the top of a lookout tower, which in the past was a part of the old church.

It could be a sin not to walk over nearby the port. There it is a possibility to admire enormous proms and tourists ships, which impress nearly everyone.

I hope I have enocouraged you to visit a little bit unappreciated town called Swinoujscie. It could be a memorable trip for you also due to a ferry crossing. :)