My great grandmother Elizabeth Cszienski emigrated to the United States via Ellis Island from Poland in 1910 when she was 12 years old. Since then lots of ski’s and zak’s have married to keep the Polish in the family and makes me a 3rd generation Pole in the states (there’s Irish and English mixed in from my mother’s side which arrived at the same time, but Polish always seems to win). We still keep some of the traditions as best we can, and the holiday sausage soup is one of my favorites (Aside from pierogies. And I make a mean pierogie.). We make it for Christmas and Easter and we all look forward to it all year long. There are many variations on this soup known as zurek, but universally across the board it has a special polish sausage (known as ‘holiday sausage’ at the deli counters at Broadway Market in Buffalo – old school Polish) which has been smoked and contains marjoram, and hard boiled eggs.
- Boil 2-3 pounds of link holiday sausage in a large pot of water for 20 minutes
- Remove sausage from water and refrigerate the pot over night
- Skim the fatty junk from the top of the water and bring to a boil one again on the stove top
- Mix 1/2 cup flour with 1 cup cold water and pour into the rolling boil
- Add cut sausage and a dozen hard boiled eggs (sliced) and simmer for 15 minutes
- Salt & pepper to taste as well as a few splashes of vinegar
It’s true. If you didn’t grow up with it, it looks a little gross and probably tastes the same too. But I love it. Despite it being a Christmas morning dish (yeah, this was Christmas breakfast in our house), my husband is not a big fan, so I made it a little early for me. So. Good.
If you can’t find the sausage in your local market (which there is a really good chance you won’t) you can order it through Redlinksi Meats or Buffalofoods.com. Don’t forget to get a pastry heart or two while you’re at it….
The holiday season is insane for me and it’s really hard to grab a spare second to do anything aside from have product ready and man by brick & mortar shopfront. But this morning I allowed myself to work on some of the mail that has been piling up the last few weeks and it was such a fabulous break! I’m ready to head back to the grind.
I even got Henrietta ready to head out into the world again with a few screws to make sure she doesn’t become an amputee.
There’s just something about a pile of mail that makes me smile!
Henrietta has finally returned to Alaska from NY and a few places in between. This was her craziest journey yet, heading to the small town of Springville NY only to be forwarded to Angola via a very weird system. Apparently she had to head out of NY to be forwarded back it to the correct address. We’ve asked what fun sites she saw, but again, the bird isn’t talking.
She went to visit my friend Bethanie and her super awesome Bicon Frise, Seftali. She oversaw the unpacking of a new apartment and took her job as Top Bird very seriously.
We heard Henrietta and Seftali became quick friends.
And just for giggles, Henrietta visited the meat department (just to see if she had gained any weight snacking on all those, well, snacks, as she travels). Because why not?
Where do you think Henrietta will turn up next?
Approximate miles flown thus far: 15,991
I basically production knit these days, and cowls seem to be the big winner. They are so super duper easy to make, I almost feel bad *not* telling you how to make them. So, here goes.
- Using the chunky yarn of your choice, cast 28 stitches onto size 19 (15mm) needles
- Garter stitch (knit each row) a long panel (usually 2 skeins of yarn or so) and bind off
- Twist 2 -3 times and join ends
This is the super quick cheater way to make a “mobius” knit cowl, and if you’re really good at joining the seams, no one will know the difference.
Now I’m off to knit some more…’Tis the season and all….
I have been working on my carne asada marinade for ages now, and there has always been something that’s just a little off that I don’t like. My suspicion has been the inclusion of Mexican oregano (which we also put in our pulled pork), and I was right. There’s something about it that just doesn’t seem to jive with my tastebuds. But last night I unlocked the code for the most amazing marinated beef (Truly Mexican? Probably not. Delicious? Absolutely.). We honestly ate most of it sliced directly from the cutting board before we even thought of filling a taco shell.
In a plastic container, mix and refrigerate the following (for at least 8 hours, flipping once during the soak)
- 1 cup soy sauce, a generous sploosh of sriracha, 2 TB brown sugar, a good shake of pepper, 1 TB minced garlic & 4 pickled jalapeno rings
- Add sirloin steak to the poundage of your preference (ours was about 1.5 pounds)
After the meat had marinated, I let it sit for about an hour on the counter to get a little closer to room temperature. Broil your meat, on high, for 5-6 minutes per side. This seals in the juices and basically caramelizes all that amazing stuff from the marinade on the meat and makes it super irresistible. After the broil, bake your slab o’meat for 15 minutes at 350*. Rest (elevated on a fork or spoon) for 5-10 minutes. Slice, and enjoy.
This technique left our meat almost candied on the outside and a perfect medium all the way through. It was melt in your mouth awesome.
This was my second month doing the foodie penpal swap. Jessica in Minnesota and I were paired and it was an interesting few weeks of flying packages. I sent along a fun bunch of weird and funky (yet super tasty) odds and ends from our local Asian market. I love this place. I may not know what all the packages are saying, but I interpret them to mean “delicious” and they often are. This appeals to my cheap sensibilities (as many of the packets run .80 – .90 cents each), as well as my adventurous wanna-be foodie side, and you get a lot for your $15 buck.
In return, I received a pound of Minnesota cultivated, cracked, wild rice! It also came with a recipe for wild rice soup. It looks nice and rich calling for among other things, 1 stick of butter, 1/2 cup of flour and 1 cup half and half. I haven’t had a chance to give it a whirl yet, but should you want to have at it first let me know and I’ll send the complete recipe along (makes approximately 6 cups). You can also grab your own bags of Gourmet House Minnesota Cultivated Cracked Wild Rice on Amazon: 4 16 oz bags for only $18. What a deal (or 6 for $22)!
I am unsure of whether I will sign up for the swap again this coming month or perhaps instead treat myself to lots of little bags of goodies from the market….I suppose time will tell!
Every few years I take some time to carve a fun pumpkin. 2 years ago it was the pope, and in years past Bill Cosby as well as Hillary Clinton have been featured. It’s a bit of work, and a lot of fun, and of course my parents are super impressed with all the money they spent on “art school” for me to carve pumpkins. I won a $20 gift card to a Thai restaurant in a contest once (totally helps with those student loans!)
I was torn between RuPaul, the Last Supper and Napoleon…but we obviously know who won.
These kinds of pumpkins always look pretty terrible when not lit in the almost complete dark (as you can see), but the seeds are amazing when roasted no matter what’s happening with daylight savings time.
- Rinse and separate seeds from guts
- Spread on a lightly oiled baking sheet, sprinkle with salt & pepper, drizzle a bit more oil
- Bake @ 350* for 30-45 minutes, pushing them around every 10 minutes or so to toast equally
- Stuff face