Life in the small town of Dobrzyn, and on the cherry farm, is not filled with novelty, which is fine with me. Good friends, good food, work, walkies, a fluffy and friendly cat, and, of course, cherry pie—these are more than ample to fill the days and induce profound relaxation. And so I present some familiar scenes from the past three days.
Malgorzata and I picked one full basket of cherries for the next pie (there have been three in addition to the plum tart). There are frozen cherries, too, but somehow it’s more satisfying to go to the tree and pick your own right before piemaking.
Malgorzata pits the cherries while I crack walnuts (grown on the property) for the crust. I took this photo with a tripod and self-timer:
Malgorzata’s patented cherry pie with walnut crust. It’s the best! I have two pieces for day: one for second breakfast and one for fifth breakfast:
After third breakfast of sausages, salad, cheese, sliced tomatoes, and blackcurrant juice (I haven’t seen this in the U.S., but it’s delicious), it’s time for walkies to the river. Cyrus always goes along, and even Hili deigns to join us on occasion.
Andrzej photographing the Princess for a future Hili dialogue:
Cyrus chases his ball while Hili looks on with contempt. “What an obsequious display!”, she thinks.
But the beasts are very solicitous of each other (or rather, the d*g is solicitous of the cat), with Cyrus always checking on Hili’s whereabouts:
Can you spot the cat? The wide Vistula is in the background.
Dinner three nights ago: squash (from Elzbieta’s garden) stuffed with tomatoes, bacon, the scooped-out squash, and other goodies, topped with feta cheese. Salad is on the side, all washed down with Zubr (“bison”), my favorite Polish beer.
Dinner two nights ago: pork tenderloin cooked with ginger-infused honey, soy sauce and hoisin sauce, served with salad, yellow string beans, and potatoes roasted in the Swedish style (washed down, of course, with Zubr; you can see a bottle behind the saucepan):
After dinner last night we went out to visit Leon and his staff, Elzbieta and Andrzej, at the site of their new home. Leon was much more wary in the “wild” than he was when I visited him in his apartment last year. He isn’t quite used to running free of his harness, but he seems to like it. Here he is with Elzbieta.
Leon is the most serious cat I know: he always looks either grumpy or deeply concerned:
This time he wouldn’t let me pick him up, but he did allow me to give him his favorite cat treats:
We returned home bearing gifts, including some pickles freshly preserved by Elzbieta (the cucumbers came from their garden):
Elzbieta’s partner also gave me a prized flask of his homemade cherry cordial, which is vodka infused with cherries and a bit of sugar (left in photo below). I drank a flask of this last year. We also have a visitor in Dobrzyn: Darek, a teacher from southern Poland right across the border from the Czech Republic. He reads this site, and already knew about Leon and Hili when he arrived. Darek brought me some gingerbread from his town (it’s called “Kopernik” because Copernicus’s family was from there), as well as “Tatra Melky,” which looks to be a confection made of caramel-covered puffed rice. I also got a bottle of Becherovka, a local Czech herbal liqueur. As Wikipedia notes about the drink:
Today, only two people know the secret of the entire production process and may enter the Drogikamr room—where, once a week, they mix the herbs and spices used in the drink. Some of the herbs are imported from abroad, and some grow around Karlovy Vary.
Goodnight! Tomorrow I head for Poznan to lecture, and will have some photos from the big city (I’m also promised local noms.)