Tomorrow, Sunday, is my last day in Dobrzyn: on Monday I take the train to Warsaw, and then a cab to the airport hotel, across the street from where I’m leaving Tuesday morning. I’ll be sad to leave my friends, my adopted cat, and, of course, the pies. I’ve relaxed a lot, written my children’s book (only 1500 words; the heavy lifting will be done by the illustrator, Kelly Houle), read Ali Rizvi’s new book, and am halfway through Sean Carroll’s new book The Big Picture.
Speaking of pie, we had a small pie a few days ago, made to use up some leftover crust. But that doesn’t mean I was pie-deprived, because Malgorzata has made good on her promise that I will have cherry pie every day of my visit. (I don’t think I had any in the U.S. since my last visit here a year ago!)
Lunch: baked Tatra mountain smoked cheese (oscypek), served with salad (I also had blackcurrant juice):
Dinner consisted of Elzbieta’s homemade pickles and a Polish dish of kasha (buckwheat groats, popular in Poland) cooked with sausages, cheese, mushrooms, and diced onions. Americans should make more stuff with kasha, as it’s delicious.
We washed it down with a bottle of “Schweik” beer. You might recognize the figure, taken from from the famous novel The Good Soldier Švejk by Jaroslav Hašek:
Later we made another pie. All of us cracked hazelnuts for the crust; we needed 125 grams, and they’re tough little buggers to crack. It took a while:
I had picked the cherries earlier in the day, and after they were cooked and the crust was made, Malgorzata filled the bottom crust and then grated the remaining dough for the top:
The finished product: a culinary masterpiece. As you see, it’s already been nommed.
We each got a small glass of cherry juice, left over from pitting the cherries:
Dinner was another Malgorzata invention: braised beef tenderloin that was shredded and baked with mushroom sauce. It was served with Elzbieta’s garden beans, potatoes, and two types of beer: Zubr (“Bison”) beer, our regular tipple, and Warka Premium Strong Beer, weighing in at 6.5% alcohol:
Yesterday was errand day: visits to two grocery stores, the bank, the butcher’s, and the post office. Here’s the small local grocer that Andrzej and Malgorzata like to patronize because it’s losing business to the newer supermarkets. “Sklep” means “store” in Polish.
We went to the butcher’s to get meat for dinner (the beef dish above), but I also got a nice hunk of beef for Cyrus, who loved it. (I also buy Hili gourmet cat food in the supermarket.) Look at all those sausages! This is typical of Polish fare, for Poland is Sausage Paradise.
A market in a nearby parking lot, where cheap goods are sold that come from Russia and Eastern Europe:
Three girls at the market, quaffing their sodas. Every child in Poland seems to be blonde!
Inside the supermarket. The most popular alcoholic drink is, of course, vodka. There are many brands and sizes, and you can buy it cold, too:
Hili got a ration of milk after a long day roaming the orchard.
After her milk, Hili demanded fusses, which makes it hard for Malgorzata to work on the computer: