So this is how Christmas went for us.
We gathered at my mother-in-law’s place on Christmas Eve for the traditional Polish wigilia. As this is the time for present opening, the kids were curious.
In case the pictures look weird, I’m using a new “gritty” preset for Lightroom.
Tradition varies a little but for sure there is no meat on the table. Carp is the traditional fish and this year our cup overfloweth with the damned thing. On our table were;
- Pan fried carp
- Jewish carp
- Carp in jelly
- Carp ‘Greek Style’
Additionally were a small portion of smoked salmon from mazury, some herrings, vegetable salad and pierogi with mushrooms and cabbage. The starter was barszcz with ears (small dumplings filled with mushrooms).
As you might have guessed, the salmon disappeared in about 5 seconds and then we were all wondering what to do next, well at least I was. Imagine what it’s like here when you are not a fan of red barszcz or this particular flavour of pierogi nor is vegetable salad something to look forward to and you pretty much hate carp. Some salmon if I was fast enough and bread…yummsville!
Those born and bred in Poland have a much better appreciation of the soup, the pierogi and the veg salad than I do but to a man/woman they don’t like carp. How can you? My bet is that in 25 years or less Poles will be eating something far tastier for wigilia and you’ll be able to buy plastic imitation carps as a table decoration. Where it belongs – made in China, inedible as it always was, stood on the table as a reminder of times past.
Meal over it was time for opening presents and singing songs to the accompaniment of seven year old Antosz on the piano thing.
Amongst many other things, Antosz got a Furby, Zosia got some nail polishes, Aleksander got a gaming mouse and keyboard. Who cares what the adults got.
Christmas Eve / wigilia – done!
For Christmas Day the family moved to our place for a more British style holiday feast that included – roast goose, roast guinea fowl, sprouts, roast carrots, almond and hazelnut stuffing, roast potatoes a nice cider & stock gravy and assorted other sauces and chutneys. Starter was a goat’s cheese tart with caramelised red onion marmalade and salad. Pudding was traditional christmas pudding with brandy cream, which were bought in Marks & Spencer. The rest was cooked from fresh ingredients by yours truly.
Christmas Crackers we also there, of course. Pick of the jokes, “How do Eskimos hold their houses together? With Ig-glue!”
I now understand why my parents thought Christmas was hard work.