Happy April! And happy Easter. So glad you have taken time to stop by my kitchen this month. March has absolutely flown by and a trip to Luxembourg, IT issues plus addition of Amber to our family has meant not many recipes have been photographed and put on the blog last month. We had some wonderful meals out with our family and friends including Sardinian produce eaten in a very memorable place! But now I am back in the kitchen and so happy to welcome you here.
This is what is in my kitchen this month…
Decorated eggs – these are hen eggs which have been decorated by me and my daughter yesterday in preparation for Easter Sunday. We do this every year and always use traditional Polish method of using onion peels to give the eggs beautiful brown, orange and deep red colouring. The eggs are then etched with patterns and although traditionally these would be of floral and religious themes, I love these simple lines the best. Decorated eggs are placed in little willow baskets together with sugared lamb, sausage, ham, bread, salt and pepper and taken to church on Easter Saturday morning to be blessed by the priest. Blessed eggs are then shared at the start of Easter Sunday breakfast with wishes of prosperity, love and joy exchanged. I love this Polish tradition and the togetherness it brings. And through this post I also extend my wishes of prosperity to you. Happy Easter!
Smoked Polish sausage (kielbasa) – it may not be the prettiest of pictures but boy, this sausage with its deep smokey flavour more than makes up for its looks! Together with the smoked short ribs (visible in the background) and selection of vegetables it will form the basis of a broth to which a sour starter will be added and turned into zurek soup. Alongside the blessed eggs and some Polish bread, this will be our breakfast tomorrow morning. I cannot wait!
Pussy willow – these soft, little, kitten like buds herald spring and Easter like no other tree. I have them in a vase together with some daffodils on my kitchen table. The daffodils are special variety and have petals in a very pale, almost crisp apple white with full inners. Just beautiful.
Daffodils – bright and cheerful, these light up my kitchen windowsill with their sunny heads. Can’t imagine spring without daffodils!
Tulips – another bunch of flowers in my kitchen but this time on the dresser. Mixed yellows, reds and purples add a wonderful pop of colour. The ram standing next to them has come from our Luxembourg trip in Mr A’s suitcase. He’s rather cute!
Vileroy & Boch cups – these also came from Luxembourg and were a present for our children from our friends. You cannot imagine how delighted the children were to receive these! They are used everyday by them, one filled with Earl Grey tea with a little milk, the other with Earl Grey tea with some lemon. Cupped tightly these mugs sit perfectly in their hands after a long day at school whilst we chat away and catch up on the events of our day.
Zoladkowa Gorzka vodka – this was the tipple of choice for Mr A and our friend whilst we were in Luxembourg. Couple bottles of this old fashioned Polish vodka were drunk, each one of them chilled overnight in the freezer and served in shot glasses. This is one of the oldest Polish vodkas, premium in quality and excellent in taste. Mr A purchased a bottle yesterday which by now is nicely chilled and he is certainly going to have a glass or two over this weekend. Cheers!
Bitters – since it is a long relaxing weekend, there has to be a cocktail or two. So I have a bottle of Angostura Bitters, lime and dill to make an old fashioned gin cocktail called The Bennet. I’ll let you know how delicious it is in a separate post.
Quail eggs – how beautiful are those! I love their speckled shells and bijou appearance. They will be softly boiled and served up alongside roasted asparagus for a light and fresh lunch next week.
Marzipan eggs – there are many chocolate eggs in my kitchen, small and large alike for Mr A and the children. But these pastel eggs are my treat since marzipan is my favourite. Each one is covered in a crisp sugar shell underneath which hides the softest, almondy centre. These are simply eggscelent!
Giant muffin tins – in preparation for the forthcoming exams, I have purchased these to make breakfast muffins. With my daughter in mind and the knowledge she is likely to skip breakfast in the worry of being late for her exams and the fear of being disqualified for that reason, I am planning on baking muffins that she can comfortably take with her on the bus thus ensuring she still eats a nutritious meal of eggs, bacon and cheese but in a portable form.
Hot cross buns – freshly baked yesterday, these buns are one of my favourite British buns. Traditionally eaten at this time of the year, they are simply delicious. Full of plump raisins, candied peel, orange zest and spices. Perfect toasted and served with lashings of butter alongside cup of tea in the morning. Or in the afternoon.
Last but not least, this is Amber. Feisty, confident English Toy Terrier pup that is keeping us on our toes and constantly occupied with. She is currently residing in the kitchen and the adjoining dining area whilst adjusting to life with us. Meaning I tend to start things but not actually finish them since Amber is very good at letting me know she really needs a cuddle there and then… She is the perfect waste of time. As is Poppy.
So that is my kitchen this month. I’d love to hear what is in yours…