food and drink
Zakopane there are small cheese market stalls, selling an amazing smoked cheese from the region. The salty cheese is called Oscypek, and it is mostly made from sheep milk, but also from cow and sometimes goat.
On every street corner in
It is great on its own, but even better when they heat it on the coals and serve it with a little cranberry sauce. You can buy just one or two pieces of the cheeses, or buy a big block to take home. We did both, but when we arrived back in Cape Town all our clothes smelled of smoked cheese…
Warning: it is very addictive.
If you like fun fairs, then Riesenrad is the place for you. I have already posted some pics of the old ferris wheel, but there are plenty of activities for the more adventurous.
There used to be a children’s swing at the local fair that came to my local park in Cape Town from time to time, and I loved riding on it. This swing is about 4 times as big as the one I used to ride on, and I am not quite sure if that boy is very happy about it.
Entrance to the house of horrors – although I kind of like those trolls – they look to me like they could have stepped off the Discworld.
This contraption (no it’s not made of Meccano) flings you into the air and then throws you back to the ground. Why? I have no idea!
When we arrived in our apartment in Athens, we found that a section of one of the walls had been turned into a chalk board shopping list. Except that instead of a shopping list, we saw the recipe for a Greek Salad. We had eaten plenty of them by the time we arrived, but now we had a real recipe from a real Greek host in Athens.
How to make a Greek salad
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 cucumber
- 1 onion
- 1 green pepper
- feta cheese
- black olives
- olive oil
- salt, oregano & pepper
- mix and enjoy!
Here’s how it looks!
Here’s one of my favourite recipes – a hearty sour soup from Poland. No it does not have a sour taste, but it contains fermented rye flour which gives it a unique taste.
There are two parts to the recipe – making the zakwas – the base, and then the actual zurek.
The base for zurek
- about 1/2 cup of rye flour
- 1 cup of boiling water
- 2-3 cups of warm water
- bread crust (the best would be rye bread)
- 1-2 cloves of garlic
Mix the flour with the boiling water until there are no lumps. Then set it aside to cool. Add bread crust (it should sink completely), garlic, and remaining water. Put the mixture in a jar or clay pot covered with gauze or a delicate piece of cloth. Let the mixture sit for 3-5 days at room temperature (each day mix the ingredients a little). As the flour ferments, there will be some lactic acid bacteria and wild yeast, and you will smell the sour rye-bread smell. You can use it immediately or put it in the fridge (it can be stored for about 2 weeks).
- Zakwas (zurek base) – about 0,5 l (use as much of the top clear part as possible and a little of the thick floury part to thicken the soup with)
- Soup vegetables (potato, carrots, turnips etc)
- 1 onion
- Sausage (chopped thinly (kielbasa if you can get them – otherwise any good German, Polish or Russian sausage will do)
- Smoked bacon, or ham hock, or kassler pork neck etc
- Dried mushrooms – I used about 1/2 punnet of fresh mushrooms
- Garlic (3-4 cloves)
- 2 bay leaves
- Some herbs
- Salt and pepper
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Stock if you want it more meaty
- Fry the onion, garlic and bacon.
- Chop the veggies and add to the pot.
- Bring them to boil with about 3-4 cups of water, add the sausage, and simmer until cooked.
- Add “zakwas” to the stock (about 2 cups from the clear part at the top and 2-3 spoons of the thick flour from the bottom).
- Bring to a boil, add spices, salt & pepper to taste
- Serve with quartered hard-cooked egg in each serving and rye bread on the side.
Original source: http://blog.polishorigins.com/2013/06/26/zurek-traditional-polish-sour-soup/
Bigos is one of my favorite Polish dishes, and it is ridiculously easy to make.
- Shred some cabbage (about 1/2 a cabbage)
- Fry it slowly with some meat (bacon, kielbasa, sausage or whatever)
- Add salt, pepper & some stock (maybe a little white wine if you want)
- Slowly simmer until thick and soft
This Bigos was from a restaurant in Old Town, Warsaw, so it arrived in the bread bowl, but I usually serve it as a side dish to whatever I am eating.