Polish cooking (Operatic bigos, also known as hunters’ stew ) Written by Lechu
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Cook slowly, mix frequently, for at least three hours. From time to time add some red wine, to replenish water that evaporated.
Typically, for each glass of added wine, cook drinks two glasses. Under these conditions after a while we are ready to start singing operatic arias. Traditionally, sopranos sing an aria from “Halka”, by Polish composer, Stanislaw Moniuszko: “In morning sun…” Mezzo-sopranos, like Ola, often choose aria of Hedwig, from “The Haunted Manor” by same composer, “I am running, and listening to forests…” Since there are no bigos’ arias available for altos, they are entitled to some extra wine instead. Tenors are known for their preferences for aria “La donna e mobile…” from “Rigoletto” by Giuseppe Verdi, baritones prefer polonaise aria from “The Haunted Manor” by Moniuszko – “One of my daughters, who will give her heart…”, while basses are recommended not to sing while cooking, since very low voices are known to turn bigos sour. If after completing of several arias, bigos is still not ready we may invite other family members, friends or household pets to practice dances from (preferably) Polish operas. Dogs are known to enjoy mazurkas, while cats definitely prefer polonaises. Birds do not enjoy dancing. If we have any household birds, we may consider them as a delicious addition to our bigos, enriching its flavor.
While bigos is cooking, we are stirring it from time to time, singing and dancing, but after a while we may feel tired of this operatic cooking. That means that process of operatic bigos making is complete. The next day, when bigos in our large pot has cooled down, and we are recovering from a hangover, it is time to transfer it to big jars, and keep refrigerated for at least two days. Bigos may be reheated several times. While bigos matures in cold, we have time to expand our operatic repertoire to be ready to make another batch of operatic bigos.
Polish cooking, Mazurka pastry of the kingsWritten by Lechu
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Following this period we begin baking mazurkas, such as mazurka of kings, presented here by our one and only Jane:
1 cup butter 6 egg yolks 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup almonds (chopped fine) 1 and 1/2 cups flour 1/4 teaspoon salt
Cream butter. Sift flour, sugar and salt. Add alternately 1 egg yolk and a small batch of flour until all has been used. Add almonds. Bake in a 17x11 pan for one hour at 350 F. Cut in squares and serve.