26 Dec 2016
Quiet house. It's dark morning. St. Stephens day. For me is second day of Christmas. I am laying between my two lovely sleepy heads and my stomach is killing me. I am getting older.
I realized I do not know much about Irish Christmas. I know you buy turkey, cook cranberry sauce and open presents beside tree on Christmas morning...
It is such a challenge to keep traditon. Not even Irish, Polish or any other, but it is hard in general. Maybe it is caused by fast living, running around our lives. Or maybe we are just lazy after all and nobody wants to run again to reach the tradition finishing-line.
I was lucky this year. Did not have to go to work. Even my husband has had few days off so we could really focus on slow Christmas. Especially we had one more reason, our little baby Z. I was a little bit affraid how we will manage feedings, changings or so with all cooking and cleaning. But we just jumped into that and once again let it go. I have dirty windows. It is such a serious thing in Poland to have them cleaned and sparkling for Christmas! Nope, not me, not this year.
I planned to bake a special coffee cake for Christmas and I did not. Well I have home made mince pies, poppy seed strudel, fruit cake with sherry, gingerbread cookies and ginger bread bundt cake with guiness. I think it may be enough...
Polish Christmas is so much prep! Celebrations begin actually on Christmas Eve. We cook 12 dishes! Family recipes are priceless. So here you go: dumplings with mushroom and sauerkraut, borscht, carp fish, fish a'la greek, mushroom ravioli, dried fruit compote drink, salads, cakes, beans with marjoram and prunes... It is quite heavy but also delicious and reminds me so much about my family home. Every Polish region is slightly different and those dishes may obviosly vary.
So I think I spent 2 or 3 days in kitchen. But not entire days! It was slowly cooking, planning with a culmination on 24th. And honestly does not matter how many days it will be I will never be on time with the supper. But I love that! It is such a fun to make dumplings together, share frying of carp- "you fry this now, I will get dress and swap you".
So finally. Traditionally we start when first star will light up on the sky. This year it was 6pm. And I was starving! Suppering last quite long. So there was us 4- our family and our great friend, 12 dishes + extra milk for baby, a tiny wafer, which we share and say wishes to each other, one empty plate for a stranger who might come this night, computer to connect with family in Poland, christmas tree and presents brought by Star Man (Gwiazdor) instead of Santa which we usually open after supper. Everyone has to try every dish, otherwise there will be no luck in next year. So I tried. And I did it again yesterday! Auch!
I serve big breakfast with all leftovers and roast on 25th and make festive dinner on 26th. But we just ate all day long! Auch! With a break for a walk. And there was on streets only couples with buggies.
Love our laziness, all chats, playing with little Z., watching movies. And I love that we did not drowned in this run for presents and consumerism. In my head and heart is small newborn baby, poor and cold, lied down in a crib, scared and trustful mum just after delivery and carying, fearful dad. I do see more now the carnal aspect of Christmas which hapened tousands years ago and try to imagine them.
And I still need to believe in the magic and miracle.
Happy Christmas my dear friends!