Friday, 1 January 2010

Christmas Colours

Christmas celebrations invariably involve eating your own body weight through a mountain of food, and I certainly did my part this year. Christmas Eve dinner was held at A+B's cosy flat in East London, where we proceeded to slowly but steadily work our way through a 12-course Polish dinner. The Mancreature tells me that it's traditional for Polish families to stuff their faces with 12 different dishes during Christmas dinner, so we took that as an excuse to eat til we nearly threw up.

I made up a tower of quince pies and lots of little Russian tea cakes to add to the party, while the Mancreature made little dumplings called uzska - little ears - and also roasted a great big hunk of beef. Turns out we needn't have brought those items, as there was more than enough food awaiting our rather late entrance.

We stuffed our greedy maws with plenty of pierogi, beetroot soup, bigos, marinated herrings, lots of sausages  and at least  four different cakes. In fact, there was so much food that we ended up having to take a half hour break halfway through the meal before we could go on and finish all 12 dishes. The Mancreature nearly ended up in a coma at the end of it, but that's because he didn't listen to my advice - just keep eating, and don't listen to your gut!

I know I'd promised to write up my recipe for quince pies before, but you'll just have to wait a little longer before I get round to doing it. I used this recipe for the biscuits, but omitted the icing sugar dusting and got creative with some chocolate-flavoured icing instead. It's currently one of my favourite biscuit recipes, as it takes hardly any time to mix up, and I've also discovered that the resulting biscuits keep fairly well too.

The next day - Christmas Day - was spent lazing around in our pyjamas, playing computer games and making more mushroom-filled uszkas! This time, I had the 'brilliant' idea of adding red and green food colouring to the dough, to produce a batch of Christmas-coloured dumplings. They looked like little embryos, but were so tasty right out of a hot water bath, with a little lot of butter slathered over them.  Lots of things taste great covered in butter...I love butter!

We didn't make them to a specific recipe, but you if'd like to try them out, here's a fairly simple one. Ours were stuffed with wild Polish mushrooms and onions, but I don't see why you can't stuff them with other ingredients if you feel like it. Once you've cooked them, you can keep them for a couple of days in the fridge, although we finished ours almost immediately. All 52 little ears.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all have a great 2010!

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