Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Birthday Grandma!

Happy Birthday Grandma! (86 years young) I know that you and Grandpa must be celebrating together in Heaven.  I think of you often and miss calling you on a weekly basis with updates about the boys and life.  I am sure you are enjoy watching them grow (your view must be awesome). I cannot believe how fast they are growing into young men. Today as a tribute to Grandma and her Polish heritage (of which I am proud to share) I am making a few traditional Polish recipes.

Split Pea Soup
adapted from:

1 chopped onion
1 chopped leek
2 T olive oils
2-3 slices bacon (I am going to use sliced kielbasa and bacon grease)
1-2 carrot
2 medium celery stalks, chopped (will omit)
1 bunch of parsley (ditto)
1lb green split peas
1 small smoked hock or ham bone (omit)
2 quarts chicken stock
2 T lemon juice
3 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2 t thyme
2 t marjoram
1 t chili powder
2 t black pepper
1/2 t chili pepper or paprika
1/2 t salt (or to taste)
water if needed

Rinse and sort peas...remove any rocks.
In a large pot add bacon, onion and leek (I will use some bacon grease to aid in this process). Saute until browned.  Add remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer until peas are tender (about 25 minutes).   Add water or extra chicken stock to make sure liquid covers all vegetables.  Remove ham bone (if using).  Add extra salt and pepper and seasonings (as needed, per taste test).  To make this soup creamy, blend some in a blender or use an immersion blender.  Serve with a scoop of sour cream and rye bread and butter.  NOTE: You may want to add a diced potato or two to help cut the saltiness.

Polish Buttermilk Rye Bread
adapted from:

1 T yeast
1 T sugar
1 cup warm water
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (1 1/2 cups regular milk PLUS 1 T white vinegar works in a pinch), room temp
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 1/2 cups rye flour
3 1/2 cups white flour

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.  Knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl.   Cover and let rise until doubled. Shape into 2 loaves (oblong or round-your preference).  Place on parchment lined baking sheets.  Let rise again until doubled.  Brush with egg white or water.  Place 4 shallow slashes in bread.  Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes.  Cool on rack.  Serve with soup.

Happy Birthday Grandma!

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