Friday, July 19, 2019

Folklorama: Bigos and Nalesniki

Bigos

In 1980 Poland was represented by two pavilions, just like Hungary and a few other countries were.
During the current Folklorama a few countries have more than one pavilion, but they share the audience - one is set up in Week 1, the other in Week 2.
Back in 1980, all of Folklorama took place in the same week, so the pavilions from the same country were in competition for the same audience.

Ah… well… so it goes….


The Warsaw Pavilion at 1364 Main Street was sponsored by the Polish Combatants’ Association of Incorporated Branch 13.
No, it wasn’t a fight club, just a veterans' association.
Yes, this was the Polish Pavilion that almost got us arrested.

Their piece started with a Zapraszamy / Welcome and went on to say
You’ll meet people with an inexhaustible capacity for fun and enjoyment of the good things in life.

Visitors were invited to join in the dancing or just relax and be entertained by the national fold dance ensemble ‘Iskry’.
There were displays of artifacts, handicrafts in wood, pottery, hand-woven articles, costumes and photographs depicting the folklore and character of Poland. 
After browsing the displays one could sit down to a meal of beet soup, Hunters’ Stew (Bigos) and sausages, washed down with Zubrowka or the Polish beer, Zywieckie.
And that's just what we did!


The Krakow Pavilion, at 717 Manitoba Avenue wished everyone Witamy, which also means welcome, and was sponsored by the Polish Gymnastic Association Sokol No. 1.

There was crystal and amber from Poland and dolls dressed in costumes from different regions of Poland, in addition to artifacts, wood handicrafts, Polish-Canadian pioneer artifacts, pottery, and hand-woven articles.
The Polish Sokol Choir and Dancers performed while the visitors feasted on Galereta, Bigos, Pierogi, Golabki, Nalesniki, and a variety of salads, followed by homemade Polish pastries, pierniki, crusty tortes and cheesecakes.
There was an assortment of alcoholic drinks which had been imported from Poland: Wyborowa, Zobrowska, Wisniowka, Jarzebiak, Krupnik, and Cassis, in addition to Polish beer, Zywiec, as well as domestic beer and liquor, fruit punch and coffee.


In the current Folklorama50 brochure there’s only the Polish Pavilion and it’s being held in the second week in the RBC Convention Centre.
They wish everyone Witamy, entertainment includes the dance ensemble ‘Iskry’, and Bigos is on the menu.
I don’t know if they’ve combined forces or if one pavilion drew in a larger audience than the other one did.

Ah… well… so it goes….


Hints:

The Bigos recipe started with:
All meat should be salted and broiled before cooking with sauerkraut or fresh cabbage.
If you use sauerkraut, drain the liquid and reserve one cup of it, then rinse the sauerkraut once with cold water.
Fresh cabbage must be shredded, salted and left for 30 to 60 minutes to crisp.

About the wine, I would imagine they used a dry red.
No, I don’t know how big the bottle was. Suit yourself.

They mentioned storing it in an earthenware bowl.
Maybe they just didn’t want it in anything metallic.
What with the meats in it, I would refrigerate leftovers.

They also said reheating this dish enhances its flavour.


The batter for the Nalesniki should be thin. If it’s thick, add more milk.
The recipe also suggested using a 9-inch teflon coated pan.


                        Bigos 

Place in a large kettle
2 quarts sauerkraut or 2 large heads cabbage, prepared as in hints.
2 Cups water
2 Cups tomato juice
Cook until just tender.

Place in a large pot
4 slices bacon, chopped
Fry until crisp, then remove and set aside.
Drain the fat until you have about 3 Tablespoons of fat in the pot.
Add
1 onion, chopped finely
Fry until it turns golden.
Stir in
1 Tablespoon flour
! Cup of liquid from the sauerkraut
Add this roux to the sauerkraut, along with
4 pounds pork steak, which has been salted and broiled
1 pound Polish sausage, cooked
any left-over fowl or game
1 bay leaf
5 to 8 whole black pepper corns
1/2 bottle wine (optional)
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Taste and correct the seasonings.


                        Nalesniki  

Makes 10 pancakes

Batter for Pancakes

In a small bowl combine
1 Cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Place in a medium bowl
1 egg
Beat well and add
1 Cup milk
the flour mixture
Beat until lump free.
Add
1/4 Cup oil
Fry the pancakes and set aside.

Cheese Filling

Place in a medium bowl
500 mL dry cottage cheese
1 egg
1/4 Cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix well until soft like butter.
Place a spoonful of cheese on the centre of a pancake and spread it out.
Tucking in the sides, roll the pancake and place in a buttered casserole dish.
Repeat with the other pancakes.
Dot with butter, cover and bake at 350º F oven for 1/2 hour.

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