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Blueberry mazurka

30 Jun

Blueberry mazurka

Mazurka (or mazurek) is a traditional Polish cake served at Easter and other special occasions. There are lots of mazurka recipes online – some for single-layer mazurka topped with fruit or chocolate and drizzled with icing; others with the fillings sandwiched between two thin layers of cake.

I chose this blueberry mazurka recipe for its similarity to the date squares my family makes at Christmas. It hadn’t occurred to me to use anything other than dates for the middle layer – my eyes are opened to all sorts of possibilities now…;-) Continue reading

Mushroom barley soup

9 Oct

Mushroom barley soup

Mushroom barley soup is a homely Jewish classic. I’ve been making this comforting, nourishing stuff for years. It’s perfect student fare, costing pennies a potful.

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Polish vegetable soup

15 Nov

Polish vegetable soup

When I worked in central London, it was necessary to employ various nurseries, childminders and nannies to look after the girls. Through trial and error, we learned that live-out nannies suited us best – and with two children, they worked out cheaper than a nursery.

Our nanny would arrive as I left for work, to spend the day with the girls, taking them to playgroups and parks, supervising playdates, and preparing their meals. So long as they cooked from scratch, I gave them free rein in the kitchen.

One Polish nanny in particular was an excellent cook. She would make the most wonderful soups for the girls, which she always served with stacks of thin pancakes. When she left us to start her own family, she kindly copied out those recipes the girls had become so fond of. This vegetable soup in particular has become a family favourite. It’s also a great way to clear out the vegetable tray before the week’s grocery shop.  Continue reading