Christmas Eve arrived in Australia... Soon there will be hustling & bustling in the kitchen, enjoying the heavenly smells, table-decorating and carol-singing.
For me as a Pole, Eve was always the most important day of Christmas, with its great traditions, and more importantly the air of love and excitement that I always look forward to.
This year will be even more special. My mum & dad are here and it's going to be the first Christmas spent together in the foreign land and also in my domain, my house. Each side of the family will hopefully experience something new and precious, when the cultures and traditions meet. I wish there was snow, but having both parents in for a Polish-style Eve is well enough to make up for the soaring temperatures :)
Certainly, food is always a staple in today's routine and it's the more awaited, since these delicacies come only once a year. We'll have 'Greek fish' (ryba po grecku -- nothing Greek about it, though); beetroot soup (borsch, barszcz); sauerkraut & wild mushrooms dumplings (pierogi), just to name a few.
Apart from a cheesecake and poppy seed cake that will make it to our table this year, I usually make a walnut & honey cake which is a favourite with everyone. Mazurek, as it's called, is traditionally made for Easter but with its earthy, rich flavour it fits Christmas just as well.
200g (7 oz) unsalted butter
3 cup flour
1 heaped tsp baking powder
2 tbsp natural honey
1 egg + 1 yolk
Knead briskly together, layer the bottom of 28 cm (11") tin. Slight variations in size are fine.
250g unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
30g (1 oz) walnuts
2 - 3 tbsp natural honey
Preheat the oven to 180C (356F). Melt butter in saucepan, add sugar, honey and walnuts (broken into med-sized pieces). Stir on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. When the mixture starts bubbling, pour it on top of the base. Bake for 20 minutes.
*Please note, that all measuring is given in Australian standards.
1 cup = 250ml
1 tsp = 5ml
1 tbsp = 20ml
Make sure you adjust your measures, if you use British or American standards. Thanks!
Wishing you all a VERY MERRY Christmas :)