Thursday, January 31, 2013

A little bit of spring in the house.

I love the smell of hyacinths! Their smell is so intensive that it wafts through the whole room!

The pink one bloomed before Christmas. Now blue and white are blooming:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sponge 'Babka' cake - the recipe

Some of you asked me to share the recipe for babka cake.
Babka or baba is a traditional cake in Slavic countries. Babka or baba means 'old lady' or a 'grandmother'. It's especially made with yeast and icing for Easter Sunday. More interesting information you can read on wikipedia: Babka cake

I made my babka with no yeast but with a sponge, and I made it much smaller than the usual Easter babka.

The recipe:

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bird's swimming pool // Ptasi basen

In my town's park there is a lake where some of the surface didn't freeze. It's probably because there are waterworks nearby and maybe they increase the temperature causing the water to be still flowing.

People are coming here with kids to feed the birds. But, there are so plenty of them that I'm not sure they're getting enough food. There are mostly mallards (anas platyrhynchos), typical town birds such as pigeons, jackdaws or rooks, but you can also see some common gulls (larus canus). This is quite interesting because in the past gulls always stayed north of Poland, close to the Baltic sea; nowadays, especially in winter, they're becoming more and more frequent visitors to the central Poland where I live.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Garden cress // pieprzyca siewna zwana rzeżuchą

I like to grow garden cress (lepidium sativum) at home. It's easy and takes only 5 or 6 days to harvest. The only and most important factor when growing a garden cress at home is humidity; garden cress likes moist environment.

In Poland it is always called rzeżucha, although the correct name is pieprzyca siewna. The word 'rzeżucha' is so common that even the seed companies name the garden cress that way.
It's usually sowed at Easter to decorate eggs or tables, but it's a great addition to salads, soups or sandwiches through all year. 

The garden cress is slightly spicy in taste and it contains vitamins such as: A, B1, B2, E and PP but also minerals such as: sulpfur, chromium, potassium, manganese, magnesium and calcium. So, it's worth growing in winter when fresh and healthy vegetables from a garden aren't so readily available.

I sowed it on a piece of paper towel and sprinkled with water twice a day. These are my results!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The sun, finally! // Nareszcie słońce!

 After two depressive weeks when it had snowed almost continually the sun finally showed up! 
As the proverb says:  there’s no rose without a thorn, in my situation a beautiful sunny Saturday is accompanied by eleven degrees of frost! 
Hopefully, a thaw is forecast for next week and 4 degrees above zero. I'm a bit worried about the huge amount of water running from roofs and lying on the streets but we'll see what happens.

To celebrate this nice sunny afternoon, I've made a sponge babka cake.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Birds fight! - video // Ptasia walka - filmik

Today, I've recorded the birds eating.

Watch how the birds are fighting with one another for food! 

Some scenes are hilarious :) 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Polish 'sour cucumber soup' // Polska zupa ogórkowa

Sour cucumber soup

Of all soups I've ever tasted this one is my favorite. It's especially made in winter when there are few fresh vegetables and extra vitamins are needed.
Ze wszystkich zup, które kiedykolwiek próbowałam, ta jest moją ulubioną. Robimy ją zwykle w zimę gdy jet mało świeżych warzyw, a witaminki dostarczać trzeba.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Orchids // storczyki

My mom has a collection of flowers of orchid genus, majority of them moth orchids. They flower one by one all year round. Now in the winter time, they feast one's eye on their beauty. 
Here are some of them which are flowering now: 

This one is growing wild in boggy meadows in Poland.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Spring flower bulbs // cebule do nasadzeń wiosennych

A few days ago I ordered spring bulbs. Now it's the best time to buy them, because it's the time before the season and the bulbs are still cheap, in the middle of the season the bulbs are usually a bit more expensive.

It's been two years since I started cultivating my garden. Last season was the first when I could really enjoy the beauty of my first flower bulbs. Last season I bought some gladiolas and lilies; in autumn I bought tulips, daffodils, crocuses and more. My grandma gave me many old variety tulip bulbs, they remind me of my childhood. My grandma always had lots of red big flowering tulips, they smelled incredibly! I've never seen such tulip bulbs on the market. The tulips bulbs which are currently on the market have different shapes and colours, they look so fancy unlike grandma's tulips which were big, red and old-fashioned.

Now,  look what I ordered for the coming season :)

Bulbs were ordered from:
All pictures were taken from:

Acidenthera bicolor

Monday, January 14, 2013

The weather isn't on the gardener's side // Pogoda nie sprzyja ogrodnikowi

The weather isn't on the gardener's side. The white powdery snow has covered everything, the temperature is 8 degrees below zero. I 'd like to go outside and dig, plant or weed something in the garden but there's nothing I could do there.. except walking  my dog or feeding the birds :)


Pogoda nie sprzyja ogrodnikowi. Biały puch pokrył wszystko a temperatura spadła 8 stopni poniżej zera. Chciałabym wyjść na dwór, pokopać, posadzić albo popielić coś w ogrodzie, ale niestety.. mogę tylko zabrać psa na spacer albo nakarmić ptaki :)
A doily for my mother-in-law

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Dried beans and 'Winter tea' // Suszone nasiona fasoli i 'Zimowa herbatka'

During the last gardening season I've collected a few varieties of dried beans to sow them this year's spring.

I love to sow beans because they're so satisfying. Sow a few seeds and harvest hundreds :)

Last spring I prepared a teepee-like support made of dried wooden stalks of a Japanese knotweed (fallopia japonica; Pl: rdestowiec japoński/ostrokończysty). Japanese knotweed is an invasive plant in Poland so there was no trouble in getting it, in fact the stalks resemble bamboo stalks so I thought these teepees would be perfect. Unfortunately, knotweed stalks turned out to be too brittle for the heavy crop of beans and they all fell apart. I had to tie the plant to the wire fence.


W ostatnim sezonie udało mi się zebrać nasiona kilku odmian fasoli na suche nasiona, aby posiać je w tym roku.

Uwielbiam siać fasolę, bo jest to bardzo wdzięczne zajęcie! Posiej kilka nasion, by potem zebrać setki :)

Rok temu przygotowałam podpórki pod fasolę w kształcie indiańskiego tipi. Użyłam do tego wysuszonych łodyg rdestowca japońskiego/ostrokończystego (fallopia japonica). Ten rdestowiec jest inwazyjną rośliną w Polsce więc nie miałam problemu ze znalezieniem dużej ilości łodyg; łodygi te bardzo przypominają tyczki bambusowe więc myślałam, że będą idealne pod fasolę. Niestety, okazało się, że suche łodygi są za kruche, połamały się pod ciężarem fasoli, musiałam więc na szybko podwiązywać co się dało do siatki.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Memories of a 2012 Slavic Garden // Wspomienia ze Słowiańskiego Ogrodu w 2012 roku.

It's winter now, the 2nd of January.
Again, I have a feeling that a year has come full circle. Last September I looked at my garden thinking of the time passing and wondering of this year's garden. Now everything is repeating itself, I've looked at my garden and thought of this year's planting.

 Take a look at our garden and harvests in 2012. 

But first here's a colourful spring flower garden of my grandma Hanna, who unfortunately past away last September.


Jest zima, 2 stycznia.
Kolejny raz mam wrażenie, że rok zatoczył koło. We wrześniu spojrzałam na ogród myśląc i zastanawiając się nad upływającym czasem i przyszłorocznym ogrodem. Teraz znowu wszystko się powtarza, patrzę na ogród i myślę co posadzić za rok.

Zobaczcie jak wyglądał nasz ogród w 2012 roku i co z niego zebraliśmy.

Ale najpierw obejrzyjcie zdjęcia wiosennego i kolorowego ogrodu mojej babci Hanny, która niestety zmarła we wrześniu.

___ Grandma Hanna's spring garden ___

 Primrose; primula vulgaris (Polish: prymula; pierwiosnek)