Many times we have mentioned in our blog about returning to the roots during the sabbatical. I must admit that apart from traditional Sunday scrabbled eggs, the world’s best according to Ania, and occassional fish dishes I did not cook a lot back at home. Ania’s culinary talents are quite well known among our family and friends.
One of the experiences in our journey is the rediscovery of cooking passion, particularly in my case. Leaving home we did not count on it, expecting rather frugal eating such as Chinese noodles etc. Thanks to the kindness of our hosts and periodical access to decent kitchens we have been able to spread our culinary wings. We do it with great pleasure, without any feeeling of obligation. Our great host in New Zealand, Ian, despite loving our food, asked us several times to take it easy and not cook so much and rest instead. Well, normally many people ourselves included do not feel like cooking so much, which is great news for my restaurant company. Having more time on hand we rediscover the joy of cooking and learn many new things.
It is not only Ania and myself who cook in our family. Wojtus has been demonstrating his talents all along. Once he even dreamt of becoming a chef one day . After learning about higher paying jobs he now wants to be a bank director . His cooking speciality is Hindi flat bread called roti, lemonade and torilla chips.
Visiting new places we not only meet new people but learn to cook new local things or specialities of our hosts. Today, for example, I made shrimp pasta according to the recipe of Gosia, we met in Vancouver. Yesterday Ania baked 5 pans of banana following the recipe of a Fiona Baker, the owner of a local shoe shop. It came out extremely yummy! Also yesterday I made my favorite Latin American dish, ceviche. Ania has become an expert in baking muffins, with special emphasis on pear, ginger and banana flavors. My colleagues from Starbucks could learn a lot from her.
In Fiji we relished in Indian cuisine. The above mentioned roti and chop suey have permanently entered our menu. Knowing us and our families, after coming back home we will spread some of those recipes around. We do not forget our home, Polish cuisine. Everywhere from Honduras through Canada to New Zealand it is has been highly praised by the locals. “Mizeria” is a praticular favorite, not only thanks to its creamy taste and great pairing with potatoes but also due to its funny name, especially for the Spanish speaking. Our perserverance in looking for sauerkraut here in New Zealand (we thank Joe and Joy Jagiello for one can) paid off. Using this key ingredient, Ania prepared another Polish favorite, “Bigos”. After 9 months of longing for it we could all relish its juicy and acidic taste. Still many Polish dishes like sauerkraut, meat in jelly, pierogi are completely unknown in other parts of the world.
We find special satifaction in cooking things picked fresh from the garden or caught in the sea. The fish, which a moment ago was hanging on Ania’s or Wojtek’s fishing hook, lying now freshly baked on a plate is so succulent. Big Ania avoids buying frozen food, which, accordring to the Chinese knowledge, is devoid of much of its energy. It is pretty logical. Our food was alive itself and now give us its energy.
We have always cared about eating together at home. Now being with each other all the time it has become a second nature to us. There is no eating in a rush or eating of junk food.
In essence we live to eat, not eat to live.