Every Pole knows Wisława Szymborska. We know that she was a poetess, essayist, literary critic, translator, columnist and Nobel laureate in literature in 1996. In 1989 she created the Polish Writer's Association, and in 2011 she was decorated with the Order of the White Eagle.

We can of course read this information in a reference book or biographical notes, but recently, thanks to an amazing book with the unpublished letters of Wisława and the man of her life, we can get to know her from another perspective. She was a typical woman - loving, flirtatious, jealous - who found love at a mature age. Her chosen one was Kornel Filipowicz, a novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and poet. An author of 37 books, he was known mainly as a master of short literary forms.

Though their relationship wasn't typical and they never got married and never lived together, their love was intense and mature. At the time of their separation they wrote letters that were equally as special as their affection. The letters gathered in the book "Your cat has it best in life. The letters..." are funny, moody, romantic and loving. As in every correspondence between a typical couple, we can find both declarations of love and promises about the persistence of affection, stories about friends and family and more mundane information about daily life. Along with the author, we go through the various phases of their relationship. The letters evolve just like their love: from formal and a bit shy to more tender and intimate.


Without herrings we can't imagine the Christmas Eve table. We can prepare them in the traditional way with onion, or with dried plums, or as a salad. Choose your favourite version: sweet, spicy or dry.

Serve them in an unconventional way in small glasses or tiny bowls with French pastry. This dish can be a decoration for the Christmas table, New Year's Eve dinner or a meeting with friends.

Today I would like to share with you my own set of salads. Everybody can find something for themselves. One of them is more spicy with pineapple, the second is with gherkins and the third is sweet with cranberries.

Ingredients (for two people)
6 bowls with French pastry
Salad 1
100g of herrings in oil
5 slices of tinned pineapple
half a chili pepper
2 tablespoons of minced chives
2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of pineapple juice


There are some dishes which we order with great enjoyment in restaurants and cafés, but it seems to us that preparing them at home would be very awkward and difficult. However, if we have a good set up and are not put off by early failures, we can in fact prepare some of the dishes in our kitchen. All housewives also know that it is possible to simplify certain recipes without losing the quality of the dish.

It is not worth trying new recipes for important meetings. In case of failure you would then have to look for a cake shop to replace the mess in the kitchen with something sweet. Before Christmas my mum always sets aside one day for baking cakes. Usually, at least some of them are not suitable for the Christmas table (of course, they rarely they go to waste, because who doesn't like sweet and moist sad layer cake).When she bakes a cake randomly at the weekend however, they are always irreproachable.

One of the desserts which I haven't worked myself up to preparing is tiramisu. In every recipe I have found raw yolks. I have a principle: I don't eat them and I don't serve them to my family. I discovered, however, that without eggs this dessert is equally tasty and its consistency is excellent.

200g of sponge biscuit
3 espressos
4 tablespoons of amaretto


Carnival costume balls, Halloween parties, school theatre performances. These are events which give a lot of parents sleepless nights. The party lasts two or three hours, the prices of the costumes are shocking and they aren't there when we need them the most, and if they are, they all look the same. We don't want to look at pictures with five pink princesses, two Spider-men and three Batmen. Unless our children dig their heels in; in which case, discussion is pointless.

The shops and supermarkets overwhelm us with costumes in high season: Christmas, Halloween, carnival. Then the costumes disappear and we get "a gift" in May from our proud child: "Mum, I will be a crocodile/donkey/panda during a performance on Mother's Day!"

"It sounds great!" ... and we nervously look for a costume on the internet. It is fine if we can find what we need and we also have a chance to receive the shipment on time. It might turn out that the website only has a cat or pig costume and a bear mask that can be delivered within a month. The parent's honour sometimes saves the costume firms. They work all year and have a lot of costumes and masks. Unfortunately, I have the kind of "luck" that if I find something I need, it isn't the right size. I don't like to hire costumes. I don't have any friends who work for a hire firm, and my confidence in the cleanness of the costumes is rather poor. I can't imagine that in the high season the costumes are cleaned after every user. Also, sometimes I feel sorry for children dressed in hot costumes when it is above 25 C in the classroom.


According to tradition, on the Christmas Eve table there should be lenten soup: red borscht with ravioli or kalduny, mushroom- or fish soup. Although fasting during the Christmas Eve supper has for some time been tradition only, I can't imagine serving baked pork knuckle or sour rye soup with white sausage on this day.

The master of fish soup is my daddy, who has always prepared Christmas carp along with cooking the soup. I usually prepare mushroom soup for Christmas Eve. For a few years I have cooked it by following my mother-in-law's recipe. Everybody harmoniously says that there isn't a better one. It is on our table only for Christmas, which makes it all the more special. On Christmas Eve we have the whole family over, so I should have a lot of soup. I cook it in my biggest pot and if the soup doesn't disappear on Christmas Eve, it definitely will on Boxing Day. We serve this soup with fettuccini, but it is so aromatic and filling that it is great to have a slice of bread with it too.

80-100 g of dried mushrooms (bolete or porcini mushrooms)
3 carrots
3 parsley roots
a piece of leek
2 bay leaves


The original recipe for Afghan cookies comes from the book "Cookies" by carl Bardi. The author claims that they don't have anything in common with Afghanistan. They come from New Zealand and nobody knows why they are called "Afghan cookies".

They come across as fast and easy, they don't need sophisticated ingredients and they were chocolaty. This is important, especially when the weather outside is increasingly less like a Polish golden autumn. The next time I will modify the recipe. Maybe I will add some dates or raisins. I see a lot of possibilities. In the original version the cookies are crunchy and chocolaty, and they are excellent for afternoon coffee or tea. They have only one fault: they disappear from the plate too fastMrugnięcie.

180g of butter
100g of brown sugar
200g of flour
30g of cocoa
200g of corn flakes
40g of desiccated coconut
100g of dark chocolate
30g of minced walnuts

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