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


Some time ago, I was a spectator at a bake-off of the most well-known chefs in Poland. The winner was a dish which consisted of a minimum of ingredients. It was a simple dish, but it was excellent due to the high quality products used to prepare it. In my opinion, choosing the right ingredients to make the ideal dish is a sign of artistry. The dish should stimulate all our senses.

My recipe today is for a salad which is a combination of ingredients which seemingly do not go together well. You will need kiwi fruit. I used golden ones, but for this salad green ones would also be fine. You have to buy radish shoots and slices of smoked bacon or raw smoked ham. Strange ingredients? Try them; they greatly complement each other.

2 golden kiwis
radish shoots
4 big slices of raw smoked ham
a fistful of almonds
3 tablespoons of olive oil


"Mum, what kind of soup are we having today?" Two small noses peek under the lid. "Oh no, another invention!" This moan of disappointment makes me drop my ladle, and I would like to sign my children up for weekend dinner at an eatery. Maybe if they had tomato soup followed by borscht and sausages and then crepes they would stop complaining at the table. Then comes the next reflection: I'm so naïve! Children always find a reason to complain, even if there is tomato soup in their bowls; it is tasty, known and popular but ... the noodles are not the right shape, and so the griping begins Mrugnięcie

I see little sign of hope that in the future when the kids are adults and have their own family my efforts will be appreciated and they will remember my culinary inventions. Maybe even sometimes call me up for a recipe... Let's do a reality check and come back to our whiners at the table.

It took me a long time to get hold of the recipe for soup with tomatoes, chickpeas and pearl barley which I prepared recently. It turned out that the traditional way of passing on the recipe on paper was more efficient than e-mail. The electronic recipe reached me many days after the soup was only a memory.

100g of dry pearl barley
1 tin of chickpeas
1 carrot
1 small celery root

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