Sitting in the kitchen: February

I don’t like February, and, as far as I am concerned, February is the worst month of an year. Therefore I feel happy that this is over now. Here is already spring, with quite warm, longer and sunny days . ( It was even 15 degrees above zero a few days ago). Tomorrow I will bake a spelt buns. I have not yeast at home, so I need to buy. This is much better, while the bread is made at home, don’t you. I’ve read, that in the old times flour was much better than today and spelt had been very popular in Europe, for sure in the Middle Ages. The painting by J. Vermeer ” The Milkmaid” is not that old than the Middle Ages, but I guess in those times bread was also much better than our contemporary chemical bread. ( Here read on the painting: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Milkmaid_(Vermeer) )

I saw a fox recently! ( Not a boar this time… ) This fox is almost tame and very beautiful. She/he has been living here for a few years, so from time to time is possible to see her/him. The fox usually strolls among the apartment blocks here, acting like dogs do. Everytime I met this fox I was thinking I see a dog, and after a longer moment I realised it is a fox. I think she/he also feels herself/ himslef a little bit as a dog and this is a useful trick. I see the animal wants to be accepted here and is friendly. I remember two years ago, in the wintertime, and it was after midnight, my sweet dog had decided she will make this fox run. Wow! She almost bited the fox’s tail! But very soon it turned out that the fox is much  better long distance runner than she. ( And I was the last one in that chase). The fox was out of reach!

But this time I had my dog on the leash, so firstly the fox was starring into my eyes for a moment and afterward simply went somewhere into the night, and the moon was shining. .. Here, in Warsaw, we have  quite big number of foxes. The fox I know is friendly and brave, and young. I like him a lot and hope we will meet once again. I might call the fox a friend of mine, because I have seen the animal wants me to feel like that. I know it from this look – very clever animal, indeed.

Panda Bao Bao ( not sure I wrote her name correct) has already arrived to China, and she must spend some time in a cage, so she got nostalgic. And one woman in Canada, who is a restaurant’s owner, discovered some illegal immigrants there, and she gave them breakfast. It was next to the border with the U.S. And the temperature in Lahti for today ( yesterday) was higher than zero. Don’t forget to watch the large hill competitions today! And some gorgeous people in fabulous clothes were standing along with the Queen – that’s because of some common project of the U.K. and India, although I am not big on it, so no details this time. And I am not  mad! In other words I am going to tell you, that this agressive and weird stuff is still in my livingroom. The tv set. ( As  some of you might remember, in my latest post I was wondering should I have a tv set at home or not). Mine tv set is bothering me, and I find it overwhelming ( Bao Bao, the Queen, ski jumping, a restaurant in Canada…) Nevertheless , I cannot do this right now. I cannot throw the tv set out, because I am dead keen on sport. I am completely nut about watching sport in tv! Firstly, these World Championships in Lahti, it is running right now. Secondly, European Athlethic Championship in Belgrade ahead! Not to miss! ( Not to mention about a cycling races, f.ex. Paris – Nice is upcoming soon). Especially I adore runs and I am a massive fan of Genzebe Dibaba.

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One winter night I went sleep , that day I captured this last boar’s track this year. And the next day, while I had waken up, I saw it is already spring. Snow had been melting  and I felt that awesome springish warmth. It was amazing! Rain or shine, snow or shine February is a love season for squirrels. Be aware of that, lol. ( This is a squirrel track).

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I am not sure I will make my millet’s pudding with a chocolate drops, or maybe I will read a book.  See you soon, guys! Love to be with you.

Kraków in Fałat’s art

Thus, another week has gone! So maybe is closer to spring…  Julian Fałat is one of my favourite Polish painters, despite of the fact he had been painting also huntings, indeed cruel situations ( I believe he did it for money), but the rest is superb and brilliant. So we are in the XIX century right now. And in Cracow, looks like winter…

When I was a child I was spending a part of my vacations in Cracow every summer, because my auntie Jasia had been lived there, in very old, mysterious house ( with awesome wooden balcony, very long, and while you reached the end of the balcony, there was something called “spiżarnia” or “gross kamera” – the amazing pantry with huge amount of big jars with cucambers in brine or confitures). Auntie Jasia ( Jane) was a very classy lady and she was an actress in her younger years. Then she married my uncle Walter who was in a half Austrian and his mother lived in Vienna. He was the only one from my family who had been arrested during II  world war, he spent all the time in “oflag” ( German nazi camp for officers). He was an officer of Polish army. Then he had a cafe on Floriańska street, along with my granddad, until comunists nationalized it – not  long time, only a several years.

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Then, while I became a teen I was travelling to Kraków as often as I could. I remember bad times in Kraków and good times there, in this unique place on Earth. I know a part of my soul is always close to Kraków for some reasons. When I was a student I was spending there almost every weekend. And if it comes to talk about J. Fałat paintings I want to make more posts on him. He had been living and painting in many places, not only in Kraków. ( The last painting I have from Pinterest, and it is from some deleted blog, so I skip the caption)

Here is getting warmer right now. Melting snow is rather ugly, but I feel spring in air, maybe too early!

In Kraków people are a little bit thrifty, and very proud that they are from Kraków. They usually don’t like us, people from Warsaw, and they consider themselves as better, because Kraków is older Polish capital and gla, gla… One time I asked one old man in Kraków, how to go somewhere, I don’t remember… He told me what I needed but was worrying and added : ” But that is very far! You have to wait for the tram!  ” and I said: ” Why?” – ” Because it takes 15 minutes by foot!!!” – he was really scared. LOL! 15 min by foot that is next to nothing! I am from Warsaw – here half an hour by foot is very close.

Breaking news about Leonardo Da Vinci painting

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Wikipaintings.org

Poland has bought that  world famous masterpiece of art lately, in the last days of the past year. Obviously, the painting ” Lady with an Ermine” had been in Cracow also before, but the owner was Prince Adam Czartoryski and The Czartoryski’s Foundation, not the Polish state. They sold us also all their brilliant collection of art – the painting by Da Vinci is the highlight – along with the buildings, where the exhibition is located.

The main change is that since now this priceless heritage ( it was  assured on 300 mln euro during the trip through Europe in 2011 ) had become a  property of the state and is not allowed to travel anymore. Thus, you will come here, to Kraków! You will not regret. ” Dama con l’ermellino” ( the Italian name) is actually displayed at Wawel Royal Castle.

” Dama z gronostajem” ( the Polish name) is a portrait of Cecilia Gallerani, who was the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan, and she was only sixteen while the portrait was painted. And also  she was pregnant with the Duke, what is hidden –  probably she is holding the ermine ( a symbol of the Duke) just to hide her pregnancy.She bore him a son and he  married another woman, because Gallerani was not a noble. Such a love story! The painting is very beautiful and is the one of only four portraits of women, painted by Leonardo. The painting was done around 1489- 1490, and this is an oil painting on walnut wood panel.

Sitting in the kitchen: December part 2

Hi, there! Welcome in 2017! But remember, we are still in December for a while.  Currently you have one leg in December, and the second here in 2017 – until you will finish read this post. White winter right now. Air from the North Pole is here. This time for sure! The weather is not very freezy to be frank, is about minus ten at a day and in a nightime is something like minus eightteen. Snow is beautiful and fresh, my dog is very keen on running and playing outside. She is a big fan of freeze, and the dog I had before also was. While sun is shining snow glitters in the sun rays. I adore the sound of crispy snow, especially I love to walk and hear it in a nighttime. The sound is like no other! ( Not to mention, that more snow and better visibility in the darkness, that means it isn’t a problem to notice a boar). The pond here is actually iced over, many people were skating there today – my dog was in the rapture of it. She found the weather rapturous at all! ( And I have been snapping photos). A glorious brain- wave! I had. Although I’m not absolutely sure… Do I really want my tv set ??? Imagine a homely, simply life without it! Or only you own it for watching old, carefully selected by yourself, DVD movies? Maybe I will do that… By now for example, whenever I have turned on this device, I must look at terrible and overwhelming ” Warning!”, ” Please remain at home!” and ” The Weather Alarm!” – all with printed characters and bold type, in every Polish channel, I think… You know, the freeze is a normal thing during winter season and that is not the reason to start the panic. I want to live my life. I mean to say I want to live my life with no bold type. ( Not literally, of course ). I need to be close to nature and I do know by myself how to live when the weather has gotten freezy.  This is going too far! I really should hide the tv set somewhere in the house. My wintry hat!

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For that matter, this is the warmest and most comfy hat I ever had! I purchased this funny hat in a supermarket  four years ago and I still wear and love it. It looks like an acrylic yarn, although the lining is very warm. Along with good shoes and long puffer coat it’s enough for a stroll in  these creepy cold nights. Let’s talk Christmasy food at last!

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Maybe I should rather post on something Maudy Thursday ( Donut’ s Day) and Mardi Gras, because it is been a while since Christmas, but I want to finish my story. So, we eat a carp, I have mentioned in my previous post. Then, the soup is a must, I mean to say, two soups. In Poland some of us are in the habit of eating ” barszcz” ( bortsch) – a beetroot soup with small dumplings inside. In other families they eat a mushrooms soup, but I’m not big on it. We are having barszcz with uszka for Christmas Eve . ( ” Uszka” – small ears, although that is not my sense of humour, I must say, that these dumplings filled with mushrooms are delicious) . Then, also awesome, “pierogi z kapustą i z grzybami” ( pierogies/dumplings stuffed with sauerkraut and dried mushrooms). And I have to mention, that these mushrooms must be mostly dried boletuses. Oh no, I forgot, before “pierogi” we  already ate a carp – that is correct! Go on! Right now, giving a presents!!! Then, sweets, cakes, coffee etc. At least in my household. But you can meet a Pole who will tell you another story, about compeletely other dishes and habits. Here is also popular ” ryba w galarecie”  what means a fish in a jelly, but this is not my favourite dish. Or ” śledż pod pierzyną” , very popular here in  the Masovia region ( a herring under a feather bed). This is a herring’s salad with creamy sauce – quite yummy, but my mother does not like it. I think very Polish tradition is to live in a multi-cultural society. I’m always very surprised, while I meet the opinion, that Polish culture is homogeneous. ( Popular belief in the U.S.) Absolutely not a truth! Oh, noI I forgot to tell you about speaking animals… This is lovely tradition from Polish rural areas, that in the Christmas Eve at midnight, pets and animals in the household are speaking with a human voice! Cows, dogs, hens, cats, donkey… This is also the custom of sharing wishes with them. See you soon and in another era, again!And wait for my photos, because these are taken with my vintage analogue camera.