Lunch at Pruszków and wild weather

Kat, a visiting Australian friend has asked for a Polish feast and of course my daughter’s mother-in-law obliges.  On Sunday, J goes out early to buy customary guest’s flowers from the Dolna flower stalls: an old lady with a few meagre bunches of calendula waylays him and insists he buy from her. So no cellophane and ribbons, but money in a needy pocket, and yet another proof of J’s soft heart.

As we get off the train at Pruszków, rain spots as big as a thumb-to-index-finger circle begin to plop. Gradually they cover more of the ground, first becoming star-shaped and then joining to completely blacken the bitumen. We scurry towards Ola and Jurek’s apartment and are settled in front of our cucumber soup before the storm really hits: wild wind, rain angling furiously at 45°, and deliciously cooled air. The soup is followed by spiced plums; two kinds of falling-off-the bone meat; a beetroot and orange salad; dilled potatoes; and pierogis crafted from scratch by my Polish daughter. The cousins arrive with their parents and cheerful smiles for us. The vodka begins to flow, and the challenge becomes keeping fizzy water for the kids separate from firewater for the adults. Especially when strawberry nalewka joins the party.

Conversation is vigorous despite the need for translation. Kat asks Jurek about the grandfather clock in the dining room, and we discover that he restored it using his carpentry skills: we’ve have already seen the results of these skills in the house at the dzialka and my daughter’s restored dining table. But that’s not all. We also learn that he crafted the intricate wall clock from an image he’d come across somewhere.

By now it’s time for dessert – a creamy concoction topped with raspberries and blueberries, and my daughter’s banana chocolate cake, egg free for Jaś, topped with strawberries. The gathering is loud and good-humoured and I feel almost tearful at being in the midst of this other family. Just back from Gdańsk, I ask Ola and Jurek where they go when they collect Baltic amber – Hel is one of the places – and Jurek produces a large bowl full of amber chips. He scoops out two handfuls and gives one to Kat and one to me. Ola comes out wearing a pendant, featuring a Potato Point beach pebble. I gave it to her as a brooch, but she rejects brooches now because a politician she despises wears them.

The storm outside has receded, and we head back to Warsaw replete with food and family.

The next morning we see the extent of storm damage in Warsaw when we walk through Park Morskie Oko to pre-school. The ground is littered with branches and Maja and Jaś ditch their bikes and begin dragging the smaller ones around, as they do when they’re assembling a bonfire. Looking at the devastation, we decide not to dally in the park next time we see a storm approaching.

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About morselsandscraps

A retired Australian who spends a lot of time in Warsaw, and blogs as a way of life.
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12 Responses to Lunch at Pruszków and wild weather

  1. restlessjo says:

    Morning hugs! I saw over at Jude’s that you need them. Will come back for a proper luxuriate later. 🙂 🙂

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  2. Very vivid writing, Meg. I almost feel like I was there with you. There’s nothing better than being warm indoors with a bowl of soup when the rain’s lashing down outside. That cake looks fantastic! I hope the clean-up operation following the storm is complete.

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  3. pommepal says:

    How lovely of J to buy the old ladies flowers, that would make them all the more special knowing he has made that old lady a little richer. I could feel I was with you as you describe the warmth of your family gathering and the food all I can say is YUM. Are storms normal in Warsaw in the summer? I loved to see the twins doing their bit to help tidy up the devastation.

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  4. Tish Farrell says:

    How horrid to have such a storm after a lovely day. But even the bad is beautifully conjured along with the blissful.

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  5. Heyjude says:

    The warmth of your Polish family shines through here Meg. Who needs a common language when you have food. And vodka… 😀

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  6. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Ahh your friend must have been over the moon to be welcomed into a Polish home like this, it makes me quite emotional to think about it. the food looks and sound heavenly and how lovely to hear about the flower lady and the carpentry. of course I’m with Jude on the vodka as well x:-)x

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  7. restlessjo says:

    Wild weather, Meg! Your little beavers remind me of bonfires in Jadzia’s garden. 🙂 Is Jas allergic to eggs then? The hospitality is the same. The hours Marta spends in the kitchen! I was astounded to find frozen pierogi and kluszki in Morrison’s freezer cabinets the other day. Perhaps we’re more of a multi-cultural community than we thought. Wry smile 😦
    I think I’d like your J. 🙂 Give him a small hug please.

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    • That’s exactly what they were doing I think – dragging branches to make a bonfire. Jaś has been allergic to eggs, and no one’ s game to test it. Hours in the kitchen? Not me for a long time, but Ola definitely. She’s a real country cook. There’s a lot to like in J, but he’s reluctant to accept the fact!

      I suspect I’ll be living elsewhere than the blogosphere for a week now, apart from one scheduled post, so have a lovely seven days, and stock up on a supply of hugs.

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      • restlessjo says:

        You seem a lot more relaxed in Polish company/conversation now, and I love that. Before you go I have to just tell you that I’m meeting Gilly at the end of this month! In Birmingham 🙂 🙂 Will be missing myself (Tavira) from 7th so you need a cart load of hugs till then 🙂

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