Friday, August 28, 2015

Taste of (Polish) Summer

Summer in Poland means, besides warmer weather, fresh fruit based dishes. At least to me.
Strawberries served with cream and sugar, blueberry pierogi, plum knedle, blueberry soup and cherry soup made by my mum. All so very tasty and refreshing at the same time!
I enjoy having and making various kinds of food: Southern, Tex-Mex, Asian, Italian or, generally speaking, European. But, sometimes I do crave the meals we had at home in Poland. The familiar/favorite tastes of the cuisine not available here. Since I am not good at making any type of pierogi (I have tried a few times but the results were rather miserable), I do not even attempt to cook anything like that these days. That is why, missing the summer Polish dishes, I finally cooked cherry soup. Easy to make and so enjoyable! All you need is the fruit, water, sugar and some cornstarch ( I used Polish potato flour instead). Some time ago I bought a bag of frozen, pitted cherries - I thought I would make a pie. Later I forgot about them. When the crave for the fruit meals came, I had the key ingredient in the freezer, ready to be cooked.

What I used (for two servings):

  • 1 bag (12 oz) frozen (pitted) sweet, dark cherries  - I used about 99% of the bag content
  • water,
  • 3 TBS sugar,
  • about 1 TBS potato flour (cornstarch),
  • 2 qt pan.
  • And: 1/2 cup elbow pasta.


What to do with it:

  1. Cover frozen cherries with water and cook (at 4) to boil, add sugar (the soup should be refreshing, not too sweet). 
  2. Mix potato flour (or cornstarch) with a bit of cold water, add this mixture to the soup, to thicken it (do not make it too thick!), stir, cook for about two minutes. If it happens that the soup gets too thick, add some more cold water.
  3. Remove from heat and chill.
  4. Cook the pasta according to the instructions provided by its manufacturer.
  5. Serve the chilled soup with pasta.

I had not eaten this kind of soup for about four years, so I was quite happy when I made it. It was sooooooooo good! Next time I will make blueberry soup - soon!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Fort Worth - Bass Hall & Sundance Square

The Bass Performance Hall building - situated not far from Sundance Square - is quite spectacular. Its facade, with two majestic angels, curved in Texas limestone, catches the attention of passersby. You simply cannot miss it. I like it a lot! The angels seem to announce: 'Hark! Great events take place here! Time to enjoy the art of music and dance!'

We have visited it quite a few times -  to see various ballet performances, including 'The Nutcracker' and 'Swan Lake' by Tchaikovsky. Such splendid experiences...

The Bass Hall interior is quite beautiful too - the paintings on the ceiling make it look as if it was a see-through roof.

The Bass Performance Hall area - Sundance Square of Fort Worth is also worth mentioning. It was named after Sundance Kid, member of Butch Cassidy's gang (train and bank robbers). The square mural, quite a piece of art, which you can see in the picture below, marks the Fort Worth part of the Chisholm Trail (used to drive cattle overland from Texas to Kansas  - from 1867 to 1875).

What are your favorite places in For Worth? Which ones would you like to visit?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dog Holiday - August 26

Do you remember to honor your pet? ;-)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fort Worth and Its Stockyards

There are quite a few places in Forth Worth which we like visiting. One of them is Stockyards National Historic District - the area of Old West livestock market (which worked till 1866).  While walking along Exchange Avenue, and admiring the western style architecture (including traditional boardwalks), you can really feel the spirit of  the old times.

The local stores have a wide range of items on offer: from Texas souvenirs, and fancy cowboy and cowgirl outfits, to art gallery pieces.
The Stockyards Station, these days a market center with various shops and restaurants, is quite a place. When we were last visiting it, we could also listen to some open-air, live country music concert.
Although trains no longer stop at the station, you can still find a railway track of the Grapevine Vintage Railroad there.

Needless to say, Stockyards National Historic District is not only about shopping and eating. It is much more than that of course. There is also a rodeo place, where (on Friday and Saturday evenings)  professional cowgirls and cowboys compete and present their skills.

You can learn more about past rodeo stars - watch pictures, videos and memorabilia - at the Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame.

Next time when we happen to go to the Stockyards, I need to take a photo of some markers which are placed in the sidewalks. They are the Texas Trail of Fame, honoring the persons who contributed in a special way to the Western style of life. Maybe I will also be lucky to have a picture taken at the place, where Texas cattle specimens pose/present themselves (usually, children take over the place).
There is a lot to explore at the Stockyards in Fort Worth!

More info here

Friday, August 21, 2015

My Place in Poland

The is the English version of the post created for the holiday project of  'The Polish Ladies Abroad Club'. In July and August bloggers, members of the club, write entries on their favorite spots in Poland.

My place in Poland, the place I like most and which I miss most is
Gdynia - my city.
Gdynia is situated in northern Poland, by the Baltic Sea. It is quite young, as for a city. It was granted with the city rights in 1926. Although Gdynia is rather large - it has a lot of newer and older districts  - it is the city center which I love most. The center is neither too big nor too small. Just right to me. 

Gdynia - City Hall

When in the center, you can easily get on foot to each and every place of this part of the city. Walking along the streets you can visit local stores, shopping centers, bars, fast food places or cafes. If you get too tired to walk, there are trolleybuses which can take you from one side of Gdynia center to the other.

When you are done with shopping, there is Kosciuszko Square - just a few steps from the main street - where you can rest on one of the benches, admire the city fountain and colorful flower beds or go to the nearby marina.

Gdynia means also Polish Navy and Polish Sailors
Kosciuszko Square - Monument to Polish Sailor

The Kosciuszko Square wharf is home to Polish Naval Craft Museum 'Błyskawica' (Lightning) and the Maritime Academy sailing ship ' Dar Młodzieży' (Gift of Youth).

ORP Blyskawica
Dar Mlodziezy
Kosciuszko Square and Sea Towers

If you feel like enjoying a sea adventure, you can board one of the passenger ships and cruise around Gdańsk Bay, Port of Gdynia, go to Gdańsk, Sopot or (by ferry) to Hel Peninsula.

If you are a 'beach person', you can easily reach the city beach walking through the Square park.

Sunbathing is not your cup of tea? Cross the beach and you will reach the seaside boulevard, which is quite popular with Gdynia citizens.

While visiting Gdynia center, do not miss its Stone Mountain (Kamienna Góra). Climb it (going up the stairs) or use a lift and you will be rewarded with a view over the city, marina, beach and port.

Panorama of Gdynia

The park created on the slope of The Mountain is worth mentioning too. In the summer, on Sunday evenings live music concerts take place there.
The City Aquarium is another tourist (and not only)  attraction situated at Kosciuszko Square. Many interesting ocean creatures, including sharks, live in the Aquarium tanks.

The Aquarium building (in the background)
Not far from the Aquarium, there is also the Museum of Gdynia (for those ones who are interested in the history of the city) and the Polish Navy Museum.

Engineer Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski was the constructor of Gdynia seaport

Polish Navy Museum exposition

Gdynia is a really interesting city, well taken care of by its Council. All year round, numerous cultural and educational events (including entertainment) are organized here. There is always something interesting to see or/and attend: festivals, exhibitions, music concerts, sports tournaments, tall ship races and many others.

On St. John's Day (June 21) a merry parade marches along the main center street (St. John's Street).

Maritime Academy representatives
Polish Navy Orchestra (plays best)

And there is also quite a different day, and quite a different procession... 

... Corpus Christi celebrations in Gdynia

Gdynia has its wooden pier too, you will not find it in the city center though. 

Gdynia Orłowo - view from the pier

Besides it all, I miss the sea breeze, the wind from the sea, which makes the air fresh and pleasant on heat days.

The beach is beautiful not only in the summer...

Although there are many beautiful places in the world, Gdynia will always be one of the most beautiful ones to me. Why? The answer is simple: Because it is 'my' Gdynia.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Moje Miejsce w Polsce

Poniższy post jest częścią wakacyjnego projektu Klubu Polki Na Obczyźnie
(English version of the post - soon...).

Moje miejsce w Polsce, miejsce, które najbardziej lubię, za którym tęsknię najbardziej to
Gdynia – moje miasto.
Gdynia i jej liczne dzielnice zajmują dość rozległą powierzchnię, jednak centrum miasta jest najbliższe memu sercu. Zbudowane na planie prostokąta, nie jest ani za duże, ani za małe. Jak dla mnie w sam raz.

Gdynia - budynek Urzędu Miasta

Mijając po drodze liczne sklepy, bary i restauracje, wszędzie łatwo dotrzeć „na piechotę”. Dla tych, którym nie za bardzo chce się chodzić pieszo są trolejbusy. Jednym z nich można szybko dotrzeć z jednego końca centrum Gdyni na drugi.

Linie trolejbusowe łączą centrum Gdyni z jej licznymi dzielnicami, a także z Sopotem

Jeśli zmęczy nas wycieczka po ulicach miasta i oglądanie jego zabudowy (większość domów w tym rejonie powstała w latach 30 XX wieku), wystarczy kilka kroków i jesteśmy w sercu Gdyni, na Skwerze Kościuszki. Można tam odpocząć na jednej z licznych ławeczek, podziwiać fontannę miejską i kolorowe klomby kwiatowe lub udać się do pobliskiej przystani jachtowej. 

Gdynia to również marynarze i Marynarka Wojenna
Skwer Kościuszki - Pomnik Marynarza Polskiego
Przy nabrzeżu znajdującym się przy Skwerze cumuje okręt muzeum ORP „Błyskawica” i żaglowiec szkoleniowy Akademii Morskiej „Dar Młodzieży”. 

ORP Błyskawica

Dar Młodzieży
Skwer Kościuszki i budynki Sea Towers

Stamtąd odpływają statki Żeglugi Gdańskiej, które zabierają turystów na wycieczki po porcie gdyńskim i Zatoce Gdańskiej. Statkiem możemy też wybrać się do Gdańska lub Sopotu albo popłynąć (promem) na Półwysep Helski.

Idąc alejkami Skweru Kościuszki dojdziemy na plażę gdyńską (przysłowiowy „rzut beretem” ze Skweru).

Dla nielubiących plażowania jest Bulwar Nadmorski, jedno z  popularnych miejsc spacerowych Gdynian.

Jeśli chcemy podziwiać panoramę Gdyni, delektować się widokiem na morze, plażę i port wystarczy wspiąć się schodami (lub pojechać kolejką) na szczyt Kamiennej Góry.

Panorama miasta - widok z Kamiennej Góry

Schodząc w dół, z powrotem do centrum, warto zatrzymać się by zobaczyć jak pięknie zagospodarowany jest teren – park, usytuowany na owej Górze w środku miasta. Latem, w niedzielne popołudnia posłuchamy tam koncertów muzyki klasycznej w wykonaniu różnych grup instrumentalistów.
Przy Skwerze Kościuszki znajduje się także Akwarium Gdyńskie, w którego zbiornikach (oprócz innych gatunków stworów morskich) pływają i rekiny.

W tle budynek Akwarium

Jest tam również Muzeum Gdyni (dla tych, którzy chcą bliżej poznać jej historię) i Muzeum Marynarki Wojennej.

Inżynier Eugeniusz Kwiatkowski był budowniczym portu gdyńskiego

Ekspozycja Muzeum Marynarki Wojennej

Gdynia jest bardzo ciekawym i ciągle rozwijającym się miastem – władze Gdyni dbają nie tylko o jej estetykę, ale zajmują się także organizowaniem i promowaniem życia kulturalnego. W Gdyni zawsze dzieje się coś ciekawego: odbywają się tu liczne festiwale i koncerty muzyczne, wystawy, turnieje sportowe, pokazy żaglowców itp. 

W dzień świętego Jana, główną ulicą centrum (ul. Świętojańska) maszeruje wesoła parada.

Reprezentacja Akademii Morskiej w Gdyni
Orkiestra Marynarki Wojennej (gra najlepiej)
A to już całkiem inny dzień i inne święto..

... gdyńska procesja Bożego Ciała

Nie wszyscy wiedzą, że Gdynia ma swoje molo. Trochę krótsze niż to w Sopocie, ale też drewniane.

Widok z mola - Gdynia Orłowo

Poza tym wszystkim, brakuje mi powiewu morskiej bryzy, orzeźwiającego wiatru od morza, który nawet w największe upały sprawia, że w Gdyni „jest czym oddychać”.

Plaża gdyńska ma swój urok nie tylko latem...
Jest wiele pięknych miejsc na świecie, ale dla mnie Gdynia zawsze będzie jednym z najpiękniejszych. Dlaczego? Odpowiedź krótka: bo to jest „moja” Gdynia.