I’m writing this whilst succumbing to a chest infection whilst not as severe as the one I had earlier this year, is managing to have me lie pretty low at the moment. I’m also having to plan ahead to next week big Christmas Eve event in the Polish calendar, which is that of Wigilia. This is bigger than Christmas Day.
Usually this is a massive event that consists of a 12 course meal of four starters, four main courses and four deserts. However in recent years this has been slimmed down to six courses, although a few years ago I thought I’d try to get to the twelve courses, but the white flag of surrender was held up at the ninth course, which I thought was pretty good going. Having said that, there are still some recent Polish migrants who insist on the traditional 12 courses, they’re made of sterner stuff than I am!!
Over the years I’ve adapted my Wigilia to a more Italianate version and makes, what I think is a more logical procession of dishes, without losing the main theme of Wigilia which is that each of the courses represents each of the saints and that on this night no meat is served, but fish and vegetables in the starters and main courses can be served in any form you can come up with.
This year I’m afraid I’m trying to get into the Christmas spirit which isn’t easy when you don’t feel so great. My plan so far is to go for Hors D’Ouvres, Almond Soup rather than Barszcz as some of my guests aren’t great fans of beets, also I’ve not been able to get hold of any golden beets this year. However I could try a simple vegetable soup. Salmon with dill sauce and simple vegetables, salmon mousse and cheeses with crackers but I’m undecided on what to serve for desert. That’s six courses in total so far (yes, I’m counting the vegetables as a separate course as well as the salmon mousse and cheese). I’m undecided whether to do a souffle served with ice cream or something else. Luckily there’s still time to give this some serious consideration.
I really like London at this time of year, it really comes alive. I enjoy the lights, the window displays and the general mood people are in. Some parts of London have better lighting than others, some of which you would expect to be the poorer parts of London, surprisingly, some of the worst Christmas lights are in some of the wealthier parts of London, which is no excuse.
Having visited Poland for the first time 3 years ago I’d definitely like to return, and most certainly I’d like to go in the run-up to Wigilia to the Christmas Fairs. Surprisingly, I learned only recently there are only four main Christmas fairs in the whole of Poland. There are quite a few smaller, more local ones dotted about, however I would be very interested to go along to see what there is in the not-too-distant future.