Sunday, July 29, 2012

Me vs. the oven, and one snail

Well, I finally bit the bullet and figured out the oven. Kind of.

First of all, this oven comes from IKEA, so it can't be that weird. And although the instructions are in Polish, I do have a native speaker that lives in the same flat as me, you would think this wouldn't be such a big deal. Honestly, we just haven't had the time to figure out anythign more than the mocrwave to re-heat food, until today.

I decide to take a chance with something simple.

Sugar cookies.

Ingredients (pictures taken with my IPod, NOT my fancy new camera which we don't have an adapter for yet...grrr...)...
Unsalted butter. 200g = 14tblsp = 1 3/4 cups, just the amount I needed.  I know this now. I know things.

Flour (Mąka) and Sugar (Cukier). Notice: the flour bag is not that much bigger than the sugar bag. This is the 3rd bag of flour we've opened since we've been here. Why are the bags of flour so small, Poland? Why?

Vanilla. I know. I was confused as well. Even more confusing is that the recipe calls for 2tsp. But this stuff is the "aroma" of vanilla and incredibly thick. I used only one tsp. and it turned out fine. 2 tsps. would have killed us. Oh, and 2 tsp. would have used the entire bottle.

Baking Powder. Comes in packets. I'd say about 3tsp. worth in one packet. One batch of pancakes for our family takes 2 1/2 packets. We have lots of packets.
Packets.

Eggs. The eggs here are rainbow colored. By which I mean that each one has a different colored "white." So, one might be blue, another green, and if you're really lucky, you get one with all the colors, Martin says it's because the mountains are nearby and the air does something strange to the chickens.... or I might be making all that up.
 Eggs are eggs, ya'll...nothin' to see here...move along...


All of these things, (plus some Wieliczka salt), together, produced this...

A little unevenly baked perhaps but tasty.



Delicious, tastes-just-like-they-should-albeit-a-little-flat-sugar-cookies. I blame the flatness on the sugar OR the extra yolk in my double yolk egg that got in there. It happens.

The oven. Well, it did it's best to discourage me. It has three different oven settings. Convection from the sides, convection from the top, and conventional. It didn't fool me with it's fanciness. I chose conventional because I'm conservative like that and it worked alright. Every time I opened the door the oven wanted to shut off. It's an environmentally friendly oven, it cares about the ozone. Or it's just lazy. There was a lot of extra beeping that went on, because it's also a G rated oven, and some flashing lights...I don't know what all that was about. But, I will, in the end, prevail, of course. Because I have a brain, and the oven, decidedly, does not.

The children were very eager to try the cookies. I let them all have one and then sent them outside in their galoshes, as it had just stopped raining. At which time they found a lovely (huge) snail with a broken shell. They were all a bit concerned for the snail. I was a little concerned as well, but what are you gonna' do? That's nature (Goulet!...sorry, had to throw that in there, just ignore it).

We don't have snails in Texas. There just isn't enough rain. But here in Poland they are absolutely everywhere, and I think they are awesome. I never get bored watching them. Nor do the children. So here you go... (you also get to hear Martin try to teach Kacio how to say "Felek," to no avail).




20 comments:

  1. looks tasty! mmmm :)

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  2. You will not be so happy about snails when they will start eating your lettuce in the garden... ;)

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    Replies
    1. I will if I can find a nice recipe for Escargot...after all, I know how to use the oven now! ;)

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  3. I've wondered about the tiny packages of everything too, but I'm grateful because I usually walk home with my groceries. Maybe that's why, or the lack of pantry space. We'll never have to worry about an expiration date of the baking powder! :)

    I share your fascination with the snails. The shells are much prettier than the ones we used to have in FL.

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    Replies
    1. I always assumed it was the lack of space and the fact that everyone walked as well. Just easier, plus you are near a grocery store more often and its easy to pop in on your way home from work or school. With a large family it does pose more of a problem though. The families with more children lived more rural and grew a lot of their own food, dairy, etc. But now that we have 4 children in a more urban area and none of our own food to speak of, we are at the grocery store quite often. We'll see how long we can keep this up...

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    2. Small packages are cheap. :)
      Many people have no many to buy big package at once. When you have 600 zł. retirement per month you can buy only little amount of everything.

      And it's harder to waste food when is in small pack. :)

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    3. Money not many. ;) My english is not so great. :D

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  4. There are snails up here in Dallas though not many. They are rare, for sure and not as white. I love that he describes the onward crawl of the snail as 'faster.' ha!

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    Replies
    1. We were all just very excited that it wasn't dead. So any movement was good movement.

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  5. Hi :)
    It's Kama :)
    Olivia, you need to use Cukier Waniliowy packets instead of Aromat Waniliowy. Cukier Waniliowy works the same as the American Vanilla Extract. Aromat waniliowy is much thicker and you need only a few drops just to intensify the taste of your cookies or cake. You will find Cukier waniliowy usually in blue packets right next to Proszek do Pieczenia.
    And I'm like: " Why everything needs to be so big in America? (plates, cups, bags of chips, etc.)
    Good luck and Congratulations on your moving :):):) kama

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    Replies
    1. Yes, thank you Kama! I will look for the Vanilla next time we go. I sent Martin for this first round and he admits to just grabbing the first thing he thought looked right.

      It's funny, some of the things here that are smaller make sense, I think Americans are just so used to everything being bigger even when it's not necessary. But the flour situation is a little out of control. I bake a lot, especially biscuits and pancakes and scones... takes so much flour!

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    2. Oh yes. When I was in SF with my son I was so frustrated than I can't buy little juice for him. :D Everything was sooo big.

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  6. I completely agree with you about the flour. I always buy at least two at a time.
    I found pure vanilla extract at Piotra I Pawel, not sure you have that in Krakow? Maybe Alma carries it. I like it so much better than the other stuff.
    Thanks for sharing your story, it's so relatable and makes me feel less neurotic about my experiences here!

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    Replies
    1. We dont have Peter and Paul here yet, I dont think. I know, I've heard it's the place to get things like that. Also, ot should be made known, that Martin did the shopping for all these ingredients so it could also be that he just bought the wrong stuff. It does happen.

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    2. I doubt you're really that neurotic. Although, being here kind of makes me think *I* am...

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  7. I've had lots of Texas snail experiences. They are GROSS. They used to eat my roommates dog food outside. YUCKY!!!!

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    Replies
    1. I haven't seen a real life, living snail in Texas in years... good to know they're around t. And yes, eating the dog food is gross, but not grosser than maggots in the dog food, that apparently does happen, and is way grosser.

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  8. Have you thought about making your own vanilla? (says the girl who has never attempted this but hears it's not that hard) It seems you might have an abundance of vodka over there, yes?

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