Tomato Sauce – Winter

  • This is a quick and easy sauce that can be made at all times of the year.
  • In olden times this could have been made in the winter when fresh tomatoes were not available.
  • This sauce is served hot.


  • 50g tomato purée
  • ½ small onion – chopped
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 125ml soured cream
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 teaspoons of sugar – optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Simmer the onion in the vegetable stock until it is a pulp.
  • Blend with a stick blender.
  • Add the tomato purée, stir and simmer for a few more minutes.
  • Stir in the just of 1 lemon.
  • Adjust the sweetness with sugar.
  • Season to taste.
  • Stir in the soured cream just before serving.


  • Add some paprika or mixed herbs to the sauce.


  •  Obwarzanki  or  Obarzanki  – the name suggests  parboiling.
  • Nowadays around 150,000 are sold on the streets of Kraków a day, mainly from carts
  • They are known from mediaeval times.
  • There is a mention of them in a document from 1394.
  • It is said the Queen Jadwiga (1373 – 1399) enjoyed them especially with herrings.
  • *
  • I have found many different recipes.
  • The ones in Kraków are made with yeast.
  • The two recipes I tried did not contain yeast.
  • I tried a recipe with plain flour, eggs and icing sugar.
  • The dough was made into rolls, which were plaited together.
  • This was quite hard to do!
  • After par-boiling seeds such as poppy or sesame seeds or salt can be sprinkled on them before baking.
  • The following recipe is easier to make into a simple circle shape. 
  • I preferred the texture and taste of these.
  • This is the recipe I will use again.


  • 300g plain flour
  • 160ml slightly warmed milk
  • 1 egg – beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • *
  • Water with 1-2 tablespoon of sugar or honey to boil.
  • *
  • Poppy or sesame seeds or salt flakes for top


  • Mix the flour and salt.
  • Add the egg and enough milk to bring the mixture together.
  • Knead the dough until you have a smooth soft ball.
  • Cover and leave for 30 minutes.
  • *
  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Divide the dough into 8 even pieces.
  • Roll each piece into a long thin roll.
  • Make a sort of flattened S shape.
  • Cut at the bends into 3 equal pieces.
  • Join each piece into a circle and pinch the joint together.
  • *
  • Get ready a large pan of water and add honey.
  • Bring to the boil.
  • Drop in the circles, one by one, around 5-6 to the pan.
  • When they float to the top, leave for a few more minutes.
  • Remove them with wooden tongs, shake of any water.
  • Place on a wire rack whilst waiting for the rest to cook.
  • *
  • Place them on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle with poppy seeds ,sesame seeds or salt flakes.
  • Bake for 20mins.

Served with here with scrambled eggs and smoked ham on Royal Doulton – Tapestry 1966 – 1988.


  •  Obwarzanki go stale very quickly, they are usually made daily.
  • But you can heat them up again or toast them lightly.

Brown Onion Sauce


  • 1 onion
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1- 1½ tablespoons of plain flour
  • 300ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • ¼ teaspoon of ground allspice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon


  • Chop the onions into small pieces.
  • Start to fry in the butter- gently at first – stirring all the time.
  • Bring up the heat and allow the onions to brown – even slightly char.
  • Sprinkle the flour over and stir and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the allspice.
  • Slowly add the stock and stir whilst the sauce thickens.
  • Simmer gently for a few minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Stir in the lemon juice before serving.

Serve hot with roast darker meats or kotlety mielone – Polish large meatballs/ burgers.

Chocolate Orange Tort

  • This is a chocolate cake with orange butter cream.
  • I adapted a chocolate cake recipe from a BeRo cook book.
  • Use a chocolate or chocolate orange glaze on the top.
  • You could double the ingredients – use bigger diameter tins or make a 4 layer tort.

Chocolate Cake – Ingredients

  • 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 225g caster sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 25g cocoa powder
  • 100g butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons of evaporated milk
  • 5 tablespoons of water
  • Grated rind of 1 orange* 
  • * save the juice for later


  • Pre-heat the oven to GM4 – 180°C.
  • Grease and line the base of 2 x 20cm tins.
  • Rub the butter into the flour.
  • Add the baking powder, salt and cocoa.
  • Mix well together.
  • Mix the eggs, milk, water and orange rind together.
  • Mix the liquid into the dry ingredients.
  • Beat well.
  • Divide the mixture between the 2 tins.
  • Smooth the tops level.
  • Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely before assembling. 

Orange Butter Cream – Ingredients

  • 100g butter (unsalted is best)
  • 200g icing sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoon of orange juice

Orange Butter Cream – Method

  • Cream the butter and icing sugar.
  • Add the rind and juice and mix well.

Chocolate Glaze

  • Melt 80g of dark chocolate (or dark chocolate with orange) with 40g of butter in a bowl over hot water.
  • You could add grated orange rind to the dark chocolate. 
  • You would need to use another orange and will have some juice left.

Assembling the Cake

  • Place one round of cake onto a serving plate.
  • Spoon half of the orange juice over the top of the cake.
  • Spread the orange butter cream over the cake.
  • Place the second round of the cake on top.
  • Spoon the rest of the orange juice over the top of the cake.
  • Leave for a few minutes.
  • Make the chocolate glaze.
  • Spread the chocolate glaze over the top of the cake.

Lemony Chicken Sauce

  • This is a lovely easy sauce to have with roast chicken or steamed vegetables.
  • It is served hot.


  • 500ml chicken stock (can be from a cube, powder or concentrate)
  • 50g butter
  • 25g plain flour
  • Salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Gently melt the butter in a saucepan.
  • Stir in the flour and heat together.
  • Do not let it brown – just mix and stir for a few minutes.
  • Slowly add the stock – stirring all the time.
  • Cook for a few minutes.
  • Season to taste.
  • Just before serving – stir in the lemon juice.

Tuna Salad – Mostly New World

  • This salad is based mostly on vegetables that came from the New World.
  • It is very colourful.
  • The proportions are not so important – I have given what I used.
  • It is best to use a different colour for the pepper to the chilli so you can tell the difference.


  • 1 tin of Tuna – drained
  • 1 avocado – peeled and sliced or chopped
  • *
  • 1 tin of Beans – Cannellini, Pinto or Mixed – drained
  • 4 tomatoes – chopped
  • 1 small tin of sweetcorn – drained (or cooked frozen sweetcorn)
  • Yellow or Orange Pepper – chopped
  • 2 red chillies – chopped fine
  • 1 bunch of spring onions – white and green parts chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste.


  • In a large bowl mix all the vegetables except the avocado.
  • Pour over the lemon juice and olive oil and season.
  • Put the ingredients into a large serving dish.
  • Put the avocado and tuna on top and mix in slightly.

Dish is Cadiz by Meakin – 1964 – 1970

Chocolate Sauce

    • This chocolate sauce is based on vanilla sauce with the addition of cocoa or chocolate instead of vanilla essence.
    • It is served chilled.
    • Try serving it with bottled or tinned fruit, ice cream or yoghurt.


    • 250ml of milk (full fat is best)
    • 50g of granulated sugar
    • 20g of cocoa or 50g of dark chocolate
    • 1-1½ tablespoonfuls of potato starch (you can use cornflour – if potato flour is not available)
    • 2 egg yolks

    Method – with cocoa

    • Put 150ml of the milk into a saucepan.
    • Heat gently – stirring all the time until boiling point.
    • Take it of the heat.
    • Blend together the rest of the milk (100ml) with the sugar, cocoa and potato flour.
    • Add the heated milk to this and stir well.
    • Put the mixture back in the pan and heat gently, stirring till it thickens .
    • Add the egg yolks and stir these well in.
    • Pour into a glass dish (or several small dishes) – leave to cool.
    • Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
  • Method – with chocolate

      • Put 150ml of the milk into a saucepan.
      • Add the chocolate.
      • Heat gently – stirring all the time until boiling point.
      • Check that all the chocolate has dissolved.
      • Take it of the heat.
      • Blend together the rest of the milk (100ml) with the sugar and potato flour .
      • Add the heated milk and chocolate to this and stir well.
      • Put the mixture back in the pan and heat gently, stirring till it thickens .
      • Add the egg yolks and stir these well in.
      • Pour into a glass dish (or several small dishes) – leave to cool.
      • Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Macaroni Cheese

  • Pasta and cheese casseroles were recorded in the 14th century in an Italian cookbook.
  • In 1802, Thomas Jefferson, the American President served “a pie called macaroni” at a state dinner.
  • In 1824, an American cookbook, The Virginia Housewife by Mary Randolph (Jefferson’s daughter) included a dish of macaroni, cheese, and butter, layered together and baked in a hot oven.
  • This was the start of the American classic – Mac & Cheese.
  • This is an old English Victorian recipe.
  • Here the pasta is boiled in milk and water, and a cheese sauce is not used.


  • 225g macaroni
  • 130g butter
  • 230g of Cheddar cheese
  • 600ml milk
  • 1 litre of water
  • 50g of fine white breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Grate the cheese.
  • Divide the cheese into 2 portions – 60g and 170g.
  • Use a large pan and bring the milk, water and some salt to the boil.
  • Drop in the macaroni and boil till tender stirring occasionally.
  • Watch carefully so the liquid does not froth and boil over.
  • Melt 30g of the butter in a small saucepan.
  • Drain the macaroni and put it back in the warm saucepan.
  • Mix in the 100g of butter and the 170g of cheese with the macaroni.
  • Stir in the pepper.
  • Place in an oven proof dish.
  • Mix the 60g of cheese with the breadcrumbs and sprinkle on top.
  • Pour the melted butter over the breadcrumbs.
  • Brown the top under a hot grill.
  • Serve immediately.

Apple Sauce

  • This sauce is super just eaten on its own or can be eaten with vanilla sauce.
  • Both these should be chilled.
  • You can also serve it with fresh fruit salad.


  • 2 large Bramley apples
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon of potato flour
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • Grated rind of 1 lemon


  • Peel and core the apples.
  • Cut them into small pieces.
  • Cover them with water and cook till soft.
  • Use a stick blender to purée them.
  • Add the sugar and lemon rind.
  • Mix the potato flour with a little water.
  • Add this to the apple mixture.
  • Heat gently stirring all the time until thickened.
  • Pour into a bowl or individual dishes.
  • Chill for a couple of hours.

Tuna Spread

  • There are many recipes in my Polish cookery books for a variety of spreads using cooked meat or fish.
  • In Polish this would be called pasta – a paste or a spread.
  • This is based on my salmon spread recipe, which was given to me by my late cousin who lived near Durham.


  • Tin of tuna in brine, spring water or oil
  • 200g of cream cheese or yoghurt cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Grated rind of half a lemon
  • *
  • A little soured cream- optional
  • Salt and pepper
  • Pinch of sugar – optional


  • Drain the tuna from the liquid in the tin.
  • Remove the skin and any bones.
  • Mash the tuna up with a fork.
  • Add the cheese and the lemon juice.
  • Mix it all together to a smooth paste.
  • Add some soured cream to make a softer spread.
  • Season to taste.
  • *
  • Put into a bowl to serve or into individual little pots.
  • *
  • Serve with bread, toast or crackers and green salad.
  • Or use as a dip with crudities.