These biscuits are not at all Polish in origin – I like to think of them as a Scottish & Polish Alliance!
Cranberries & Lingonberries
Cranberries and lingonberries grow wild in acidic bogs around many forests in Poland and especially in the countryside where my father lived, in what was North East Poland before the war.
Cranberries & Lingonberries belong to the genus Vaccinium and the plants are small, low growing, evergreen shrubs.
Cranberries in central and northern Europe are Vaccinium oxycoccos , whilst Vaccinium microcarpum or Vaccinium macrocarpon are to be found in the USA.
Lingonberries are Vaccinium vitis-idaea .
The berries of the cranberry are larger and oval.
The berries of the lingonberry are round and much smaller than the cranberry, about a third or quarter of the size.
Image of lingonberries taken from Wikipedia
The Polish for cranberry is żurawina, the word comes from żuraw which means a crane – so the same as the English word, as parts of the plant reminded people of the bird.
The Polish for lingonberry is borówka or borowina, both these names contain the part bor which means (from) the forest.
1 -There are dozens of different names in English for lingonberry which in fact comes from the Swedish name.
2- The commercially grown dried cranberries used in this recipe were grown in the USA.
Oats (Avena sativa) – owies in Polish, are grown in Poland but for this recipe I have considered them Scottish!
Royal Scottish – Polish Alliance!
The mother of Bonnie Prince Charlie(1720-1788) was – Maria Klementyna Sobieska(1702-1735) – she was the granddaughter of the Polish King Jan III Sobieski(1629-1696) and she married James Stuart(1688-1766), The Pretender.
In March 2016, The Scotsman printed an article titled
Scotland and Poland a 500 year relationship.
Some of the facts & figures below are taken from this.
More Polish nationals now live in Scotland than any other group from outside the UK and the two countries share a rich history.
The links were forged back in the late 1400s when trade agreements were established between Aberdeen and the old Baltic seaport of Gdańsk.
Under King Stefan Batory(1533-1586), Scottish merchants became suppliers to the royal court in Kraków and grain and timber from Poland was traded with Scotland.
Many Scots moved to Poland to seize new business opportunities and buried in St John’s Archcathedral in Warsaw is Alexander Chalmers (written as Czamer) , from Dyce near Aberdeen, a judge and four times mayor of Warsaw between 1691 and 1703.
There are many surnames in Poland which are Scottish in origin such as: Machlejd(MacLeod), Makolroys(MacElroy) and Szynklers(Sinclaire).
Around 38,000 Polish soldiers were stationed in Scotland after the fall of Poland in WW2 and many of those who were unable to return to their homeland after the end of the war stayed and it is estimated that around 2,500 Polish-Scottish marriages took place around this period.
There was a wave of immigration in the 1980s with the declaration of Martial Law in Poland and then again after 2004 when Poland joined the European Union.
One of the most popular brands of tea sold in Poland is Yellow label which was created by Sir Thomas Lipton( 1848-1931) who was from Glasgow, Scotland.
Since 1995 Krakòw has been twinned with Edinburgh.
100g butter or block margarine
100g granulated sugar
5ml of golden syrup
5ml of boiling water
100g of self raising flour
100g of rolled oats
50g of dried cranberries
Pre-heat the oven to GM 5 – 190°C.
Grease at least 2 baking trays – (you will have to take the biscuits off when they are cooked and re-grease these tins.)
Place the butter or margarine in a pan with the granulated sugar and heat slowly so that the butter is melted.
Add the teaspoon of golden syrup and then the teaspoon of boiling water and mix well together.
Take the pan off the heat, add the flour and oats and mix this together.
Then mix in the cranberries.
Using your hands, make small balls and place them on the trays, leaving space around them as they will spread.
Place in the oven and bake for around 8 – 10 minutes, watch them carefully as they suddenly seem to catch & burn.
I often look at them half way through and flatten them with a spatula.
Take them out of the oven and leave them to cool a little before you use a spatula to take them of the trays and leave them to fully cool on a wire cooling rack.
Plate is by Royal Grafton – no pattern name – made in England