Our apartment is beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!
This morning, I’m baking a tray of my Grandmother’s Lebkuchen Bars, which is an annual holiday tradition. As soon as I smell the anisette-flavored bars baking, they remind me of Christmases past and my long-gone grandmother. No matter where I live – NYC, Istanbul or Warsaw – baking my grandmother’s bars is one Christmas tradition I always plan to do.
Last night, hubby and I took a stroll through Warsaw’s Old Town so we could admire the Christmas lights together. Every store was shuttered and very few people were out since Christmas Eve (Wigilia) is the most important Christmas holiday celebrated with family in Poland. I’ve never seen the Old Town that quiet.
The city does a fantastic job with its Christmas light displays (if only the city could do the same for its pitiful Christmas markets.)
Meanwhile, we planned to have a quiet 7 Fishes Christmas Eve Dinner later. Our meal included Italian anchovies, Polish herring with sour cream and dill (sledzie), black Capelin caviar, a seafood bisque with cod and surimi, an herbed salmon fillet and shrimp scampi with pasta. The meal definitely was an eclectic mix as shellfish is more difficult to find here, but we made it work. I would have preferred to have a standing rib roast instead of the fish, but hubby insisted on carrying on his family’s tradition. Interestingly, the Poles usually celebrate Christmas Eve with 12 fish dishes.
|Our first expat Christmas Eve dinner in Warsaw.|
Here in Poland, Christmas Day is spent at home with family; and traditionally, only previously cooked food should be heated and eaten. Though I do know at least one Polish friend who’s mother is cooking a turkey today. I’ll be making a pork roast with sauerkraut, Brussels sprouts with bacon and roasted parsnips for dinner. Yum!
Wherever you are, I hope you have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones too! As always, thanks for reading!