Ever since I came to the U.S. for the first time in 1993 as an exchange student, I was asked for recipes for the food I cooked or dishes that friends knew from when they were kids that their grandma made. I landed in Wisconsin, an area saturated with 2nd, 3rd or even later generations of Polish and Eastern European immigrants. Conversations about food were always prominent.
Growing up, I was mostly influenced by my grandma (Babcia) Stasia’s cooking. She spent a lot of time with us and was a primary cook in our home. I curiously watched and “recorded” everything she did in my head. We had a large kitchen with a huge island in the middle, enough room to spread pasta to dry, pierogi lined up for boiling, or rows and rows of jars waiting for pickles in preparation for the winter. Babcia let me “help”, while patiently explaining the exact measurements of “a little bit”. Cooking became art in her hands. No written recipe, no cookbooks, no professional training, and yet somehow it always came out exactly the same.
My dearest Babcia Stasia passed away at the age of 89 in 2016. With her guidance in my heart, I’ve been perfecting her recipes for years. I’ve recreated many and I’ve simplified and adjusted to the ingredients that were available in the U.S. My cooking may not compare to Babcia’s, but since I’ve craved flavors of home ever since I left Poland, I had to keep trying to get it right.
“Polish Your Kitchen” was born in 2016 and came at a busy moment of my life. My family and I were preparing to move from Hawaii to Pennsylvania as my husband was still on Active Duty in the Army. I couldn’t wait to start sharing my stories and recipes with you and longer. It must have been the right time then.
In 2018, after 23 years in the service, my husband retired and we decided to move our Polish-American family to Poland. It was the best decision for us. I love being close to my family again, my husband is appreciating the European way of living and our daughter can finally be spoiled by her Polish grandparents year-round.
Recipes that you see here come from my family’s table or are my renditions on new dishes I taste around the country. All photography is also done by me. I continue to learn from my mom and dad and explore Polish regional cooking while traveling through Poland. My idea is to include traditional Polish recipes that most of Polish immigrants know and love but also and present a modern take on Polish kitchen.
In 2019, 3 years after the birth of my blog, I published my first mini cookbook: “Polish Your Kitchen; A Book of Memories: Christmas Edition.” The book contains 30 recipes of dishes served during Christmas in my family home. The book is available for purchase here.
I hope you find many inspirations here and some will even bring back memories of flavors from your Polish home.
Happy cooking and smacznego!
ps. please to send comments and questions. My goal is to answer all mail.