Spring is here and with Spring, come particular recipes.
Dandelion Soup is one of them. In Polish, it would be Mlecz (pronounced Mleh-ch), or more technically, Zupa mniszek lekarski (pronounced Zoopah Mnih-shehk Leh-kar-skee).
But first, a Polish Mama History & Nutrition Lesson:
Dandelions are native to Poland, and the rest of Europe. The seeds were accidentally brought over by European settlers when they first came to the Americas. This is a part of what is known as the Columbian Exchange.
Dandelions are called "Mniszek Lekarski" because it is considered to have medicinal properties. I'm not a linguist, but it translates to "Nun's (or Monk's) Medicine". I believe this might be in part to do the fact that Dandelion was used for medicinal use in the Dark Ages, at a time when Doctors tended to also be Monks, etc. Of course, women in the lower classes also used the same medicines but were persecuted as witches for possessing the same pharmaceutical knowledge but not being in the same upper social classes or treating those in upper social classes.
Here is a link showing how Dandelion is used for kidney and liver issues.
Dandelions are high in Vitamin A and C. Dandelion in various forms is used to help women ease menstrual cramping, mastitis, help with breast milk production, along with helping lower blood sugar levels.
On the the Dandelion Soup Disaster...
Ingredients:3 large bunches of Red Dandelion leaves, washed and chopped
1 Leek, thinly sliced
1 Carrot, top on, peeled and sliced
2 thermapaks of Chicken Broth
2 Ribs of Celery, diced
2 Bay leaves
3-4 Potatoes, peeled and diced
Sour Cream to garnish
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Cook. It's soup, put it all in the pot together, and boil until the potatoes are done.
Photo of the stock before adding in the Dandelion leaves...
Normally, I would end this with a Smacznego, but...
Somewhere, this went horribly wrong. The soup is supposed to have a pleasant sour-bitter taste. Instead, the dandelion taste was so overwhelming that the only way to describe it is if you were to try to swallow powdered aspirin and it coated your tongue. It was so difficult to eat, none of the children could swallow one bite and I only got in about 5 spoonfuls while telling myself that it is good for women.
My Tato took one sip to try it after I told him it was terrible. He loves dandelions on occasion and was looking forward to trying my soup. His words were "No, something is really wrong with the zupa."
I'll be trying again today. Wish me luck!
In the meantime...
WafleWafle is a quick way to say Torcik Waflowy, or Waffle Torte. Wafle is an easy cake to make. When you need something fancy, delicious, inexpensive and not complex, Wafle is a great option because you can still make a great impression with minimal work.
1 package of Wafer sheets
For Filling, use any combination of Preserves (rose hip, raspberry, apricot, other fruits that you like), hazelnut cream, chocolate cream or frosting, white frosting, melted chocolate
For Garnish, use shaved chocolate, berries, drizzled frosting, crushed walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts
It's not the prettiest I've ever made but the kids were helping me, so it was even more Pyszny...
Lay down a paper doily on the surface you plan to serve the cake, since it can sometimes be difficult to move the cake once it's done.
Lay down a wafer sheet.
Smear a layer of filling.
Lay down the next wafer sheet, and continue until the last sheet has been placed on top.
Do not top the cake yet. Use a heavy book or board to press down on the cake and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
Remove the heavy object. Top the cake with a final layer. Garnish.
Serve to your guests.
I used apricot preserves for all but the middle layer, which was a hazelnut spread. The top was a chocolate spread garnished with crushed hazelnuts.
Creamy Cauliflower Soup or Zupa Kalafiorowa
Apricot Potato Dumplings
Beef Kidneys, A Culinary Disaster