WIAW: Polish Christmas Eve “Wigilia” 2012! (food porn alert)

I hope everyone who celebrated had a beautiful and joyous Christmas! I’m about to share with you how do polish people celebrate Christmas.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

You already know how differently we spend our Christmas. Are you curious about what Christmas consists of, for Polish people? Keep reading…

In Polish, Christmas Day is called Święta Bożego Narodzenia (literal translation is “The Holiday of Godly Birth”) while Christmas Eve is called Wigilia.

I’ll get straight to the action – food and prep! We spent most of the day on Christmas Eve preparing food together. It was the first time in a few years that my mom was off work so we actually got to prepare homemade versions of certain dishes we bought in the previous years for Wigilia. Needless to say, all of the hard work in the kitchen was well worth it because homemade food is ALWAYS better!

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

So what do Polish people eat for Christmas? Or, us specifically? (since we are not superrrrr traditional but our Polish traditions are still intact, just modernized and healthified slightly)

One of our family favorites – cooked vegetable & egg salad! It is so delicious and we always make it for Christmas and Easter. It’s a pretty traditional Polish dish, I think, or at least it was for our family. It was always there on the Christmas and Easter table. I’ve got the recipe coming to you guys soon so you can find out for yourself why we love this egg salad so much! It’s a simple recipe although a little time consuming but that’s exactly why you make a lot of it at a time. The result is totally worth it. It’s amazing.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

A similar dish to the egg salad mentioned above is another cooked vegetable salad – but this time it’s the herring & potato salad which is also great and ties with the egg salad. It depends on my mood which one I like better but this one also depends on how good the herring you buy is. I’ve got  recipe coming for this one as well so stay tuned. This week will be full of yummy Christmas Eve recipes! I hope you like Polish food cause you’re about to learn how to make a bunch of them :)

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Speaking of herring, here it is – unfortunately we never found any herring that was as good as the herring we had in Poland. The herring we buy here are usually too salty. This one was too salty for me again but it works great in the herring & potato salad mentioned above because it balances out the whole salad.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

A favorite of mine and my mom’s is Ryba Po Grecku, which is translated to “Greek Fish” but really there’s nothing much Greek about it. It IS however a delicious fish dish where carrots and tomatoes are the main stars. I’ve got a recipe coming for this fish as well. It’s my favorite fish dish and it can be enjoyed both warm and cold which makes it that much more awesome. Plus you can use any white fish you have. We’ve used different types of fish in the recipe and each time it comes out slightly different but always delicious.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Uszka – these were store-bought because there is just way too much work that goes into making uszka and pierogi. Uszka are like small versions of pierogi (which are a type of traditional dumplings) that we eat together with our red borscht. These uszka were stuffed with cabbage and mushrooms inside and were good although a bit too salty. But since we knew they would most likely be pretty salty, we therefore barely even salted the red borscht. By the way, the soup we prepare for Wigilia is a simplified version of the recipe I linked.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Speaking of pierogi, here they are! These had cabbage and mushrooms stuffed inside them and they were store-bought as well. After years of searching, a few years ago we finally found a brand that makes  the best pierogi (they taste the most authentic) and we have been sticking with it ever since. We save ourselves the hassle of making pierogi by hand – they are just way too labor-intensive, especially since we had so many other dishes to prepare.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Bigos – Hunter’s Stew. It was the first time in years that we made bigos by ourselves. I’m not a big fan, it was very sour, but my mom likes it. Bigos is a traditional dish served on Wigilia.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Gołąbki! We usually buy those in the store too but not this year. Gołąbki are very difficult to make and I was in awe watching my mom make them. Gołąbki are cabbage rolls with mushrooms, onions, and rice stuffing. I was never a big fan of these. They are traditionally made with ground meat as well but the Christmas Eve dishes are to contain no meat (other than fish). I was surprised to actually really enjoy these gołąbki! I recorded a lot of the process and I’m putting together a little video of all the food prep we did and there’s a lot of the prep of gołąbki in there. I’ll post a link to the video when I have it ready! I hope you guys will enjoy it.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Now, the “dessert” of the supper – łazanki. Oh man, these are what really make it all feel like Christmas. Łazanki are made only for this special occasion. My mom and I are in love and always make a huge amount of it but still manage to eat it all within 3 days haha, we are addicited. It is so so good. Łazanki are basically dough/pasta and it is smothered with a “sauce” made of ground poppy seeds, honey, and raisins. I don’t know if anything else goes in there, I didn’t get the recipe but I’ll be sure to get it next year around. This one is a keeper for generations to come! I just LOVE łazanki!

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Of course, we had some homemade kompot and some tea.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

We started the supper with the tradition of breaking off opłatek while telling each other good fortunes and wishes.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

Here’s the full set up of our supper. A lot of deliciousness. It was a fun time making all of the foods together as a family and enjoying the fruits of our labor. Simply delicious!

Now you know what do polish people eat for Christmas. Let’s get into the other festivities that are included on Christmas Eve or Wigilia.

Polish Christmas 2012 by @xokammie

After supper, we cleaned everything up and went over by the Christmas tree to get our presents. I got an AWESOME Christmas present this year. Something I’ve been wanting for over a year now…

Thank you Santa for the amazing gift. Of course I took it out to test it at the park. It did not disappoint. The ISO goes so high and the photos come out SO good in the dark! I’m in awe and so extremely happy for this present. Being a good girl this year sure paid off ;) I’d show you some examples of photos  I took with this Nikon but for some reason the stupid computer I’m on right won’t let me edit .NEF files. Sorry for the photography lingo.

 So now you know how do polish people celebrate Christmas. What do you think? Are you surprised by our traditions or can you relate? If you are Polish too (at least a little bit) let me know, how does your family celebrate Christmas?

What I Ate Wednesday Healthy Holiday Recipes

 

Are you familiar with any of these dishes?

What was your favorite dish you had this Holiday season?

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xo Kammie

Comments

  1. says

    These are pretty much the exact same dishes that I saw on my dinner table. It’s great to see another Polish blogger :D I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Wigilia because of all the fish, but the salatka, uszki, and gołąbki are things I look forward to every year. Wesołych Świąt, Kammie :)

  2. says

    I’ve just discovered your blog website and I love it. Really, :)
    Pierogi, barszcz, łazanki – I’m not really a big fan of Polish food but these dish I love and I can’t imagine Christmas Even without them.

    By the way… So.. are you from Poland? As do I! I don’t live neither in Poland nor in the Uk, though. Can you speak Polish? :)

  3. says

    Love!!!! All the dishes look beyond amazing and I would love to try them all. Many look pretty similar to our traditional Russian dishes (we use herring in many dishes as well), but the Polish versions sound fantastic. And what an amazing Christmas present!! Definitely a memorable one :)

    • Kammie says

      ohhh i love nalesniki! I haven’t had those in forever. We would make those randomly. I might be overdue for some, maybe next month :) Thanks for the comment! Nice knowing other Polish bloggers!

  4. Roswitha says

    I was born in Silesia but grew up in West Germany. Wigilia sounds like vigil, we therefore had a thick soup with beans and vegetables at noon and in the late afternoon a potato salad with sausages, because later on the christmas tree was lit and presents were interchanged and christmas cookies and nuts nibbled, so nobody would be in a mood to eat real food. I know the potato salad with herring, but the herring was usually served apart, usually in summer. I also know dumplings -yeast dumplings- with a poppy seed sauce, not at all related to Christmas.

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