This period between Christmas and the New Year is special for many reasons. For many it’s the time when we go home to see our loved ones. For some it’s the time when we don’t go to work and just enjoy our days off. Some of us go on real holidays- I don’t, but if I could it would be one of those warm countries. To be quite frank I have had this sneaky plan for the last few years now, and sooner or later I will do it! I’m pretty sure during this period many of us think of those people who are not with us any more but they are always close to our hearts and any time we see our families it just comes naturally that we speak of them, and think of them and they are still alive in our memories. It’s the power of tradition, the power of our memories, those moments when we were all together, those little bits and pieces of our every day life and our past, which made us happy, or laugh or maybe even not, but still this is part our life isn’t it. When I think of Christmas I remember my Grandma showing up at our place- she was usually late!
Once she was there though, she was taking over the entire house and we all felt like things were going to be ready on time and in the usual order. She was the brain of the whole operation called “Christmas”. Before we started eating, my Grandma was making sure we had one empty plate left aside for “an unexpected guest”. Somehow I knew it was there for my Grandpa, who passed away when my mom was very little. I can tell you my Mom still does the same thing. In Poland, in general the tradition says that we have to serve 12 different dishes- as for the 12 Apostles. My Grandma was strict about this one too, I don’t even mention that we were obliged to try all of them! We would start eating when the first star was visible on the sky- usually it was very early. You know it yourselves, days in December are so short- I know, it doesn’t sound like a good excuse 😀 Once the dinner was finished, my Grandma was singing Christmas carols- some of them were really old. It was her mother and her grandmother who taught her how to sing them. We would talk about my Grandma’s childhood, and looking at the old family pictures- most of them were taken before the World War I and II. My Grandma had a great memory, and I used to love her stories. At midnight- but don’t laugh at this one- all girls who were single- would take two tablespoons and would go outside to find out if they would ever get married! This is a very old custom- I don’t think anyone does it these days ( right, these days you can use one of those applications on your iPhone, which will tell you where to look for a husband…). You take two tablespoons and you use them like they were castanets- they make a lot of noise of course and the dogs start barking. The girls need to be quiet and listen where the dogs barking is coming from- it means, this is the direction where your future husband is going to come from!
No doubts you also have lots of stories like mine. I guess that is why we all like Christmas so much, and all this time around it. So much hope for the new year approaching, all the bad things we can leave behind and all the good things we are waiting for to happen.
Today I’m sharing with you a recipe which is not something I would usually make. The beetroot soup yes, but these buns with mushroom filling it’s something new on my table. I wanted a change, but still my intention was to feel that I’m close to my roots and Christmas tradition. I like this dish, because it’s one of those which gathers your family around the table, and everyone can just grab one bun- or two! It’s simple and tasty, very rustic in its appearance but elegant. I think it’s perfect for after-Christmas family brunch or late lunch. By the way I’m taking this dish to Angie to her Fiesta Friday Party!! Make sure you go there too and try all these fantastic dishes other friends prepared for this festive season 🙂
Makes 6-7 servings, preparation time- 2 hours, time in the oven- 20-30 min, the oven temperature-200 C
- 140 ml of water
- 50 g of cottage cheese, or very thick yogurt, or thick cream
- 380 g of flour- any type
- 15 g of fresh yeast or 1&1/5 of instant yeast
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg- beat it with 1 tablespoon of milk
The Mushroom filling
- 30 g of mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of thick cream
- salt and black pepper
- pinch of nutmeg
- a few springs of fresh thyme
In advance chop the onion and slice the mushrooms. In a big sauce pan preheat the olive oil and fry the onion until golden. Add the mushrooms, nutmeg and thyme and continue for another 15-20 min. Season accordingly, and add the cream if you like it. Set aside.
Prepare the yeast dough- fresh yeast combine with sugar and add some warm milk or water ( 2/3 tablespoons is enough). Once it’s melted properly mix it with water, salt and the cottage cheese and start gradually adding the flour. Knead the dough- you can use a hand mixer- until all ingredients are well combined. Place it in a big plastic bowl- spread some olive oil inside of the bowl- and set aside for one hour in a warm place.
This dough is sort of loose and sticky, but do not add more flour. Spread some olive oil on your hands- it will be easier to form the buns. Form about 6-7 of them and leave aside for 15 min. After this time you have to sort of spread each bun, fill it with the mushrooms and form a ball again. Place each bun in a baking form- mine has a circle shape and diameter of 26 cm- on a parchment paper, one next to another. Once ready leave the buns aside for another 45 min. Preheat the oven- set the temperature to 200 C. Spread the egg over the buns and place them in the oven for about 20-30 min.
Beetroot soup is perfect with this dish. This soup is also a part of our Christmas tradition, and below I’m sharing with you a very easy version- very quick one.
Cooking time- around 40 min
- 3 fresh beetroots- peel them and chop in reasonably thin slices
- 3 carrots- chop them in advance
- 3 potatoes- chopped in small cubes
- 3-4 dried wild mushrooms
- salt and black pepper
- 1 laurel leaf
In a pot with water add the beetroots first and boil for 20 min, add carrots and potatoes and the mushrooms. Season accordingly and boil everything for another 20-25 min until all vegetables are soft. This is the easiest version of borscht or beetroot soup.
I can tell you we ate it all in one evening and it was delicious! This soup balances perfectly the taste of mushrooms and the buns. I’m sure I will be making it more often. I hope you are going to enjoy it!
All credits go to White Plate.