Thursday, February 3, 2011

You break it you buy it! The Polish Pottery Mart

Witamy! Handcrafted Polish stoneware is beautiful, distinctive and is “in” all over the world...and you don’t have to be Polish to appreciate it. Diane and Jim Richardson are not Polish but they love Polish pottery. So much that they have a little shop, Polish Pottery Mart, tucked away in a historic Savage Mill, about half way between Washington DC and Baltimore. They import the finest hand crafted pottery directly from Boleslawiec, Poland, the historic town where Polish pottery originated over 500 years ago.

Their shelves and tables are heavy with a wide variety of beautiful patterns - both classic and "Unikat" decorations which are signed by journeyman artists and are great to collect.  Visitors can pick from a selection of cups, teapots, sugar bowls and creamers for having a special tea party with your friends.  Or choose a combination of mugs and a unique pitcher.

Cooking enthusiasts will love their bakers, dishes, tureens and serving pieces, as well as dinner plates and bowls. In fact, the tureen photographed on the front cover of our book is from their shop and features one of their “signature patterns.”  You just can’t imagine how many positive comments we’ve received about this tureen.

Their shop is so popular that they’ve already moved to larger spaces twice since opening their doors just a couple of years ago. And now an even bigger space is under construction right next door.  (By the way, the new building will be big enough for us to hold a “Polish food chat” and book signing, as soon as our book is released April 15th!)

It’s quite warm and sunny in Alexandria, Virginia today, but much of the country is under the effects of a huge cold storm. So here is a historic “comfort food recipe” that was one of my great-grandfather’s favorites.  In fact the story goes that my great-grandmother used this recipe to get him in a good mood whenever she had bad news to share…after a while he got wise to this tactic and would disappear right after dinner…smart man!

Great Grandmother Maria Grudzinska’s Chicken in Lemon Sauce
·       One large chicken, skinned, roasted or boiled, de-boned, and cut into bite-sized pieces
·       2 tablespoons soft butter
·       3 tablespoons flour
·       1 3/4 cups chicken broth, boiling
·       2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, (more or less to taste)
·       2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or dill)

In a small bowl mix the butter and flour very well.  Stir in a few tablespoons of boiling broth.  Transfer this mix to the pot with the remaining broth and bring back to a low boil.  Add the lemon juice slowly, tasting as you go.

Add the chicken pieces to the sauce and heat gently.  Transfer to a warmed serving dish.  Sprinkle with chopped parsley or dill.  Serve with rice, a green vegetable or salad.  Smacznego!  

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