April 30, 2014

Cooking Adventure With Cream Cake

The dual canonization of Pope John Paul II and Pope John the XXII on Sunday by Pope Francis was witnessed by huge crowds of people in St. Peter square in Vatican City, and via cable television. Just to be clear while this historic moment was being televised at 3:00 am central time, I was sound asleep.

The Polish community is pleased and proud of our newly name saint, Saint Pope John Paul II. To celebrate John Paul's canonization, I decided to try and bake his favorite sweet treat, kremowka papieska, pronounced, kreh-MOOV-kah pah-PYESS-kah or Polish Papal Cream Cake. This favorite dessert of John Paul II is similar to a napoleon tart.

I found the Polish Papal Cream Cake Recipe - Kremowka Papieska online, asked my friend Lydia if she would like to help me, which really means make it while I watch. Being such a wonderful baker and an awesome friend she agreed, so yesterday late morning I arrived at her house to attempt to make this recipe. For the recipe, we used click here.

We did not make our own puff pastry, but rather purchased frozen from the grocery store, don't judge.

After rolling out the fold marks and scoring the puff pastry into 9 even squares, we baked the pastry in the oven until golden brown.

While the pastry was puffy and golden brown it also came out with marks from the rack, oops.

Everything was poured into a sauce pan that was needed to make the custard.

Using a wire whisk to blend the ingredients until it came to a boil, I then switched to a wooden spoon as I lowered the heat and continued to cook for an additional minute.

Into an ice bath to stop the cooking process and cool off the custard.

Spread the custard filling evenly across the bottom layer of the puff pastry. Next time we would double the custard recipe.

Added the top layer of the pastry and dusted the cream cake with powdered sugar.

Time for a taste test, we called Lydia's husband to be our official taste tester.

If you put food on a pretty plate will it taste better? He liked it, he gave us an 8 out of 10.

I'm not a huge fan of custard, but I did taste a small piece, not bad for our first attempt.

Here is our experience using this recipe while making cream cake for the first time ...
  1. The recipe says prep time is 30 minutes, and cook time is 30 minutes. In reality, it took us from ll:00 am until 2:00pm to finish making this recipe.
  2. While I was reading the recipe, which was written in English, I could pronounce and read all of the words, but often had no idea what we were supposed to do.
  3. The internet and youtube explained to us how to bake the puff pastry. I guess we are visual learners.
  4.  Cooking with your friend is a lot of fun.
  5. After making a recipe for the first time, you know it will be much easier the next time because you now understand what should be done and how.
It wasn't perfect, but it was eatable and pretty darn good! Smacznego!


April 29, 2014

Cake, Saint, Poland

In the summer of 2008 I traveled to Poland, while traveling by bus from the beautiful city of Krakow/Cracow to Warsaw, we made a brief stop in the small city of Wadowice, Poland. The town of Wadowice received a lot of exposure this past weekend, because Pope John Paul II was canonized into sainthood by Pope Francis.

Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II was born in Wadowice, a small city 50 kilometres from Krakow/Cracow, on May 18, 1920. He lived around the corner from the Basilica of St. Mary's where he was baptised, confirmed, served as an altar boy and attended daily mass.

The Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Wadowice, Poland.

The original brick church was built in 1440, a fire in 1726 destroyed a large part of the building. It was rebuilt from 1792-1798 the neo-baroque facade and tower were built by architect Tomasz Prylinski who was from Krakow/Crakow.

Pope John Paul II visited the church several times during his papacy, he granted the church the title of a minor basilica.

The clock tower of the basilica has an onion domed cupola with clocks visible from every direction. 

It's a large church with columns and arches, painted ceilings, statues, and photographs of Pope John Paul II visits to the church. The church has one wide nave and two side aisles with beautiful side altars.

On the left aisle of the church sits the baptismal fount that was used on June 20, 1920  for Karol Josef Wojtyla baptism aka Pope John Paul II now Saint Pope John Paul II.

The chapel of  Our Lady of Perpetual Help is behind black railings, This painting was blessed by John Paul II during his visit in 1999. The original painting is housed in Rome.

Rosaries left in thanksgiving for prayers answered cascaded down from the surrounding wall of Our Lady of Perpetual Help chapel.

This statue of Pope John Paul II stands right next to the church it is known as 'The Cream Cake Statue.'
During John Paul's visit to Wadowice in 1992, he sat very near to this spot and reminisced about his early life in the town. He mentioned how, he enjoyed kremowki, cream cake which they bought from a certain shop which he pointed to. What a horrid photo of me, but such a wonderful memory.

This is the shop that he pointed to during that visit. Since my visit in 2008 I was told this shop has been torn down.

In 2008, the cost of one square of kremowki was 2.50 zloty. 
That was before they converted to  the Euro.
Many other places in the area sell this delicious cream cake.

Located at 7 Koscielna Street, right next door to the church is the childhood home of John Paul II, which is now a museum.

We had such a limited time in Wadowice, that I was unable to visit the inside of the museum. 

This morning I am going over to a friends and we are going to attempt to make a kremowki, cream cake.  It will either be a triumph or an epic failure, either way visit me tomorrow for the results and the recipe.

April 28, 2014

Thrift Share

Vintage Magazines from 1952, 1957, 1971 and 1979
Large wooden spool of thread and Navy Peacoat buttons
Vintage wooden kitchen towel bars, stamped on back plate March 17,1931
Lefton ashtray that has rhinestone decorating the center of the flowers

Linking to:

Sir-Thrift-A Lot:  Thriftasaurus
A Living Space: The Nifty Thrifty
Costal Charm:  Nifty Thrifty Tuesday
Me and My Shadow: Magpie Monday
We Call It Junkin: We Call It Olde Link Up
ColoradoLady: Vintage Thing Thursday
Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson: Share Your Cup Thursday
Thrifty Groove: Thrifty Things Friday

April 25, 2014

You're Never Too Old to Enjoy LIfe

Have you ever met someone and an instant friendship is formed? Well, that's what happened on the day I met Sandy. Her classroom was kitty-corner from my room, she was a sixth grade teacher and I was a technology specialist. She was a country gal from Arkansas, loved horses, and was a math whiz. I am a city girl, and loved anything to do with educational technology. Two very different people that have been friends since the day we met in 1993. I have enjoyed every minute of our twenty one year friendship.

Sandy lives in the county where they own horses, have several paddocks, pole barns, and a small indoor arena.  Imagine my surprise when she told me she participated in rodeos on the weekend barrel racing.

Here is Sandy racing with Minute Man her favorite horse.

She won this saddle in 2006 for barrel racing.

Sandy and Minute Man loved barrel racing, in fact, they raced together for a very long time, Minute Man was getting too old to race and was rewarded with a life of leisure getting lots of sun in the back pasture.

Sandy had trained another horse for barrel racing, but it wasn't the same without her Minute Man.  So at the age of 59 Miss Sandy decided to learn all about mounted shooting. After training her horse and perfecting her skills at shooting, Sandy now is one of the top rodeo balloon shooters in our area.

I have a hard time holding the gun, it is pretty dang heavy, let alone ride a horse and shoot a heavy gun.

Sandy continues to participate in rodeos and is consistently among the top shooters.

Not only am I proud of her horsewomen skills, I am amazed that she can pull this very long horse trailer all over the place. 

Did I mention that Sandy is 62 years old? You know they say that, sixty is the new forty! 

Miss Sandy with her grandson, what a lucky little boy he is to have such a talented grandmother.


April 24, 2014

My Town

A vintage postcard is showing the start of the business district in my hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The photo below is what it looks like today.
Part of the brick street is still being used, the marquee from the movie theater now welcomes customers to the ice cream parlor and toy store.  

The circle garden is in memory for one Kenosha's noteworthy residents, Florence Parry Heide, who was/is a best selling children's author.

In 1967 Francis Parry Heide's first children's book, Maximilian was published. She went on to write over 100 picture books to adolescent novels. 
Her best known work is her Treehorn series.

Kenosha's school children were fortunate to have Florence Parry Heide visit them often and read her fabulous story books to them.

Florence Parry Heide organized a Fourth of July bike parade for the children for many years. Hundreds of children with their bikes decorated would gather outside her home and ride twice around her block to the beat of a drum. Florence Parry Heide died on October 23, 2011, to honor her the parade is still held each year.

Kenosha has been the hometown to many notable citizen. Who is famous from you hometown?

April 23, 2014

Vintage Book, Phrases, and a Birthday

I spent yesterday afternoon scouring the bookcases at the local St. Vincent De Paul thrift store, and enjoyed paging through books that interested me.  Children's books are priced at 25¢ and hard cover books sell for 69¢. While many books, caught my eye only two books came home with me. 

A child's book titled Dippers by Barbara Nichol and illustrated by Barry Moser with a copyright of 1997 that had amazing graphics. I will share that book in an upcoming post.

As I was ready to leave the book area a blue cloth covered book caught my eye with it's gold lettering on the spine reading Literary England.
The inside cover page states:
This book is the development of a picture essay on
Literary England that appeared in Life Magazine of June 14, 1943.
The pictures are owned by Life and the copyright by the Time Inc., 1944

Last night my attention was divided between television, who advanced on to the next show of The Voice, and reading poems and looking at photos that related to the poem.

Lovely poems by, William Langland, Geoffrey Chaucer, Edmund Spenser, and William Shakespeare.

The book has no page numbers, each poem is numbered, has a title page and explanation about author, poem and photograph.

Photo shows the coasts of England were the ramparts of Shakespeare's world. Below is another example of Shakespeare's work.

Today we remember William Shakespeare who on this day would have been 450 years old. A FaceBook post today, gave a link to an article about the Bard's legacy. From The Independentan article titled; William Shakespeare's 450th birthday: 50 everyday phrases that came from the Bard, I thought it was an interesting read.

According to the newspaper article in  The Independent many phrases from Shakespeare's poetry and plays, are still widely used.

Happy Birthday Wills!
To this day, we speak your language and most of us don't even know:

- "For goodness sake" - Henry VIII
- "Neither here not there" - Othello

- "Mum's the word" - Henry VI, Part II

- "Eaten out of house and home" - Henry IV, Part II
- "Rant" - Hamlet
- "Knock knock! Who's there?" - Macbeth
- "All's well that ends well" - All's Well That Ends Well
- "With bated breath" - The Merchant of Venice
- "A wild goose chase" - Romeo and Juliet
- "Assassination" - Macbeth
- "Too much of a good thing" - As You Like It
- "A heart of gold" - Henry V
- "Such stuff as dreams are made on" - The Tempest
- "Fashionable" - Troilus and Cressida
- "What the dickens" - The Merry Wives of Windsor
- "Puking" - As You Like It
- "Lie low" - Much Ado About Nothing
- "Dead as a doornail" - Henry VI, Part II
- "Not slept one wink" - Cymbeline
- "Foregone conclusion" - Othello
- "The world's mine oyster" - The Merry Wives of Windsor

- "Obscene" - Love's Labour's Lost
- "Bedazzled" - The Taming of the Shrew
- "In stitches" - Twelfth Night
- "Addiction" - Othello
- "Naked truth" - Love's Labour's Lost
- "Faint-hearted" - Henry VI, Part I
- "Send him packing" - Henry IV
- "Vanish into thin air" - Othello
- "Swagger" - Henry V
- "Own flesh and blood" - Hamlet
- "Truth will out" - The Merchant of Venice
- "Zany" - Love's Labour's Lost
- "Give the devil his due" - Henry IV, Part I
- "There's method in my madness" - Hamlet
- "Salad days" - Antony and Cleopatra
- "Wear your heart on your sleeve" - Othello
- "Spotless reputation" - Richard II
- "Full circle" - King Lear
- "There's the rub" - Hamlet
- "All of a sudden" - The Taming of the Shrew
- "Come what may" - Macbeth