Easter is that time of the year when you can say goodbye to the darkness of winter and let yourself be surrounded by flowers, birds singing in the morning and long walks along the river. Easter in Poland is probably the second most important Catholic festivity after Christmas and it’s a time to be spent with family, with grandmas and mums cooking and baking from the early hours of Friday and kids painting the eggs.
Traditionally on Saturday every family would decorate a basket with pieces of food that symbolise Easter and this would be taken to the church to receive a blessing. Everything would be shared afterwards with the family on Sunday whilst enjoying lunch.
The traditional Polish Easter basket should contain the following:
- Salt and pepper
- White sausage (or any other sausage)
- Hand painted eggs
- Babka (traditional Polish Easter cake)
- Lamb figurine
- Any other Easter items of your choice (I’ve put Lindt golden bunny, chicken and lamb characters)
Easter celebrations continue on Sunday when tables are decorated with colourful eggs, white linen table cloths and special crockery of finest porcelain and silver service cutlery.
Easter lunch, which actually begins late in the morning and carries on for the entire day, is a composition of eggs as a starter – cooked, boiled and stuffed in different variations – home made soup followed by a meat dish, traditionally either chicken or lamb.
Eggs filled with mushrooms with a bed of red peppers
Eggs with mayonnaise and chives served with wild smoked salmon from Alaska
My mum’s Polish vegetarian salad – sałatka jarzynowa
Platter of cured meats – Gran Biscotto ham and home made steamed pork joint with tuna sauce
My mum’s pâté – królewski pasztet
MAIN – SOUP
Żurek Wielkanocny (made with white sausage)
MAIN – MEAT
Roast chicken with liver, egg and bread stuffing (my great great grandma’s recipe, more than 100 years’ old!) – served with boiled potatoes and sauerkraut with mushrooms
Sernik (Polish cheesecake) with hot cherries and fresh whipped cream