Archive | January, 2012

Kopytka

5 Jan

A few weeks ago Eddie told me he’d had a dream the night before in which he was watching his mother make one of his favorite Polish foods, and that he was going to try and duplicate what he saw in the dream.

Kopytka, literally translated from Polish as “little hooves”, is a pasta made from mashed potatoes, flour and egg. The dumplings are boiled and then served with soup or gravy or fried in bacon fat and topped with crumbled bacon. (My mouth just watered a little bit!)

Eddie made his first attempt at the recipe while I was at a business meeting one afternoon. Unfortunately, he ran low on flour and had a little trouble working with them, but they were delicious! The next time we worked together and I photographed the process. It is really quite simple and the result is SO worth it! Here’s the recipe and some visual  instruction.

4 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
2 ½ to 3 cups flour
2 medium eggs
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper

Place mashed, cooled potatoes in large bowl. Lightly beat eggs with salt and pepper and mix into potatoes. Gradually add flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough becomes sticky. Turn out onto floured surface, kneading in more flour until dough is smooth and pliable.

Break into balls about the size of a small orange and then shape into logs about 1” in diameter. With a sharp knife, cut logs on a bias about ½” thick.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add dumplings slowly so they do not “clump” together. When they rise to the top, reduce the temperature and cook for 3 to 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.

Pour dumplings into colander and rinse with cold water. Serve with goulash or pot roast or fry them lightly in bacon fat and top with crumbled bacon. 

Eddie’s Tree House

1 Jan

When we planted the orchard two years ago, Eddie built PVC frames and covered them with plastic netting to keep the birds from stealing the fruit, but when the first peach tree was almost ready to harvest we discovered that squirrels had chewed through the netting and taken EVERY SINGLE ONE of the peaches.

The first cage Eddie built to replace the net covered structures, as seen at right.

Eddie quickly built “cages” around the remaining trees and we managed to keep most of the first year’s fruit. He felt it was too crowded, though, when we had to go inside to pick, prune or spray, so he began engineering “the tree house”. It took him about 3 months to disassemble the panels from the cages, and then measure, design and construct the 3000 square foot enclosure. He recycled the panels from the cages and of course had to install supports, build more panels and cover the top with avian wire.

Putting on the finishing touches.

Spraying was a cinch this year...lots of room to move around.

It's a masterpiece, Eddie!

He’s a mechanical genius and a tireless worker, and although I worried constantly about him being on the ladder and scaffolding, everything went fine and the result is beautiful! We’re looking forward to a spring blossom party in there!