Tag Archives: Polish pottery

Have You Ever Wondered How to Make Sauerkraut?

Have you ever wondered how to make Sauerkraut?

Sauerkraut is not only delicious, but it is full of healthy probiotics resulting from the fermenting process!

Health Benefits of Sauerkraut

Read about the many health benefits of sauerkraut on organicfitness.com

Items needed:

A crock pot (Crock pots from Polmedia may be found here)

Weights (Stoneware weights can be found by clicking on this link)

5 pounds of cabbage for every 1-gallon that your pot measures (for example, a 2-gallon crock pot would support 10 pounds of cabbage)

How to Make Sauerkraut: (this recipe can be found in the Farmer’s Almanac)

  • Core and shred your cabbage. Measure out 3 tablespoons of pickling (or kosher or dairy) salt.
  • Alternate layers of cabbage with a sprinkling of salt, tapping each layer with a wooden spoon or potato masher. The top layer should be salt. This will not seem like it’s enough salt, but it will give you a 2 1/2 percent solution, the perfect strength for fermentation.
  • Boil an old dish towel or piece of sheeting for 5 minutes and cover the crock with it. Weight this down with a flat plate the size of the inside of the crock.
  • If you used fresh and tender cabbage, by the next day you should have enough brine to cover the cabbage. If you don’t, make more brine by adding 1 1/2 teaspoons to a cup of water and add enough to cover.
  • In 2 or 3 days, white scum will form on the top. Skim this off, replace the cloth with a newly boiled one, wash the weight, and replace it all. Repeat this skimming (a 5-minute job) each day until the bubbles stop rising, or for about 2 weeks. Then your sauerkraut is done!
  • At this point, simply keep the cabbage below the brine with the weight, cover the crock tightly, and store at 40°F to 50°F. If your space isn’t that cool, heat the sauerkraut just to simmering, pack in canning jars, seal, and process in a water bath 20 minutes for quarts, 15 minutes for pints.
Find this recipe on Chow.com

Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut

Now that you know how to make your own Sauerkraut, you can click on this link to see a delicious recipe for Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut.

 

COLLECTOR’S CORNER: Insider Tips for Collectors of Polish Pottery

polmedialogo

Dorothy Rosa (Durkee) -– Blog Contribution –  June 2013

As much as we’d all love to have vast and varied collections of Polish Pottery, there are practical limits to our collecting –- limits of space to display or store our treasures, of funds with which to purchase them, and of time to manage it all.  So the questions naturally arise, What to buy? When to buy? And where to buy?

This month, we’ll offer some suggestions about What to buy; next month, When to buy; and in July, Where to buy. After that, we’ll cover a variety of topics of interest to Polish Pottery collectors, including Creative Tablescaping, Mixing and Matching Patterns, All You Need to Know about Shopping for Polish Pottery – in Boleslawiec and Beyond, and How I Found The Courage to Take My Polish Pottery out of the Cabinet and Actually USE It.

What To Buy?

Experienced collectors know what they like. Some collect just one pattern, others a primary pattern with accent pieces in another (or two, or ten). There are those who collect by color (blue and white, for example) or theme (butterflies, birds, flashy florals). Still others choose to “mix and match,” meticulously blending diverse colors and themes in elegant tablescapes. I favor an eclectic mix, offering up to my guests combinations of patterns more or less willy-nilly, something the forgiving nature of Polish Pottery designs readily permits.

Cherished for its artistry, utility, and durability, Polish Pottery from Boleslawiec is also valued for its ability to “play well with others.” Shown here: three different patterns from two manufacturers playing very nicely indeed (top to bottom: WR #AW1, Polmedia P1847A ;WR #EZ3, Polmedia #P3936A; and the hard-to-find “Klara” pattern from Vena.All three are Traditional patterns.)

cabinet

Faced with choosing from nearly 5000 patterns, new collectors can simplify the selection process by trying out different patterns and “looks” by buying a small piece -– a luncheon plate, for example — in each of the patterns they like. When beginning collectors ask, I suggest, “Buy the one that moves you, but be open to change.” Properly nourished, our vision expands.

The question of whether to buy “Unikat” (unique, hand-signed and hand-decorated, with brushes and sponges, always by a highly accomplished, individual artist) pieces or non-Unikat (hand-decorated, but by various artists, and unsigned) pieces may be answered by your budget or personal preference. Unikat pieces will always cost more than non-Unikat pieces, so it’s up to you to decide whether you want: one exceptional piece, for example, or two or three (or more) lovely but less exceptional pieces. I have both: Unikat for display and for very special occasions, non-Unikat for everyday use. I do keep a 12-ounce bubble mug in a favorite (and admittedly pricey) high-end Unikat pattern (U1123 Ceramika Artystyczna, Polmedia P1990A) for my morning coffee.

Polish Pottery was made to be used. And that means – for the brave ones among us — Unikat on the deck for morning coffee.

What to buy or not buy is obviously a matter of personal preference. Choices abound, especially when it comes to novelty or special-interest patterns.

There are cat patterns…

Ceramika Artystyczna  1771X, Polmedia P6131A

BUTTER_DISH

Ceramika Artystyczna 1771 , Polmedia  P6226A

PLATE

…camel patterns…

Zaklady 842AK, Polmedia P5055A


BOWL

…horse patterns…

Ceramika Artystyczna 1143X, Polmedia P3994A

MUG

…and, of course a long, long list of animal and character figurines.

 

As time passes we’ll cover these topics in greater detail. But for now, I’ll offer three suggestions for building a successful collection:

 

1. Learn all you can. As always, an informed consumer is a happy one. Browse the internet thoroughly, bookmarking sites to which you’ll want to return when you’re ready to buy. Keep notes. I maintain two separate digital files, one for tracking details of purchases (with copies to our insurance company) and the other for recording what I want to remember about artists, factories, vendors, and the business/hobby in general.)

 

2. If you love it, buy it. Don’t worry about whether or not a piece will “match” the rest of your collection. Chances are it will: Polish Pottery was made for “mix and match.” It plays well with others. If a piece doesn’t seem to fit, no matter: Display it solo or tuck it away to enjoy some rainy afternoon when it’s just you and your odd little item and a warm pot of tea.

 

3. Find a friend (or friends) to share the fun. On line or off, everything’s better with friends.

 

Next month: When To Buy

Dorothy Rosa Durkee is an independent writer, retired magazine editor, and former military wife with a passion for collecting Polish Pottery. When not dusting or rearranging her collection, she spends her time volunteering in local schools and working in animal rescue.

Handmade from Poland: The Technique Behind Beautiful Polish Stoneware

The process of creating one piece of Polish pottery involves several artisans and many hours of skilled work.  In fact, the manufacture of this stoneware is held in such high regard, there is a school in Boleslawiec, Poland dedicated to passing on the tradition and unique quality of this trade through apprenticeships and training.  Purveyors of high quality Polish pottery appreciate the effort, skill, and creativity put to use in every piece.

flowers2

Polish pottery begins with a master form-maker designing a shape (platter, mug, for example) out of wax, then filling a box around it with a hardening compound.  After several hours, when the compound has set, the form-maker will be able to cut the form case into two pieces, drilling a hole so that he may fill it with liquid clay in the future.  The wax form is removed and any deformities in the form are smoothed and corrected.  The form-maker may take several turns at this, as samples are made from the form and the shape is perfected.

flowers2

Next, a clay-worker fills the form with liquid clay, waits several hours for it to set, carefully removes the form, and skillfully cuts away any excess clay from the formed piece.  This artisan is trained to also smooth the surface with a damp sponge so that no imperfections or bumps exist and the piece sits correctly or is flush with a table top or wall, for instance.  The clay is then left to dry to room temperature before firing.  After the piece is baked once at a constant 850 degrees in a firing kiln, it hardens to stone and previously dull clay brightens to a white “bisque.”

Plain white bisque is then filled with color by classically trained artists who, with extreme precision and flair, transfer their original designs to this medium.  Each piece sits upon a turntable in front of the artist, while the artist stamps or paints a design in repeating fashion, slowly spinning the piece in a circular motion.  This method helps the artist maintain uniformity from one piece to the next, but the artist’s own hand is ultimately responsible for the beauty of each piece as he or she follows and replicates an original pattern.  This process can take several hours, depending on the size of the piece.  Whether hand-stamping or painting, the painter uses unbelievable skill in keeping the design clean — using multiple colors, sponges, and brushes — and avoiding smudges and pattern imperfections.

flowers2

Next, painted pieces of Polish pottery are hand-dipped in a clear glaze and placed on a rack for firing a second time in higher temperature of 1250 degrees.  After the piece is fired, the paint colors become vibrant and the design is more prominent.  When the pieces have cooled after some time, they are quality checked to single out those pieces with glaze irregularities or that need to be corrected and sent back through the last two steps.

Quality checking, the final step, is actually something that the artisans do throughout the entire process as they’re working, and again a couple times at the end.  Because each piece is handmade, small variations will occur making each piece unique; however, every step of the process is geared toward creating a quality, standardized product and replicating the same beautiful nature of each piece is the artisans highest priority.  Each final product is given a specific quality label, and most retail stores will only sell Quality 1, the highest quality.  Quality 2 and below stoneware can be found in several manufacturer’s retail outlets.

Did you have any idea so many hands were involved in making your one piece of Polish pottery?  Have you ever compared Quality 1 to Quality 2 Polish stoneware, and could you tell the difference?

What is Unikat Polish Pottery?

In Polish, the word for unique is Unikat

Polish Pottery Stoneware PLATE

Often, our customers will navigate through the website and then find a piece that is marked as Unikat, which is located on the bottom of the Polish pottery piece. This is where the manufacturer will normally stamp their logo. The manufacturer logo stamp will indicate that the pottery piece is hand made in Poland. The Unikat pattern may or may not have the artist signature on the bottom, but a Unikat piece will always be stamped with “UNIKAT” on the Polish pottery.

Polish Pottery Stoneware PIE DISH FLUTED

Distinctively designed, Unikat pottery has sophisticated details that define the pattern’s own uniqueness. This distinguishes each Polish pottery piece as an individual to its counterparts. No piece of Polish pottery will ever be exactly the same.

Polish Pottery Stoneware BUBBLE MUG

Our Polish pottery is hand-made and hand-painted. Therefore, all pieces are personalized by an artist and are all very special and unique in their own pattern design. However, a Unikat piece is hand-made and hand-painted by an exceptionally skilled artist.
Unikat artists immerse themselves in intense training and have spent years practicing their own techniques to individualize the definitive Unikat patterns.

Polish Pottery Stoneware PLATE

A Unikat Polish pottery piece is remarkably breathtaking, considering the time and effort that an artist takes to make the piece. Using a variety of six to eight paint colors and including fine details, each one is unique.
Popular with collectors of Polish pottery, Unikat pieces are normally purchased as display items. However, as the popularity of these unique designs is slowly expanding, more than just collectors are now purchasing the pieces.

 

Gołąbki – Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

INGREDIENTS:

1 whole big head cabbage, approximately 4-pound

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 pound ground beef chuck

1 pound lean ground pork

3 cups cooked rice

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3-4 cups beef stock

6 oz can tomato paste

PREPARATION:

1. Remove core from the cabbage.

2. Place cabbage  in a deep pot and pour boiling water to cover the whole cabbage, cover with lid and boil for 2-3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and let it stand for a few minutes until the leaves are soft enough to pull off individual leaves.

 

3. Separate leaves carefully.

 

 

4. Trim the thick center stem at bottom of each leaf   

without cutting all the way through and set them aside.

5. In a large bowl mix well all ingredients for the stuffing — pork, beef, cooked rice, egg, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper. 

 

 

6. Line bottom of a 4-5 quarts pot with any torn cabbage, trimmings or leaves that are too small too use for stuffing.

7. Place 2 spoonfuls of meat stuffing on each cabbage leaf. 

 

 

8. Roll it up.

 

 

9. Then tuck the ends in.  

 

 

10. Place the cabbage rolls and arrange rolls in layers on top of the torn cabbage and trimmings that you prepared in a 4-5 quart pot. 

 

11. Pour beef stock onto the rolls and add the tomato paste.

12. Add salt and pepper to taste.

13. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours.

Garnish with parsley.

Serve hot with potatoes.

Smacznego 🙂

 

Polish Style Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

12-14 de-skinned (optional) chicken legs, cooked

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

3 eggs

1 1/2 cups bread crumbs

Salt, pepper to taste

1 cup vegetable oil

For broth:

2 quarts water

4 large pealed carrots

1/2 onion

bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Put de-skinned (optional) chicken legs in a large pot cover it with, about 2 quarts of water.

Add bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste. Add 4 large pealed carrots and 1/2 onion.

Cook it for 1 hour over medium heat.

Take out chicken legs from the broth and cool them down.

In a medium bowl whip eggs with salt, pepper, and granulated garlic.

Pour 1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs in a separate bowl.

Heat approximately 1 cup of vegetale oil on a nonstick pan. After about 2 min lower the heat to medium.

One by one dip chicken legs into the eggs mixture then roll in bread crumbs.

Place one drumstick at a time in hot oil (fits about 7 drumsticks).

Fry chicken on one side for 4 minutes or until crust is golden then turn each chicken leg over and fry on the other side for about 3 minutes or until golden.

 

The following dish can be found at www.artisanimports.com

Polish Pottery Stoneware fork                    Polish Pottery Stoneware platter

Blueberry Cake – 4th of July

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs

cooking spray

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries

Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 cups icing sugar

Garnish:

1/2 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries cut in stripes

Preparation – Cake:

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Combine flour, baking powder in a medium bowl.

3. Place sugar and margarine or butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended, about 2-3 minutes.

4. Add vanilla,

5. Add eggs, one by one. Beat well.

 6. Add flour mixture.

7. Spoon the batter into a 9×7-inch baking pan (or slightly bigger) coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with 1 1/2 cup blueberries.

8. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

9. Cool in pan on a wire rack.

10. For the frosting, mix the butter and cream cheese until creamy smooth.

11. Beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla.

12. Add icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until frosting is smooth.

13. Spread on cooled cake.

14. Decorate with blueberries and strawberries.

 

The following dishes can be found at www.artisanimports.com

Polish Pottery Stoneware rectangular baker  Polish Pottery Stoneware bowl  Polish Pottery Stoneware rectangular baker

Potato Salad With Dill Pickles

Ingredients:

2 lbs. potatoes (5 – 6 medium), cut into 3/4-inch chunks

1/2 medium onion, chopped

8 hard-cooked eggs, chopped 

5 dill pickles, diced (I use Claussen pickles because they are always crunchy and garlicky)

1 1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper

Preparation:

1. Put washed potatoes with the skin in 4-quart pot; cover them with water (about 2 quarts) and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Peel the skin off and dice.

2. In a large bowl combine mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Add potatoes, onion, pickles, and eggs and mix well. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Garnish:

Parsley

 

The following dish can be found at www.artisanimports.com

Polish Pottery Stoneware scalloped bowl

CERAMIKA ARTYSTYCZNA SCALLOPED BOWL