Picnic under a Hanging Pine Tree

We opened the season of forest picnics. The beautiful warm sun triggered in us the desire to wander. For a good and lazy start, we chose Choszczówka, located on the edge of Warsaw.


Probably, if not for the current situation in Eastern Europe, in Ukraine, I would not have paid so much attention to this trip. Meanwhile, I had the impression that I was participating in some surreal performance, a farewell to carefree and normalcy. The atmosphere was enhanced by the landscape, which to my eye had something of the feel of an old training ground, a battlefield: a forest road made of concrete slabs, trench-like holes, and pine trees knocked down by a gale.


Mental health experts advise us to dose ourselves the news from the front. Newspaper greets us with an optimistic column that a coup in Russia will end the war quickly. Meanwhile, Telegram is bursting with messages, lately increasingly gloomy. The presence of the ever so cheerful Guta and Gaia stops us from commenting and discussing out loud. And so they can probably see and feel that something is going on.


We eat the soup sitting among the towering pines. The kids eat with an appetite. A walk and fresh as usually are the best cooks. Zosia notices that it is the same meal we used to send to children in the forest or refugees on the Belarusian border. Sometimes we prepare something within the „Soup for the Border” group. Director Péter Kerekes should make a sequel to Cooking History and include all those soups sent to the border: broths, tomato soup, lentil creams and more. Or better still, let’s go with these soups to the Kremlin, as Gandhi went for salt. Let this war be over already!


I share the recipe for the soup:

in a large pot, I put chopped garlic [as Guta says], onion and a little fresh ginger in hot oil. After a while, I add the vegetables, i.e. finely diced carrots, parsley, celery, parsley leaves and roughly chopped pieces of leek and yam. I heat the whole thing in olive oil until the vegetables start softening and take on colour. I add olive oil generously. At this point, you can sprinkle in some spices, for example, aromatic oregano. Finally, pour in the boiling water according to the size and proportion of the pot. The soup must not be runny! According to Chinese tradition, cook slowly. This way becomes stronger. This way becomes stronger. Cheers!

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