Tuesday, December 21, 2010

'Twas A Sydney Christmas.

Twas a while before christmas, 
when all through the house
A Leb she was stirring, a sweet Polish Mouse
Undies were hung, by the balcony (sans care)
The children were nestled, all snug in their heads
While kidnappers lay waiting, just under their beds
And Manda in her Zimmy, and Bub in the nude
Had just settled down, for some takeaway food.
When out from the street, there arose such a clatter,
I really didn't care what was the matter.
Away to the window, we lolled like dead Cows
Rolled open the blinds, what the hell was it now!
The moon, on the boob, of some soon fallen smog
Made the objects below look as dull as a bog.
When, what to our jaded eyes should appear,
But a drunken boozehead, smelling strongly of beer.
With a stumble and fall that was anything but quicked,
But there was still a small chance, our cars would get nicked.
More rapid than eagles his chunder it came,
As he gurgled and choked, and cussed them by name.
Now, Johnnie! Now, Jack! Now, VB and Jim!
Out, Vodka! Out, Scotch! Out Tonic + Gin.
To the bottom of the gutter, all the way down the street.
Now dash away, dash away, all the stuff I did eat.
As rubbish that before the wild winds does fly,
It splatters, and splotches and brings forth a cry.
All down the gutter those courses they flew,
With some choking, some gasping - to stagger the spew.
And In a twinkling, I heard through the ceiling,
Our bloody neighbours, with no neighbourly feeling.
As I drew in my tongue, trying not to say Fuck
Frustrated, angry and Shit out of Luck.
Came a parking inspector: Evil, from his head to his foot
Bending down near the tyres just under my boot.
A bundle of tickets, he had flung on his back
And he looked like a target, about to get whacked
His eyes, so beady, his forearms - so hairy!
His snarl like pythons, his eyes so damn stare-y!
His mean little mouth was drawn up like a fist,
The beard on his chin - clearly never been kissed.
The Stump of his pride, he held clenched in his jaw,
And the smugness it circled his head like the law.
He had a poxy face and a round little belly, 
That shook, when he smirked, like a chubby girl named Kelly
He was mean and unforgiving, a miserable elf
And I laughed when I saw him, In spite of myself
A wink of his eye, and a flash of a ticket
Made me aim daggers at him, as though he were wicket
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled in my rego, that insufferable jerk!
And laying his finger inside of his nose
And giving a nod, down the street he goes
He sprang to his ride, to his partner - fived high
And away they all flew, with my savings - Oh, My!
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight
I'm telling the cops, about your broken tail light.
Ah! Cake + Knifelfs! Truth be told, I've felt more christmassy than I do this year. Christmas hasn't been shaping up well here, no, not at all. We're doing alright, don't get me wrong. We're in a pretty good set up, no mangering going on - and there's certainly a lot to be happy about. But it's still not adding up! Failed jam and a case of ants in the pants. But besides some snide poetic offerings tinged strongly with cinnamoned-cynicism - I do have something from a friend of far purer heart than I, a Polish friend, who starts getting into christmas some time in mid-October. This is her hallowed, traditional recipe for Polish Christmas gingerbreadtypestuff. Spiced in nice, warm, sweet and innocent - and in all the playful shapes of seasonal cheer. Kinda makes me want to puke. 
Just kidding! These are whimsically wonderful little biscuits, pure and simple and gorgeous to make. Lets call them Edward Scissorhand Cookies - you don't need blades instead of digits to make them, but, if you do make them the trays and trays of the perfectly honey-nutmegged geometry flowing from the oven like Bach for the Nose, might remind you of the beautiful fancy of Tim Burton's flowery imagination and the opening scenes from the mansion high up on the hill, where the inventor lived. 

These are magical to smell, magical to watch being made and even more magical to bite into. Battered shapes become golden and full with the breath of baked life. If you want to get your festive cheer on, this is one way to do it...
My little inventors will need:
400g good raw honey
250g brown sugar
100g butter
Charming Cinnamon
Some Quaint Ground Cloves
1kg plain flour + 6 tspn baking powder (or 1kg SR flour)
2 eggs
A pinch of Salt
Some festive Love (ah, who are we kidding, good ol' fashioned Hate'll do)
Wonderously sweet cookie men and moons and stars and trees begin by bashing the honey, sugar and butter into a warmed pan and letting it all lusciously melt over a steady heat. Once melted, add the cinnamon and the cloves, mix it, let it cool. Once the mixture is cool mix in the flour, the eggs and the baking powder with hands. Hela does this with some good polish pounding technique that I doubt any Australian could easily imitate. Let this all rest for one day. If you live in Poland where it is cold, you put it in plastic bag on your doorstep. In Sydney, doing so would cause the mixture to melt, assuming someone didn't St Nick it first - hence, in our Southern Hemisphere, Polish Accent: We Use Fridge. 

Take it out of the fridge the next day. Let it acclimatize itself back to room temperature, then roll it good, like a teenager with some new Nikeys, onto a floured surface. Push it down into about a 0.5cm thinness, you don't want a bulky cookie. Well, you little gluttons probably do! But that's not how they roll in Poland (that was a pun). Pick your shapes, any shapes you like, I have little puppies and turtles etc, anything goes. You could find guns and daggers and guillotines depending on your mood. Smash it, upon lined baking paper, into a 200 degrees celc. preheated oven for about ten minutes, and then put in the next tray and the next. 
Believe it or not, you're actually not supposed to gobble these right away. You let them cool, like Fonz. Hela then dips hers into melted chocolate with just an Eastern European dash of milk, or leave them as in, but closed in a tin. They taste delicious the next day but you're supposed to have enough will power to leave them in the tin for a whole week, allowing them to soften into perfect, traditional Polish cookie delight. The entire tin above was polished by Papa Bechara in about 3 minutes when my body tells me to eat something sweet, I listen to my body, that's why I'm 72 and I've never been in Hospital. Not Once...That's why I can't fit into my Nudies, Dad!

There you have it, polish shapes and bits and clovely pieces. Hooray for Hela!

That's about all the cheer you bastards are getting from me. Have a great christmas, lots of turkey, lots of mince pie and even more subtle (or depending on your origin: blatant) family tension around the festive table. Do try not to kill any relos or gouge out any eyes, now for some of you, I know that'll be a big ask - but for crying out loud, it's christmas! God damn It! 


Hannah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hannah said...

Yummo! Those cookies look delicious ;) Hope you had a fab Christmas! I've just discovered your blog and love it! A lot of the places you've reviewed etc I've been wanting to/now want to go to so thanks!
Hannah x

amanda said...

hello hannah! thanks for the lovely words. i hope christmas was happy for you too! x a