matrioszka 1


Matryoshka (rus. матрёшка) is a hollow, wooden figurine, with smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller, smaller and smaller figurines inside. 

The shelf above my desk hosts a Matryoshka from an antique shop. It is beautiful, colorful, with all the right imperfections characteristic of hand-made gadgetry. It comes with two missing figurines and this is yet another reason why it is rendered infallibly legendary:)

And one more thing: just like oil-painting, puff pastry, tiramisu and this blog, it’s got layers.


Her Majesty Pizza

Her Majesty Pizza



If it’s this one Sunday in the month, then there is Her Majesty Pizza.

Be it calzone or be it regular flat pizza. Or be it both.

As Sundays tend to have some spare time on offer, and there is a chance of relatives coming over, or there might be a sleepover leftover sneaking out of Emski's bedroom half-conscious in the wake of all-night-long multi-player online game session or something. Anyway, pizza days seem to always involve at least one non-resident consumer. 

J. is an undisputed Pizza Master in our household, as his output is unanimously rendered exceptional, the best in the world, absorbed in horrendous amounts exceeding any common sense and any digestive potential known to man. But what to do, if even when full, one will not let it rest on the plate ... There we go. Recipe?

The recipe hails from an old-school cookbook “Kuchnie świata: kuchnia włoska” (World Cuisines: Italian Cooking" with recipes assembled by Marta Orłowska.

Preparation time: 90 minutes

Baking temperature: 240°C / 465°F (if baking on a pizza stone, otherwise 170-220°C/340-430°F)

Ingredients: (for 6 - 8 diners, typically four pizzas and two calzones):

1 kg flour

100 g yeast

5 teaspoons sugar

2 1/2 teaspoon of salt

10 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup lukewarm water

olive oil


Whatever you fancy most (meat, cheese, seafood, vegetables, roasted sunflower seed and naturally mozarella cheese). But refrain from stacking ingredients one on top of another and don’t overdo with their number. Three per one pizza should be enough.


1. Tomato sauce

1 ½ packages tomato puree (750g) or better still canned tomatoes

4-6 crushed or finely chopped cloves of garlic

chilli flakes, one red hot chilli pepper or some other “hottie” (to taste)

salt (to taste)

basil, oregano

2. Yoghurt and garlic sauce

1 glass yogurt

2-3 crushed or finely chopped cloves of garlic

salt (to taste)

3. Parsley-garlic sauce

1 bunch parsley (chop! chop! chop!)

2-3 crushed or finely chopped cloves of garlic

olive oil

Put the flour into a large bowl and form a hole in the middle. Place crushed yeast into the cavity, add half of the sugar, dissolve the other half in lukewarm water and pour on the yeast. Leave in a warm place to rise for half an hour. It is then when you might want to put together the ingredients for the tomato sauce so that they are left with sufficient time to blend through in the fridge.

In practice, J. hands the dough to the heat to help it rise, hands the tomato sauce to the chill to help it blend, goes running, skiking, cycling or something, comes back, takes the shower and does the following:

Adds the olive oil and the salt the dough, kneads the dough until it assumes even and resilient texture, forms 6 - 8 ’buns’ and again leaves it all for half an hour, which is usually enough time to chop all the mushrooms, grate the mozzarella and so on.

For better effect, if you can afford it, form the buns, pack them in small plastic bags with a sprinkle of flour, tie them up and leave them in the fridge until the next day. The dough is reputed to be even better then. If you do not have the time or you have forgotten about this point, you can easily skip it - half an hour should do the trick.

Roll the buns thin, sprinkle with flour, spread the sauce and apply the topping, sprinkle with mozzarella, bake for 20-30 minutes at 170-220 °C or for about 10 minutes on a preheated pizza stone at 240 °C (in both cases until the edges and some of the mozzarella have slightly turned golden brown).

2011: Morocco, part 1

2011: Morocco, part 1

Gallery of Saturday Excavations 2/2019

Gallery of Saturday Excavations 2/2019