Srem – Family, Fishing, Food and 4WD’ing

After leaving Krakow we made our way up to Warsaw, we had one night there,  a nice catch up with some of my family, and as always, a home made meal prepared by Stasia. She still makes her beautiful home made noodles for her chicken soup. This is my third time to Poland, including Warsaw, but we were also about to go meet some new cousins in another town called Srem.

My sister Anne-Marie (Ania) as they call her her, has been to visit this family in Srem 2 times over the years and has spoken of them with much love and excitement. I was looking forward to meeting this “big” family and to see if they lived up to her wild stories, and they did! The title to our blog gives you an idea of our time with this family – unfortunately, all too short a visit. We arrived by train to Poznan, which is the bigger city near them and there was Maciej, his wife Asia and one of their 3 children waiting for us with big smiles and a sign with Connie and Matt written on it. I knew it was them even before I saw the sign, they looked as excited as I was. We drove to Srem, with a stop on the way to meet their sister Asia and her husband Robert and child. Of course we were fed a grilled sausage in bread while we were there, it was Friday BBQ night, Polish style. Next stop was to Maciej’s family. Simon (Szymon) is the twin brother of Maciej, and he also has a lovely wife and 3 children, they all live above their family business, Green Bikes, in 2 family homes. We were welcomed with our first family meal. The parents of my cousins came along as well and we shared stories, looked at old family photos and talked about our plans for our visit. The relationship with these cousins is that my grandfather and their grandfather were brothers.

Dinner with the family

Maciej and Szymon were very excited to take us to see their holiday spot, but sadly, as was most of our time in Poland, it was often raining. But this did not stop the brave men, inlcuding my husband, to go for a 6am fishing adventure on the lake near that holiday home the next morning. I got a sleep in and spent some time with their mum while she spent the entire day in the kitchen preparing food for the celebration to come. It was a little hard for us to communicate, but a bit of broken Polish and lots of finger pointing seemed to get us through. I was most interested to see her making the Polish version of cabbage rolls. The Poles make it with fresh cabbage, compared to my Croatian family that make it with pickled cabbage, she also tied them up with string for the cooking process. But this was not the be the only exciting thing we were to eat that day!

Yes a fish, a big fish, proudly caught by my husband, they say it is the biggest “szczupak” that they have ever caught. We later cooked this in the oven, whole fish with the basic flavours of garlic, onion and salt & pepper. Their dad thought the fish didn’t taste “strong” enough, but we said this is the “naturala” flavour and therefore he ate it all up. The rest of the family came over that afternoon, including one more brother and wife and child, the place was jam-packed with family, and wow can those kids make some noise. It was quite cute when everyone did leave that the grandma and grandpa looked at each other and gave a small sigh, as though to say, “we love our 4 children, and their partners, and our 8 grandchildren very much, but its really nice and quiet when they leave”.

Look at my big Szczupak

The celebration was in fact for the Grandmother, Halinka, it was her names day (see Video). In Poland the tradition is more important to celebrate a names day compared to a birthday. Like any European Grandmother though, she spent all her time on her feet cooking, cleaning and making sure everyone was happy, even though it was her special day.

That afternoon we decided we would go to sleep at the holiday place anyway, we were all hoping that maybe in the morning there would be no rain, we could get up early,  smell the nature , listen to the birds and maybe even go for another fish. We did sleep there with the twin brothers but sadly the rain continued. This did not stop us being taken for a bit of off-road adventure, deer spotting, rabbit chasing and tour of the local forest, it was great!!!

4wd'ing

I am sad that we did not stay longer but happy that I now know this family and hope to meet them again some time. They were wonderful and fun and just as Ania had described. I had a hard time writing this blog because I knew Maciej was waiting to read it and there were high expectations that it would be funny and witty, but I am not sure it is that. I can say though, Maciej when you read this, I am writing it with much pleasure from meeting all of you and I might have even had a little tear in my eye when I said goodbye to you.

Another Family Feast

Love to you all.. thanks to your family and see you again some time xxxxxxx

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Comments
One Response to “Srem – Family, Fishing, Food and 4WD’ing”
  1. Steve Dad says:

    dearest connie
    I love you
    You are such a wonderful family person
    even though its not my side of the family I feel close to them!

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