StringerBell wrote:Does anyone have a good recipe for Bigos? I've eaten it in restaurants in Poland, but since it's something my family never prepared I'm not sure how to make it. I'm sure I could find videos on YT, but I figured I'd ask here first since cooking channel recipes can be really hit or miss.
nowadays is basically pork (stewing cuts and smoked ones) stewed with aromatics, spices, cabbage (pickled and fresh) and mushrooms (usually field mushrooms rather than those button ones). As far as I know, a lot of people like to add prunes or even diced apples but I and other Poles like to make it without these ingredients.
sponsored by Knorr is quite similar to how I make it (although I don’t stew the mix for the published 5 hours since 2 hours is more than good enough for me when it comes to stew). However I do skip the prunes and tomato paste, and rarely add boullion cubes as shown in the video since I find the flavor imparted by all of the other ingredients to be enough for my taste. Even though the recipe is in Polish, I think that you can understand it.
I actually learned to make bigos
after studying some recipes, and realizing that I would end up with something similar to my favorite Hungarian stew székelygulyás
(a.k.a. segedínsky guláš
, Szegediner Gulasch
) but without the sour cream and paprika. I used to think that bigos
would be a major pain to prepare but found it to be quite easy after my first attempt (admittedly having been already accustomed to making székelygulyás
). I really enjoying making this or székelygulyás
in my Dutch oven on a Sunday evening for a week’s worth of leftovers for lunch at work - to bardzo smaczne!
StringerBell wrote:For anyone reading this, what was the most frustrating/difficult/impossible grammar concept you had to learn in a foreign language and how did you deal with it?
When it comes to dealing with the most frustrating aspect in a foreign language, I’d say that Hungarian word order is the one for me. Even after so many years removed since I started learning the language, I still don’t quite get it right. However I’m less bothered when I get it wrong now (usually in longer or more complicated sentences) knowing that I’ve figured out the basic principles guiding word order by reading a couple of grammar books and studying example sentences with translations to English.
A runner-up in frustration is my months-long struggle eons ago to figure out the Finnish direct object. At that time, I had two problems:
1) I was learning the direct object as “accusative” which in turn set off attempts to look for parallels between the Finnish “accusative” and the “accusative” in German, Hungarian and Balto-Slavonic languages
2) Marking for the Finnish direct object accounts for completeness of the action in a way that’s foreign to me and most other outsiders.
Only after having dropped my biases and ultimately invalid/unhelpful comparisons to other languages did I start to figure it out as I thought about this feature on its own terms. Nowadays, I usually decline the direct object correctly on the first try when expressing myself in Finnish.
I understand somewhat your frustration with case-marking especially when you see that some endings get recycled across cases/genders and you then start questioning their raison d’être if the endings look the same anyway. At the same time, I wouldn’t get hung up on them as case-marking is just part of the principle that you and your interlocutors need some reliable way to relate elements in a sentence to each other. In Polish, the relationship is often shown with the case-endings, but their use doesn’t mean that other techniques such as word order, use of adverbs/particles or “context” (for lack of a better description) are off-limits. In other words, you can think of this relationship-marking as falling on a spectrum of techniques. At one end it’s all about using endings or affixes to mark every nuance of the intra-sentence relationship but at the other end it’s all about using word order or stand-alone particles. Polish falls between these extremes but clearly stands closer to end of the spectrum with endings and affixes. English (and Italian to a certain degree) lie closer to the other end with greater reliance on word order and stand-alone particles (or adverbs).
Don’t let your ranting or hang-up however reach the heights attained by s_allard as he started to annoy some of us while trying to put a brave face on figuring out German cases
(which apply mainly to adjectives unlike in Polish where they apply to nouns and adjectives). He started to grouse about their overall usefulness but seemed unwilling to admit that he was merely showing his bias thanks to having mastered only English, French and Spanish – languages that have almost no case-marking. Funnily enough, his cognitive blind spot and hang-up about cases seem to have prevented him from noting that German conjugation happily gets by on fewer tense/aspect combinations than what’s used in those other three languages (e.g. German doesn’t have a distinct conjugation like “I am reading a book”/Estoy leyendo un libro
(Sto leggendo un libro.
) not to mention that it has nothing like the fine distinctions in subjunctive tenses used in Romance languages).
It’s a shame that you feel down about Polish right now but I agree with Brun Ugle that knowing that you can drop something that sometimes causes you grief can be reassuring and maybe ironically prevent you from abandoning it. Tak trzymaj!