At Hanka's Table
by Hanka Sawka with Hanna Marie Sawka
Exiles from communist-controlled Poland, Hanka and Jan Sawka landed in New York City in 1978 with 52 dollars, a few suitcases, and a toddler. In this moving account of their journey from behind the Iron Curtain to a new life in the U.S., Hanka Sawka emerges as her artist husband's soul make and partner. Their home, in good times and bad, became a gathering place for fellow artists and friends, and her reputation as a talented home cook grew.
Because Poland is situated at the crossroads of Europe, Polish food is a mix of ethnic flavors, drawing from French, Italian, Turkish, and Austro-Hungarian cuisines. Hanka's cooking is based largely on traditional Polish fare, with influences from her time spent living abroad and their diverse circle of friends. Over 100 of the best of her recipes are offered here, including Polish classics such as Borscht, Pierogi, Paczki and Bigos, along with Christmas and Easter specialties.
Much like Hanka's story, the book is colorful and visually striking. Featured are illustrations by Jan Sawka, along with family photographs and food photography from Hanka's kitchen. Readers interested in Polish culture and cuisine with enjoy this mix of history, personal narrative, and art.
"Memoirs of food in times of privation have been written about places as far-flung as Russia, China, Eastern Europe, and the American West. And now Hanka Sawka, a Polish immigrant, has added her voice to this canon, recalling the hearty soups and rich cakes that families managed to serve, especially for holidays like Easter, despite shortages under the Communist regime."
New York Times
HANKA SAWKA is the wife of Jan Sawka, internationally known multimedia artist and designer. An expert home cook, Hanka has been entertaining for more than 30 years. A native of Poland, she's lived in Paris, New York City, and currently resides in High Falls, NY.
Publishing House: Lake Isle Press, New York 2004
HardCover book measuring 7.75" x 9.5"
280 pages, b/w illustrations, color & b/w photographs, index
English Language Version
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