Saturday in Dobrzyn

January 11, 2014 • 2:26 pm

I can’t believe that tomorrow is my last day here. I head to Warsaw on Monday by train and will spend the night there before a long flight to Chicago at Tuesday noon.

Meanwhile, things proceed apace here. The Editor-in-Chief is busy supervising “Letters from our orchard”:

Andrzej and editor

Although she does take a break from time to time, making a catloaf on the dog’s bed:


As a special parting treat, Malgorzata made a Swedish cake, apparently well known in the southern part of that country, called “The Professor’s Cake” (srsly). It begins with the tedious peeling of many raw almonds that have been soaked in boiled water to loosen the skins. Those almonds are then chopped and mixed with a deep chocolate cake batter to yield a decadent and delicious cake:

Professor cake

I found one version of the recipe here, though it’s made with hazelnuts.  Malgozata said, “Oh no—it must be almonds.”

Professor cake by itself

Malgorzata got the recipe from, of all places, the daughter of the Bishop of Lund.

cake close up

The cake was a mid-afternoon treat. Dinner, two hours later, was a stir-fry of chicken breast and scallions, served with rice and salad:


Finally, three photos by Sarah Lawson—A Man and His Cat:

Reading moral philosophy. I’m awake; Hili is asleep:


The results of reading moral philosophy: I am asleep; Hili is awake (and washing herself)


Is that a blissful cat or what? (Not to mention the human. . . )


And finally, my obligatory formal portrait of The Queen:

Hili portrait

28 thoughts on “Saturday in Dobrzyn

  1. Nothing better than reading with a cat – though my cat doesn’t like competition with the written word and tries to drape herself across the book, whatever angle it is at.

  2. O, your excursion, Professor, has been for me a virtual vacation ! including the virtual noms ! What ‘re we readers all gonna do without Mz Malgorzata’s virtual cuisine ( to keep off the reality – calories ! )

    And that K.I.T.T.E.H. ! What a source for purrfect virtual tactility she has been — with Moxie Grace OwlFace in Cat Heaven, er well, seven months now in to that Reality Hole in my backyard.

    Almost as lovely this virtual deal – ie, the online chronicling of your time there – as my sudden although actual solo pilgrimages on the AlCan ( = eventually via a flight after the ten – day road trip ) to Barrow, Alaska, and another such flight in to and within and circa four of the Galápagos Islas !

    Thanks ever, Dr Coyne !

    ps THIS SPECIFIC CAKE, Mz Malgorzata ? ‘Tis wicked – / badass – LOVELY LOOKING ! O, the one – by – one almond – peeling ? What is that but simply t.o.r.t.u.r.e. of the baker ? !

  3. Many thanks for reporting on your trip to Poland. Your photographs were great, I really enjoyed meeting your charming friends, the good food, and the lovely cats and dog.

    1. Squeeze them from the thick end and they shoot right out of their skins after they’ve been boiled. Do it underwater to keep them from flying all over the room.

        1. Blanched, I guess — boiled for a very short time (c. a minute) until the skin gets loose and wrinkly.

          But I thought they only counted as blanched after you got the skins off. Anyway, you don’t want to boil them too long — you’re not making mashed.

    1. I was talking to a friend the other day and I asked him how work was going and what I thought he said was that he had had a dearth of work. When I questioned him he said that no, he had said a burst of work. Then I asked what would be the opposite of dearth and after a short reflection he said plethora.
      Then I said that I was going to write up a list of words that were used too often (a plethora) and words that weren’t used enough (a dearth) and then we realised that both dearth and plethora would be listed under dearth.
      We weren’t sure if that was ironic or not.

    2. That doesn’t appear to have anything to do with your comment but I had forgotten to mention what the link was.
      It was that svelte is a very uncommon word and the only time I have ever heard it was many years ago when I took up triathlon and ended up rather thin and a colleague called me by that name.

      1. Funny, I didn’t notice the comment was incongruous so to speak as I kept thinking about plethora and dearth. 🙂

    1. Oh yes.
      My first thought on seeing that photo was how regal she looks.
      But then again, cats often look regal.
      My little tortie YumYum does, especially around dinner time. 🙂

  4. I googled “Swedish professor’s cake” looking for a recipe, and the second and third hits were this post!

    1. I just did the same and yes, the second and third were this post.
      The first was about a woman in Sweden throwing a cake at some politician.
      She was arrested but let go even after admitting she had thrown it.
      The police said that they had failed in protecting the guy but how the hell would they suspect a little old lady holding a cake standing in line that she was going to throw it at him.

  5. I am intrigued by the device to the left of the professor (his right) as he is holding his cake for the photo.
    It appears to be a coffee machine, as there looks to be a group handle resting on it but the device seems too small for any machine I have seen other than the new pod type machines but they don’t use group handles.

    1. Yes, it’s a coffe machine. Makes two tiny cups in one go. Not very practical, especially with guests.

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