Fresh and Versatile – New Polish Cookbook Takes Culinary World by Storm (Book Review)

By Catherine A. Hamilton

In her debut cookbook, Wild Honey and Rye: Modern Polish Recipes, acclaimed food writer for BBC Good Food Magazine Renatka Behan gives traditional Polish cuisine a fresh look. Her innovative twist on classic Polish recipes is as enticing as her whip-smart assortment of newly designed dishes—many of them inspired by recent food tours in Warsaw, the upbeat “food capital” of Poland.




Book Review: The real-life story of Second Lieutenant Vadek Kossakowski

By Catherine A. Hamilton

Literary nonfiction at its best, Irena Kossakowski’s A Homeland Denied: in the Footsteps of a Polish POW tells the real-life story of Second Lieutenant Vadek Kossakowski, the author’s father.




Book Review: Author gives voice to thousands forced into slave labor under Hitler

By Catherine A. Hamilton

Long-time Sarasota resident Victor Bik, center, who received a signed copy from Sophie Knab of her book “Wearing the Letter P,” with his son Christopher and grandson Jonathan.




A gift to the pope

By Catherine A. Hamilton

A cake named for a saint, a pearl rosary made in Oregon – both can be found in Krakow, Poland.

Each year on May 18, I bake a special Polish cake to celebrate the birthday of Karol Wojtyla. St. John Paul II was canonized by Pope Francis three years ago.




The mother of Solidarity
Anna Walentynowicz dies in plane crash

By Catherine A. Hamilton


On April 10, Anna Walentynowicz, the woman known as the Mother of Solidarity, died in a tragic plane crash along with the president of Poland and 94 other Polish dignitaries. Walentynowicz was part of a delegation of national leaders on their way to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the infamous Katyn Massacre.




70 years after invasion, a Polish survivor remembers

By Catherine A. Hamilton


Victor Bik of Sarasota says he will spend part of today — the 70th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland in 1939 — honoring those who suffered during the attack by re-reading his memoir from that era and calling his brother in Poland.

The 87-year-old Sarasota resident left war-torn Europe in 1950 and is one of the few surviving Poles in the area who witnessed the day Hitler’s Germany invaded Poland, kicking off a short but bloody battle that pushed Europe into World War II.




Mickey’s Never-fail Dills: Recipe brings back memories


Sweet Home – what better name for a hamlet nestled above the Willamette Valley? Naturally, most people don’t know the town exists. To the visitor, it might look like typical, small-town America.

But for those who live in Sweet Home, and for those of us who have lived there, we know that Sweet Home is anything but typical. It’s our town. It’s the place we call home – home Sweet Home. And that just about says it all. Just about.

The truth is, whenever I see that sign as I come into town, I can’t help thinking back to my childhood and the days I spent in Sweet Home, days at Girl Scout camp, days tromping through the woods or water skiing on Foster Lake, carhopping at A&W, cheerleading, swim team… but those days are gone.

The days have turned to weeks, the weeks to months and months to years. I live in the big city now. But there are so many memories and so many stories to tell.


Writer unfair to pontiff who opposed Hitler

by Catherine A. Hamiltoncommentary_01

Excerpt from Katherine Graczyk, in Forgotten Survivors: Polish Christians Remember The Nazi Occupation, edited by Richard C. Lucas.


The Oregon Report–What’s Hiding Behind the Numbers?
by Catherine A. Hamiltoncommentary_02

Friends & Neighbors
Daughter writes about life in S.H. as Ponzohas celebrate 60th Anniversary — by Catherine A. Hamiltonnonfiction_02