Today is: Monday 16 September 2019 temp. today: oC
tomorrow: oC
Księga gości

As it is commonly known Kameduli came from far away – all the way from Italy. Among them there was brother Barnaba, who was responsible for the kitchen. It was his duty to prepare dishes for prior and other brothers. But every day he had a problem – what to prepare for prior, the other brothers were not that picky. This “something” could not be any other thing. It should be different from the dishes poor peasants prepare. One day near the kitchen – where Barnaba sat – was walking prior. He smelt the aroma from kitchen which strengthen his imagination. He thought that he would eat something good and unusual. It was late, so he knew that he couldn’t have this demands.
He asked Barnaba then what will he cook for the next day. Chef answered that it was a fast so it will be fish – as usual. But what kind of fish? – asked curious prior. So Barnaba started to list all fish that man could catch in Wigry Lake. Sadly Prior would just shake his head and when Barnaba was done listing he said: -You know what I would eat, my dear brother? A Whitefish[1]. Great, thought Barnaba: “How am I supposed to get whitefish when it’s not in the lake?”. So he thought and thought. All brothers went to sleep and he still was sitting in the kitchen – looking at the lake and mumbling – whitefish, whitefish… Prior probably said it just because but Barnaba set it as a honour point to do prior’s order. Finally he said to himself, loudly: -I would even give my soul to devil for the whitefish for tomorrow dinner! Well, devil has good ears – and so he appeared. Even more so when he wasn’t far – long time he spent waiting for some monk to tempt. As soon as Barnaba finished talking, devil came through the window.

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He bows low and says: – Very well that you call for me, no one else could make your wish, only me. Then Barnaba cursed, he knew well not to make any deals with the devil. But he thought immediately, I will outsmart this devil and will get the fish and keep my soul. In meantime devil prepared the pledge and put it under chef’s nose: – Just sign and tomorrow your prior will eat delicious, fresh whitefish for dinner. Barnaba knew it was serious but kept going: -Fine – I will sign but under certain conditions: You will bring the whitefish from Italy itself fresh and alive – just as if it was taken from water a moment before. And remember that if the fish is not on this table before tomorrow dawn, the deal is off. Devil started to complain and whimper – that it is too far, the night is too short and he won’t make it in time. Barnaba said – What is that for you my devil, you have such great power! Devil finally agreed, after long wait monk’s soul was almost his. It was all just a game to make Barnaba sign the pledge. Barnaba thought in that moment: “Devil will complain and won’t make it in time, as soon as the bells will ring tomorrow he won’t have me”. So he signed the pledge and said: -Go don’t waste any more time, only hour is left till dawn. – In a hour I will be back! – yelled the servant of darkness and flew away through the window. Barnaba look right after him but there was no sign of him! Only the wind was revelling above the lake. Only then he got scared and understood what he did, he wanted to outsmart the devil and yet his soul was almost in devil’s hands. And so he was lamenting and hitting the wall with his head, listening for devil’s return. Prior heard the cry and came to the kitchen asking: – What happened brother Barnaba? Why are you complaining so much? – How am I not supposed to cry when the devil will come for my soul soon!? And he told everything to Prior. First Prior rebuked him, that for a mere fish he deemed his soul to eternal damnation.
But momentarily he felt dory for the cook and he got sad. He felt responsible, that for his whim now devil will take Barnaba’s soul. He said: – Don’t worry Barnaba. Good God will have mercy on us and send us some help. After comforting the cook, he left and wandered the chambers thinking how to outsmart the devil. In his wandering he went all the way to the monastery’s tower. He didn’t know that Barnaba’s guardian angel was going right behind him. When he looked from the tower he’s seen the devil flying low over the lake, holding the fish in his hands. Prior quickly crossed and the angel whisperd to him: – Grab the rope and start ringing as strong as you can, quickly! Prior listened and started to ring for the new day, even though it was too early. He hanged on the rope and swung the bell. Commotion started in the monastery, brothers went for their prayers and Barnaba fell in his cell, thanking God for saving. That was the last moment as the devil was already by the window.
When he heard the bells, he just grinded his teeth out of anger. Not able to do anything, he could not enter the monastery – he grabbed the fish with his claws and threw it into the lake. Since then whitefish is present in the Wigry Lake and the devil could not get over his loss to monks! From then he flies over the lake and when he blows, a great wave starts on the middle of the lake.
[1] Whitefish – a fish from salmon family living in: lake Garda in Italy, Baltic but also Wigry lake in Suwałki Region, whitefish has a very delicate meat. For its characteristic taste and smell it is valued by gourmets. Rather small fish bones are also quite important. In Poland Whitefish is most commonly eaten in smoked form as smoking streghten the characteristic taste of the fish. You can also buy a whitefish from a farm. If we buy smaller pieces we can fry them on a pan or mince them for meatballs. Whitefish is great for those recipes. Out of all fish steak tartare, the tartare from whitefish is probably the tastiest. No other fish served as tartare with egg, onion and sauerkraut is not as tasty. Very good is a baked whitefish with few spoons of butter and garlic, chives, salt and coriander. It tastes great in this way.