Ambivalent Birthday Celebration.

The problem is, I don’t make cakes, haven’t in about 30 years. I just happen to not like cake. One of the few I do like is a sponge roll with jam, simple and light. I don’t like frosting either. So I went online to find cake recipes, and studied my cookbooks. I chose about eight different types, but none of them really excited me. Then it came to me! I’ll make an Allegretti cake.

Pasta Fridays: Mushroom Cream Sauce

This works with any mushroom type, and the texture is wonderfully smooth and creamy and coats the bigger pasta types beautifully. I had on hand frozen dumplings, portobello caps, and shallots. I boiled the dumplings in chicken stock to plump them up to double their size and thick sliced halved mushrooms. After cooking down the…

Pasta Fridays: Green Pea Sauce with Ricotta and Ham

A new tradition in the making that I’m hoping will prevail. I want to explore the Pasta World! Recipe Marcella Hazan:I substituted a small frozen bag of green peas. Having Italian Food may often amount to no more than that, or to a pizza, or a platter of cold cuts, or a rice and chicken salad….

Transformative Tuesdays

I don’t like, nor do I do well with classroom textbook language studies. Immersion is the best for me, but I can not run away to San Miguel Allende or some quaint beautiful little village to live and learn. So reading both “Love in the time of Cholera’s” simultaneously is my choice for now.

Meditative Mondays. Jan 24 2022

Now I’m slowing down and enjoying the rhythm of creating something with love and intention. I am slowing down so I can appreciate the food before me. The food that grows for me outside, and the food brought to me by the labors of many other souls. To feel the enormity of what actually is behind every ingredient I’m working with. The salt flats, the transport, the farmer and fisherman. The people in the factories. The support network for those people. All the centuries of people who learned and taught how to use herbs and spices.

Csiga

My newest roll is chocolate. “Kakaós Csiga” in Hungarian (Chocolate Snail) Chocolate snail pastry made with bitter cocoa, butter and sugar, is everywhere in Hungary, in other countries as well actually. In Germany its called schnecken! Maybe that’s why Ken likes it. Schielka/Schnecken, it’s a stretch but his ancestry is a Polish/German mix. Legend has…

Cinnamon 4-pack

From now on, I will be making super gooey rolls. I will be amping it up until I get to the point where it’s just too much…maybe when you can go swimming in cinnamon goop? Not sure. Anyway I’m excited about them. And I’m thinking Cinnamon Sundays! Why not?

Finding Recipes

I didn’t have Grandmothers baking and handing down recipes. I didn’t grow up with baking and desserts. I didn’t even taste banana bread until I was married, had a couple kids and made one myself. I didn’t know how to cook when I got married. Luckily, a simple wedding gift of a cookbook, “The American home cookbook” to be exact, helped me to make edible food for my family.

Honey

Who doesn’t love warm bread with a dab of butter and a drizzle of pure natural honey?It just seems natural to add honey to a delicious meal of warm bread, fresh eggs, smoked bacon or kolbasz. It really sweetens up the smoky, salty flavor of the meats.Rich dark roast coffee or espresso with warm bread…

Pastry M.B.A.H.

I personally do not like overly sweet anything, except maybe jelly beans. I like to think of pastry as a meal that’s a little on the sweet side, easy for breakfast or brunch/lunch.
This brings me today, to three basic directions in my Pastry M.B.A.H.
(Pastry made by a Hungarian)

scrambled eggs in zsir

Kereszt Anyu is standing at the stove in her flowered apron, stirring an old ceramic bowl full of eggs with a fork. She picks up the old worn, wooden spoon, sticks it into a can, and with a quick twist, it’s heaping with pale tan, rendered pork lard. The lard is soft and beginning to…

homebound from the bakery

Walking uphill is worse than down, carrying a big package makes it much, much worse, leaning forward to move up the steep incline… well, it was just too much. I picked a bit from the very corner of the loaf. It was one of those normal squarish sandwich white loaves with crust brown corners. It was a long hard climb, and I was getting hungry and that little bit didn’t help much, so I tore off some more, keeping the hole small.

Simple Vegetable Soup “egyszerű zöldségleves”

This is a basic soup my family has made for decades. It’s very paprika forward. Very Hungarian.
It’s simple, nutritious and deceptively full of flavor, in spite of the few humble ingredients.
The key is to add each element at the right time and in the right way. If not, you’ll have a very insipid or bitter soup.
This base vegetable soup lends itself to many variations, all completely delicious.