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…

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…

Homecoming

After the iron curtain was lifted, and travel was allowed, my parents took me back to Hungary. They wanted to reunite me with my family, and with my birthplace, before too much time had elapsed.
As the airplane neared the ground, I saw the red tiled village rooftops, so many blocks of planted fruits and vegetables, white spots of geese, sunflower fields, paprika fields, so many patches of beautiful colors. A mad quilt of many shades and hues.

For an orange

My father’s family lived in a small village southeast of the city, an area known primarily for paprika growing. It’s where I began also, until my birth which took us to Budapest for the big event, then back to Szabadszallas. During the Hungarian uprising after World War two, my father made the decision to leave…

LECSÓ

First I smell the bacon slowly frying with half rounds of sliced onion, pale yellow, almost white Hungarian peppers, and rich red tomato from the garden. When the meat was just cooked, the onions and peppers just wilted, he slipped the half rounds of tomato and cracked a few fresh eggs on top, making little spaces where the egg whites would run and cook evenly. When it was cooked, he served it with a thick slice of toast and warm tea with lemon in it.

“Nokedli”

Hungarian egg pasta dumplings. Handmade, cut from loose batter into boiling water. Simple ingredients: Flour, eggs, salt. That’s it. But like any pasta, it takes elbow grease, time and a desire to make and clean up a huge mess.

Capsicum Adventure

Aji’s, chili’s, paprika’s, peppers, officially, “Capsicums” are my new obsession. They’re just too beautiful, so many shapes, sizes, and colors, not to mention flavors within the species. I’ve grown some sweet non-bell types but super-hots I’m afraid of after managing to mishandle the golden habanero twenty years ago, the pain memory has kept me away…