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Showing posts from June, 2010

Klobasniky - You Gotta Do What You Gotta Do

Memorial Day weekend. My sister's new beach house in Galveston. Our whole family sleeping in one place and it's not Christmas. There's the beach to enjoy, HD televisions to watch, there are 7 children to tend between the ages of 8 months and 11 years. There are meals to cook, trips to make to the store for flip-flops and fishing lures, diapers to change, sunscreen to put on, visiting to do, packing and unpacking to do. Somehow my sister and I decide before the trip that we're going to have time to make klobasniky from scratch and bring all the ingredients (my mom even threw her KitchenAid in the car!?)

This says many things about us... we're overambitious, industrious, hopeful, love sausage, enjoy being in the kitchen together, wish we were the kind of women who made klobasniky from scratch, and really do want to stay in touch with our Czech heritage, especially through food. But did it happen? Well... yes and no.

It was clear as the morning unfolded that dragging th…

Interviewing My Grandmother

Things never go the way you think they’ll go. As I was driving down to where my grandmother (D.) lives to interview her with my mother, I was thinking about food cooked by Texas-Czechs and how D’s memories and experience might contribute to what I know about it (and hope everyone knows eventually by writing a book.) And I was thinking, of course, that D is 94 years old (see photo left) and how I should have made this first trip years ago, wondering how much she’d remember; how much she’d be willing to share.

I met my mother at D’s house which is less than a mile away from the nursing home she now lives in. We were both excited about the prospect of interviewing D, but I think not wanting to get our hopes up too high for fear that she wouldn’t really be engaged or just not interested in talking about the past. Our fears were not unfounded as she’s not been that willing to talk about herself in the past (though did reluctantly.) We discussed the things we most wanted to know from D, de…

Eating Her Words

The interview with my grandmother was postponed. One of my aunts had the opportunity to go visit my grandmother and because my mother goes so often, she's happy to give another sibling the chance to visit. (Better than doubling up and then leaving my grandmother un-visited for a weekend.)

So, to tide myself over, I've been looking for recipes of my grandmother's.... clues to what kind of cook she was, what family meals were like, how she made 3 meals a day happen 365 for a husband and 8 children. As a side note, I keep meaning to read the following books, but haven't done it yet. Anyone read them?

A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove: A History of American Women Told through Food, Recipes, and Remembrances ~ Laura SchenoneEat My Words: Reading Women's Lives Through the Cookbooks They Wrote ~ Janet TheophanoBack to my grandmother... I found several of her recipes in a little book published by the Catholic Daughters of America (no publication date,) The recipes do not see…