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Showing posts from September, 2011

Sts. Cyril and Methodius Slavic Fest

I spent 3 hours at the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Slavic Festival in Houston last Sunday with my parents, sister, son, and nieces. The event is one of the oldest ethnic festivals in the state and this was its 48th year. I even have a family connection to it, though I'd never attended before. My great uncle, Bishop John Morkovsky, who was the Catholic Bishop of the Houston diocese for much of the 1970s and 80s, apparently was an integral part of the festival for decades. Though he didn't start the event, he gave a sermon in Czech at the very first one in 1963 and then did so from then on. The festival's printed program has a little tribute to him and says "He enjoyed all kinds of good food, and whenever you would ask him if he was on any kind of special diet, he would always reply: "Oh yes, I can only eat food."

Who are the Slavs, you ask?... Croatians, Ukrainians, Poles, Slovenes, Russians, Belarusians, Serbs, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, and, of co…

Kolaches... the Good, the Bad, and the Unidentifiable

Tasting 19 different kolaches in a two hour period will either broaden your horizons or solidify your personal opinions. I got the opportunity to test mine about what characteristics make a good kolach last weekend when I was a judge at the Caldwell Kolache Festival. I got a new perspective on why places like Lone Star Kolaches are popular. And I realized that the choice of kolach recipes that will go into my cookbook (and the kolach's history) is more complicated than I originally thought. The working title of the cookbook is now The Foods of Texas-Czechs... boring, but descriptive, so I'm anticipating some kind of snappy subheading, like Beyond Kolaches, Sausage and Sauerkraut or  Recipes and Traditions from Kolach Bakers, Sausage Makers, Gardeners and Grandmothers. I'll take suggestions if you're inspired.

Two things got me especially excited about being a judge at the festival and both were from the emailed invitation I received from the Burleson County Extension …