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Showing posts from November, 2011

Making Egg Noodles

I made noodles for the first time. I don't know why I was intimidated by them. They ended up being the easiest thing to make and were so satisfying to eat. (So easy a two-year old and 12-year-old could do it... see photo below.) Many, many times I have had recounted to me the story of a person's mother or grandmother making noodles and the fond memories of seeing the rolled out sheets of dough hanging over the backs of chairs or drying flat on top of a bed.

In their book Krasna Amerika: A Study of the Texas Czechs  1851-1939, Clint Machann and James Mendl wrote "Soup (polevka) was an important part of the noon meal (obed). Rolled-out, paper-thin egg noodle dough, spread on a table or draped over chairs, was a common sight in a Czech home. After drying, the sheet of dough was rolled out and cut into thin strips, to be used in various kinds of noodle soup." (pages 140-141)

I don't remember my grandmother making noodles, but my mother remembers her Aunt Bessie doin…

Picnic Stew Part 1

"In the late summer and autumn what was known as Valachian goulash was cooked - a thin, almost soup-like mutton stew. As the name tells us, this was most popular in Walachia, a mountainous region by the Slovak border. It was cooked in a large cauldron. The so-called goulash parties meant good entertainment. Even today no one would scorn an invitation to a pot of good stew and fine songs accompanied on the harmonica."

The paragraph above was written by Dr. Jaroslav Stika in a draft piece called "Czech Folk Cooking" written for the 1995 Festival of American Folklife, in which the Czech Republic was featured.  Dr. Stika was the former director of the Wallachian Open-Air Museum in Roznov, Moravia, Czech Republic and, unfortunately died last year, so I can't talk with him about what he wrote. However, to me, he is describing the forefather of the picnic stew served at many Texas-Czech church picnics in late summer and autumn, especially in Lavaca and Fayette Countie…