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Showing posts from April, 2012

Corn Meal Mush

Recently Addie Broyles, food writer for the Austin American-Statesman, did a blog post for the Austin Food Blogger Alliance (AFBA) to inspire members to submit recipes to the first AFBA community cookbook. She used a Texas-Czech community cookbook from a neighbor as an example- Czech Reflections: Recipes, Memories and History - and wrote in her post “Community cookbooks like this one capture so many things about a society, including aspirational and traditional dishes that people might not actually cook any more but that are important to understanding how we came to eat the way we do now.” Addie’s post is a nice tribute to the book and, what I’m sure was, very hard work that went into creating it.
The post prompted me to pull out my copy of the book and look through it for recipes to test, including what I think is a perfect representation of Addie’s quote… corn meal mush. I assume this dish was made mostly by rural Texas Czechs and those of slim means (and most likely rural people of…

Potato Soup (Bramborova Polevka)

Potato soup doesn’t sound very Spring-like, but that’s my latest recipe test. A couple of factors bear down heavily on how often I test recipes and what I try… 1) feeding my family (with two boys) and 2) health concerns. If I feel like I’ve had a week where I didn’t eat enough salads and vegetables, then it’s hard for me to justify to myself testing dishes heavy with meat, cream, butter. And if my 13-year-old is with me for the week, my menu becomes even more limited because he’s such a picky eater.

But he actually loves potato soup, so a weeknight dinner became an opportunity to test a recipe, too. I have at least a dozen recipes in community and other Texas cookbooks for variations of this creamy soup, but I ended up trying the one below because I had (or could fudge) all the ingredients on hand. How Czech is it? I don’t know, but Janak is certainly a Czech last name (the recipe contributor), so I decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. Here it is copied straight out of the book…