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Showing posts from July, 2012

Community Cookbooks and Call for Recipes

In my copy of a KJZT cookbook called "Sharing Our Best: Centennial Book of Recipes", a gift from my grandmother, she inscribed it with "To Dawn, my little Czech princess!" I love that she stressed the connection between my ethnic heritage and many of the recipes in the book. As many of you readers know, the KJZT is a fraternal organization begun in the late 19th century by Czechs who'd immigrated to Texas. So many of the recipes in "Sharing Our Best" reflect Czech and Texas-Czech foods. And like most community cookbooks, some of the recipes are just tried and true family favorites, or derivations of popular recipes from magazines or the ubiquitous New Better Homes and Gardens cookbook from the 60s with the red and white checked cover.


I am part of the team that's working on the first community cookbook by the Texas Czech Genealogical Society (TCGS), so have been thinking about these types of cookbooks as I see submissions to the TCGS. Like most, ou…

A Czech Way with Vegetables

I’ve had vegetables on my mind (and in my fridge) lately. It is summer in Texas after all. Last Thursday I got a Greenling delivery. The bright green bin landed on my front porch after work… I did not have to tend a garden or pick the vegetables, but I did have to figure out what to do with them quickly. 
Also, I’ve been looking through a book called “Fertile Ground, Narrow Choices” by Rebecca Sharpless - a book based on oral histories with women, including Czech women,  on Texas cotton farms in the early 20th century.  Sharpless wrote “Attempting to augment their food supplies, those women who could do so grew vegetables, canned fruit, and raised chickens and cows, working to ensure plain but substantial, nutritious meals for their families.”


It made me wonder about exactly how Czechs of my grandmother's or great-grandmother's generation were cooking the vegetables they brought in from their gardens (or home from the grocery store.) I sent an email out to family and Czech frien…