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Showing posts from 2017

Summer Canning

Yesterday, I opened a jar of pickled brussel sprouts and carrots that I made a few weeks ago. I don't can often and wish I did more. The satisfying pull of the lid coming off the first time and the whiff of vinegar and garlic should inspire me more. But, I'm lulled into laziness because I always have something put up by my parents in either my fridge or pantry - beets, pickled this or that, jelly, tomatoes, salsa, flavored vinegar. I know I'll greatly miss the benefits of their industriousness when they decide it's too much trouble. 

Both my parents grew up in families that canned and, in that way it seems people of their generation can remember small details of growing up (they actually showed up for their lives as opposed to watching other's live lives on screens 24/7), they lovingly remember specific foods and tastes from specific family members.

My mother, who grew up in Hallettsville, remembers enjoying garlic pickles (spears), sweet and sour pickles (spears), b…

Czech Lemon Meringue Cheese Cake

I own about 350 cookbooks and food books. My maternal grandmother, on the other hand, owned maybe 25, with about 10 of those that she used regularly kept on an accessible kitchen shelf.  She also, however, collected hundreds of recipes from friends and relatives (handwritten by her or them) or clipped from the newspaper, from magazines, or off product packaging.


I've sorted through her various collections of these loose recipes in drawers, stuck into books, and in recipe boxes and categorized the handwritten ones into envelopes labeled things like soups and stews,  bread and rolls, side dishes, etc. One manilla envelope holds a dozen pie recipes, in which I found one for Czech Lemon Meringue Cheese Cake. It's in my grandmother's handwriting, but there are no notes to identify its source. Nor does my mother or one of her sisters remember my grandmother ever making it.

But make it, my mother did, recently for the annual Morkovsky reunion in Hallettsville, Texas. We were lookin…

Vickie Klimitchek's Coffee Cake

On a recent weekend visiting my parents, my son was inspired to bake. Our first opportunity was Sunday morning, so I decided to steer him towards a simple coffee cake using staple ingredients that my parents already had in one of their three pantries. 


The recipe below comes from Vickie Klimitchek, the mother of one of my aunts.Mrs. Klimitchek passed away in 2012 and left quite a few poeple inspired in the kitchen, especially to bake. Her grandson, my cousin Ryan, has proudly mastered her kolaches recipe. And I'm fond of this coffee cake recipe. My parents had it written in their family write-your-own-recipes-down cookbook. It's quick to put together and quick to bake and delicious on a chilly, windy Sunday morning. Some topping stays on top, some sinks down into sticky, sugary, buttery veins of deliciousness.

I remember Mrs. Klimitchek being quick to joke and laugh in her Texas-Czech accent (of those lucky enough to grow up speaking Czech as their first language.) And she was a…