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Showing posts from June, 2018

Cucumber and Tomato Salad

My summer-in-Texas food memories are chock full of homemade ice cream, devilled eggs, barbecued chicken and pinto beans, popsicles, potato salad, Dr. Pepper, peach pie, grilled vegetables, homemade sausage, and cucumber and tomato salad, among other tasty things. These dishes were consumed at chili cook-offs, family reunions, 4th of July get-togethers, siblings’ summer birthdays, and church picnics. I was inspired to make the cucumber and tomato salad this week after buying cucumbers at the community grocery store called Hoffer’s, in Hallettsville, and a friend gifting me with a large orangey-red Sungold Medley tomato from Austin’s Farm to Table company. Many stalls at my local Sunset Valley Farmer’s Market also had cucumbers and tomatoes on offer this morning. I love the vibrant colors of the dish, the spicy raw onion and crisp cucumbers, and the bright flavors that are so dependent on the summer Texas sun. 

I think of the salad as a Texas Czech thing. "Salad" in the Czech …

Soup Swap/ In Praise of Teachers

Last month, at the end of my son's third grade year, parents were asked to bring soup one day for teachers to swap and take home. I looked through the list of soups people had already committed to bringing, wanting to do something different, and decided on Czech Lentil Soup (recipe below).

At the same time, for months now actually, I've been working on illustrating and self publishing my great grandfather's memoirs--that is, illustrated with photographs and personal papers of his that I've scanned. (Link below to purchase it, if you're inclined.) He was a schoolteacher in Fayette and Lavaca Counties in Texas from the mid 1890s into the 1950s. His personal papers and memoirs are a rich trove of information about Texas rural schools in the early 20th century and the Czech community at the time. From student attendance rolls to his work contracts with trustees to poems written out for students to copy for practicing handwriting, he saved an amazing number of historical…