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About...who else... me!

Favorite Foods (then):
Chicken In A Biskit crackers

Favorite Foods (now):
pâté, pad Thai, Pernod and soda, butter,
home baked prune kolaches just out of the oven

Follow me on Twitter! @svacinaproject
Contact me directly - dawnorsak at gmail dot com


  1. Writing story for Today's Catholic newspaper, San Antonio, on Morkovsky films donated to Texas Archive of Moving Image. Sounds like you’re one of the donors. Want to do brief phone interview. Carol Baass Sowa,, 210-734-1688. Part Czech myself – Rainosek.

  2. What a wonderful blog! My family is from Shiner originally. Wishing I had the stew recipes when I was helping Robb Walsh with his book, Texas Eats. Do you have a copy of the Klima's book "Czech Family Cookbook - Cooking with the Klima's" ?He's a doctor here in Houston and their family self published. I alternate between that kolacz recipe and Lisa Fain's (Homesick Texan).


    Jay Francis


    1. Jay - thank you for the comment. I have not seen the Klima's book but would love to! I'll start searching Amazon and used book stores. Your comment came just in time as I'm working on a post about community cookbooks. I'll have to search out the Homesick Texan's recipe, too - I'm always testing kolach recipes. Thanks for reading!

  3. I am going to have so much fun going to the different Czech Catholic Sunday picnics this year along the I-10 corridor as I document with video and still camera the fried chicken picnics. I have a fairly up to date calendar on my blog site of the towns and when they'll be having their picnics. Maybe we'll see you there. - Regards, Jay Francis

  4. Me, too, Jay! And thanks for the picnic calendar. Very useful in planning my summer!


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Popular posts from this blog

Buchta with Nuts and Raisins

In his photo book Journeys into Czech Moravian Texas, author Sean N. Gallup wrote a few paragraphs about food in contemporary Texas- Czech culture. During his fieldwork, he observed "Other Texas-Czech pastries [besides kolaches] include klobasniky.... and buchta, a larger fruit filled loaf.... " (Texas A&M University Press, 1998).

Though my grandmother made an apricot buchta (or she just called it a roll), more common buchty might be poppyseed or cream cheese. Less common seems to be the buchta I've made filled with nuts and raisins. The Czech word "buchta" doesn't seem to be surviving as well as the word "kolach" either, for though Gallup mentions it third in a list of common Texas Czech pastries, I've found it almost impossible to find a recipe in a community cookbook that actually uses the word buchta. Instead, I find recipes for "rolls".  Still, Westfest actually has a buchta category in it's annual baking contest. And po…

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…


Vánočka (braided Czech yeast bread made for Christmas) may be one of the least changed recipes in it’s 140 plus years in Texas. In fact, I found one recipe in the K.J.T. Centennial Cookbook of 1989 (included in both English and Czech) that states the recipe is over 100 years old (“Vanocka – Czech Christmas Twist” by Ella Orsak Evanicky, who wrote that she made the bread just like her mother, who died in 1949, did.) The vánočka I made this year looked exactly like that of a friend’s mother who immigrated from the Czech Republic with great knowledge of traditional baking and exactly like a picture in cookbook I bought in the Czech Republic called “Czech Cookery” by Slovart Publishing, 2000. Even the recipes I found in Czech-American cookbooks from Iowa mirror those I found in Texas Czech community cookbooks and the few English language Czech cookbooks I have. Interestingly the four cookbooks I have in Czech specifically from the Valašsko region of Moravia, from where so many Texas Czech…