Recipes, Sweets/desserts

Longing for a full cookie jar: my grandmother’s two-coloured biscuits

2017-02-16

two-coloured biscuits from the Taste of Memories country kitchenDelicious home-made biscuit. A good one. Crunchy, friable with chocolate or vanilla flavour. Or both. I can grab it to the afternoon tea or the morning coffee. I can put it into the beautiful glass jar that we have on the top of our kitchen cupboard so we can take sometimes one piece out of it. Or maybe two. Theoretically it can last long but not in our house, where these biscuits mysteriously disappear very quickly so I rarely have the chance to even put them in the jar. I could say that Áron is exclusively responsible for the disappearance but I should be honest in my own blog. So I confess, I am an accomplice in that business.
First I try a recipe from an old cookbook. It is not like I expected, it is rather average than special. I once again realise that it has a reason why my grandmothers have written down certain recipes into their notebooks. After the first test I don’t want to risk any more. There is a biscuit that appears in the recipe booklets of both of my grandmother’s under the name “biscuit for New Year’s Eve”, which is a good sign, and actually we can have a reason to celebrate the New Year today as well.
My Swabian grandmother didn’t bake very often. Maybe the reason was that she didn’t like sweets so much. However I could be sure, that she will have these two-colour biscuits sticked together with apricot jam in a metal box in her pantry. In her recipe booklet she is writing with her typical italic handwriting that two biscuits can be sticked together with marmalade or chocolate cream. Since my boyfriend, Áron is passionate about chocolate I will use chocolate cream, no question about it. I don’t find any recipes for that but fortunately I have a wonderful butter cream recipe from Spain from the time I used to work as a pastry cook. So everything is prepared for my desired full cookie jar. Continue Reading…

Main courses, Recipes

A dish from that you can never have enough: beef pörkölt

2017-02-09

beef pörkölt from the Taste of Memories country kitchenI am standing at our front door- the only place in our house where is mobile phone coverage- and I am listening to my grandmother who is explaining how she cooks pörkölt, the traditional Hungarian dish that everybody knows and who tried once, most probably will never forget. Mami always loved cooking and you get already hungary only because of the way she talks about it. After that conversation there was no question what I am going to cook in this week’s blog post, and whose recipe I am going to share. Anyway: can you imagine anything that is more soul warming, than a pörkölt, with tender meat bites, thick sauce which the perfect combination and concentrated taste of onion, pepper and tomato? Continue Reading…

Celebration, Recipes, Sweets/desserts

The world in monochrome and colour: forgácsfánk

2017-02-02

forgácsfánk from the Taste of Memories country kitchenWho else is thinking more often of spring as I am doing? This year winter is so cold and resistant without any warm wave, especially here, in the Bakony mountain and the last weeks we cannot enjoy the sunshine either. Frostwork appeared on our windowpanes and if I don’t cook, there is only 13 °C in the kitchen. I must say it is not really comfortable temperature for sitting around, but a neat Swabian person- as we are and want to be- shouldn’t rest but always keep on doing something. My best friends are currently my knitted cardigans and warm socks, I pull my cap until my eyebrows and choose carefully the warmest gloves when I take my dog for a walk. There is an old Swabian proverb: “Wenn man die Faschingskrapfen auf der Gasse isst, isst man die Ostereier hinter dem Ofen”, which means if you eat the carnival doughnuts on the street, you will eat Eastern eggs next to the stove. So if this old proverb is true, I need to keep the finger crossed for really cold Carnival Sunday, so I have a chance to eat Easter eggs next to the blooming daffodils, sitting on my favourite spot in the garden, on the stairs at our front door. Continue Reading…

Recipes, Snacks, When guests are coming...

Moodbooster on an imperfect day: túrós pogácsa

2017-01-26

túrós pogácsa, savoury scones with cottage cheese from the Taste of Memories country kitchenThere are days when everything seem to go wrong. I don’t succeed to finish and important work, I am going past the deadline and everything falls out of my hand. I even step on a slippery spot in the garden and after a short alternative ice-skating performance I end up lying on my car’s bonnet.
A recipe that I wanted to try from an old cookbook turns out to be a disaster. I get ready in a big hurry for the concert that we have been planning since months so I forget my cap and gloves at home. I am walking by Áron’s side to the concert hall shivering, while trying to act like I won’t feel cold at all. These are the moments when everything seems to be hopeless, first of all: me. Continue Reading…

Recipes, Sweets/desserts

Celebrating the 1st birthsday of Taste of Memories: cocoa cake with pear compote

2017-01-19

I wake up in the middle of the night and remember I was dreaming taking pictures of pears. I jump out of bed and make sketches about the composition which appeared in my dream so I won’t forget until morning, but I get so excited about it that I cannot go back to sleep.

cocoa cake with pear compote from the Taste of Memories country kitchenPears that we collected in autumn are waiting in crates for me to cook or bake something with them. I revive fire in the tile stove, and watch the flames while thinking about recipes with pears. It is 1.30 am. Continue Reading…

Recipes, Sweets/desserts

Some sweet for really cold winter days: kókuszkocka

2017-01-12

kókuszkocka (the Hungarian lamington) from the Taste of Memories country kitchenOnce I was working in an artisanal bakery in Spain, one day my boss, Maria prepared a cake with chocolate and coconut. “This is our kókuszkocka!”- I said surprised when she was ready with it than she looked at me with the same surprise on her face. “No, actually it is an Australian cake called lamington”. It was the moment when I realised that somehow this cake dipped into chocolate sauce and rolled into coconut can be traditional in two completely different parts of the world, however in Hungary we use a dough made with honey instead of sponge cake as a base. Continue Reading…

Main courses, Recipes

A bowl of soul-warming lentil stew

2017-01-05

lentil stew from the Taste of Memories country kitchenAt New Year’s Eve I think if I could have a wish, I would ask for as many joyful moments in 2017 as many I could be grateful for in 2016. I think about the moments when I cooked and baked, photographed and tasted. The time spent in the garden that taught me something new every month and I know that this is only the beginning. The community we are living in which is an unlimited source of stories about the village, life and people. I am grateful to be able to get a brand new year, like a blank page which is waiting for to be filled with plans, things to do and dreams to fulfil. Time is the greatest present we can get especially if we don’t forget that moments are possibilities for us to make them unrepeatable. Continue Reading…

Drinks, Recipes

Punch for New Year’s Eve based on a recipe from the 1930’s

2016-12-29

New Year’s punch based on a recipe from the 1930’s I admire our grandmothers for their lives, for their memories and for that evident wisdom and knowledge regarding all fields of life. I could never ask anything that my grandmother couldn’t answer. Sometimes it seems that she could lived her life more fully than me, but maybe it is just the 50 years difference in age that we have between us.
After the “Getting ready for Christmas” series when I baked so many cakes and cookies I wanted to make something completely different for you for New Year’s Eve. I was looking for inspiration in an old cookbook when I found a recipe of a drink which was created specially for that occasion. “Punch for New Year’s Eve” – so is called the alcoholic drink from the cookbook from the 1930’s and after reading the recipe I immediately feel like trying it. Continue Reading…

Celebration, Recipes, Sweets/desserts

Getting prepared for Christmas Vol.4: rococo cake

2016-12-22

rococo cake from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen Last year at Christmas we were sitting at the dining table, taking one slice after the other one from the rococo cake and analysing it with a worried and thoughtful look on our faces.
“I think grandma cut the dough into four parts not three”- says my sister.
“But the cream was exactly enough for three…”- I answer.
“But it used to be higher”
“The sponge cake didn’t rise properly. I think I made a mistake when I wrote down the recipe and added to much cocoa powder.”
“It is not wider than the plate though… it is mysterious…”
“It used to be slightly softer I think”- adds my father.
“I think it could have needed more time to rest in the fridge”- I answer sadly and take another bite from the “similar-but-not-the same” cake, as a consolation.
That happens, when someone loses a loved family member and tries to reproduce her speciality. I could be sure in my whole life, that there will be rococo cake at Christmas, because my grandmother baked this wonderful, creamy walnut cake for every bigger occasions and took it to the family lunch. She is not with us any more since three years, and now my sister and I have to take the responsibility to continue the tradition. However we both were at her side once when she baked it, we were too young to really take attention to details. So now we have three , not really precise and detailed recipes- my sister has one, I have my notes I have taken, and my grandmother’s handwritten recipe- and some unclear memories. We have at least one starting point: the porcelain cake dish from Herend, which lost one of its handles in an accident. Continue Reading…

Celebration, Recipes, Sweets/desserts

Getting prepared for Christmas Vol.3: Christmas linzer cookies

2016-12-15

Christmas linzer cookies from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchenIn my family we cannot imagine Christmas without Christmas linzer. If you have known me for a while, you know that around Christmas I start baking these wonderful cookies which last long so they are perfect for holidays. My mother bakes it every year as well so at Christmas we exchange boxes of our own versions and although we use the same recipe they are always slightly different.
For me it is not only a tradition but the cookie of holiday breakfasts. In those cople of days after the 24th of December the world slows down, even big cities stop vibrating. You can only see a few cars on the roads, those ones, who are heading from home to a family member. This is the time of the year when we all stop for a little while, we rest and more importantly eat. Especially in Hungary. I love Christmas mornings. We don’t need to get up early, there are no long “to do” lists, as usually I have even for weekends. We don’t need to do anything, just BE. It doesn’t matter if it is snowing or not, if it is cold and dark or sunny and warm. We are happy for that what we have. We can take a tray with a cup of hot tea and Christmas linzer cookies to bed, and spend the whole morning reading under the warm blanket. Continue Reading…

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