Do certain foods bring back memories for you? I am on my way to a gastronomic journey back in time.
My mother's side of the family is from Slovakia. My grandmother was always cooking and everything she cooked was awesome! It was good home cooking with a Slovak twist. She usually had a pot of chicken soup with homemade dumplings going on the stove. Stuffed cabbage, which she called pigs in the blanket, was one of my favorites as well. She made the best chicken paprikash, which has become one of our family's favorite comfort foods during the winter, YUM! The best thing she ever made for us, and everyone within a 10 mile radius, was kolache.
My grandmother would make these delicious nut filled or poppyseed filled pastries and mail them to us wherever we lived. One of my childhood's fondest memories was getting a package from grandma and finding kolache and kifli (small cookies made with the same but sweeter pastry and nut filling) and assorted other goodies grandma deemed suitable for her grandchildren.
TJ and I are going on our next big adventure and it is to Budapest. As I have been doing research for our trip I have noticed that the food in Hungary has a distinct Slovak influence. I will only be 2 hours by train from Bratislava, where my mother's family is originally from, and am seriously contemplating a day trip. When will I ever have that opportunity again? Back to the subject at hand, the food is making me think of grandma! I can't wait to order chicken paprikash and stuffed cabbage (which I might resemble when I finish all the eating I am planning to do)and to find my first kolache and to taste homemade dumplings! It will be like a giant hug from grandma.
I am wondering if hearing the language will remind me of my grandmother sitting at her little telephone table chatting in Slovakian to her lady friends.
One thing I am not looking forward to is the endless flight from Houston to Budapest. 12+ hours which will be spent catching up on movies in a Tylenol PM induced fog and trying to get at least 6 hours of sleep and not go completely stir crazy while shifting constantly in an effort to find a comfortable position. No full size fold out bed/seat pod with room service for these budget travelers. Nope, we plan to spend our money on FOOD and wine!