coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, December 22, 2023

Eating our way towards tolerance.

I'm baking, but not cookies. Nope, NOT making cookies. I made a couple loaves of braided cheese and onion bread, and I just finished rolling up some Hungarian kolache. I am waiting for it to proof. 

Kolache shouldn't be confused with Polish kolacky, those are cookies. A kolache is a sweet bread filled with sweetened ground walnuts (or poppyseeds). It is rolled like a Swiss roll, but a Swiss roll is made out of sponge cake. Kolache has an odd yeasted dough almost like an enriched pie crust with milk, sugar and egg yolks added. A number of Eastern European countries seem to have a version of it with a different name.  

I am also marinading beef for Sauerbraten, which Tom and I will eat Christmas evening with spaetzle and red cabbage on the side. Our dinner is long after our daughter's family goes home on Christmas day. They come at noon for a good old Southern brunch with eggs, bacon, biscuits and sausage gravy.  

Last night we ate at our favorite Mexican restaurant. 

This is America. The great melting pot starts in the kitchen.

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Love Gifts

When I was a young wife and mother, my grandmother was poor as a church mouse, but she once slipped me $20 so my cranky grandpa couldn't see. She whispered that it was a love gift. Times were hard. I needed that $20 as much as I needed her love. That loving sacrifice made an impression.

Independent of being a mother and a grandmother, I am a doting aunt and great-aunt, and by the grace of a random universe, we are also great-grandparents. 

Last year I mailed 6 packages to our young great-grand children, great-nieces and nephews. I actually used a hand truck dolly to carry them all in to the post office. This year I only have three to mail, because I ordered some presents to be delivered directly to a few young children in our lives. 

None of our presents are expensive. Young children don't judge presents based on money spent. They get excited to get a package in the mail. I simply want these children to grow up knowing they have two old farts living in Florida who love them. 

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

A St. Nicholas Day dream.

Last night I dreamt I was going someplace with a friend. I stood outside by the car waiting for her to come out of the house. She walked out and I heard her say, “Go away!” to something I couldn't see. Then, from around the back of the house, a decorated bull with large horns came rushing towards me. It hit me in the chest, and everything went black. I woke up. 

But get this, it was decorated like a Hindu sacred cow. The only thing it had in mind was to slam into my chest. Why? If it was real I would say it is simply a bull's nature. However, it was a dream, and I'm of the opinion dreams are our unconscious mind trying to tell us something super freaking obscure.

Today is December 6th, St. Nicholas Day. As a child, I put my shoes by the front door the night before, and lo and behold they were filled with candy, nuts, and fruit the next morning. St. Nicholas had visited our house while we slept!

My mother's grandparents were from Lorraine, France. This is a tradition that has been maintained in my family. St. Nicholas is the patron saint of Lorraine, and popular in Germany and Austria. 

Krampus is part of that medieval tradition, too. He is a companion of St. Nicholas. They represent a duality, good and evil. Good behavior is rewarded, and bad behavior is punished. Very effective message.

Because I have both a ridiculous sense of humor and a wild imagination, I think I was visited by Krampus last night. Darn!