It was an ordinary afternoon when I was picking up my son from his grandparents’ house last week. Usually I have coffee with my parents and discuss the joys and sorrows of life. My dad loves antiques and he is crazy about history, and I love to task him with finding me different items from the past. We were talking about antique cookbooks and I was complaining how expensive they are. He showed me few of his cookbooks which date back to the 1800s, explaining who used this or that book, or where and when he bought it. A few times he mentioned his great-aunt who was a housewife and cook in Budapest. She worked also for Kalman Mikszath, who was a famous Hungarian writer, journalist and politician. Then he pulled out a big pile of handwritten recipes, saying: “these are her recipes”. My jaw dropped. Who cares about the old books of unknown people when we have recipes directly from our family? My dad is like that. Continue reading
If you visit Central Europe, you are almost certain to come across one of the few symbols from the socialist era that remains beloved today: the Little Mole, known variously as Krtek, Krtko, Kisvakond, Krecik or die Maulwurf. Our kids love to watch Little Mole cartoons on YouTube, and since the vast majority of them are short, sweet, and dialogue-free, they’re OK with me too. (There are a few peculiar exceptions that I generally don’t show the children.) The mole and his friends have fully embraced capitalism and now are emblazoned on t-shirts, toys, games and books, and are part of the wave of fashionable nostalgia that hit this region a few years ago.