Suited to a Tea

Welcome to my tea. Please, have a seat; let me pour you some Lady Grey; one lump or two; cream? ....

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Slovak Staple: A Little Family History Lesson

I recently wanted to get in touch with my "ethnic" roots, and in doing so, I decided I would make a Buchko family's a simple dish of homemade spaetzle with cabbage.  I've made it before with egg noodles, it was good but not like my mom use to make it or how it was served at my hometowns' yearly festival, Fort Lignonier Days, celebrating the historic Fort in our town used during the French and Indian war. So this was the first time I made the the noodles (or dumplings) from scratch.  I really had a lot of fun doing this recipe.

The recipe for the spaetzle is very simple: flour, eggs, milk and salt....there are all kinds of variations to this....

The dough is a little stickier than pancake batter...

You can really see that it has to be very sticky, like above.

Most people have a spaetzle maker, but I don't.  So I did it the traditional way by smearing the dough on a cutting board.  This really determines the size of the dumpling, you can tweak it as you go.

This is a must, in order to get the dough cut, have a bowl of ice handy.  This is for your knife.  Just dip the knife in and the dough comes right off and falls into the pot of boiling water...

Here is the dough partially cut.

After you cut the dough, boil for at least 3-5 minutes.  Or until done.

Out they come! Be sure to drain excess water...

I also dried them further on a paper towel.

Oh sooo yummy, but we aren't finished yet....

Now for the cabbage, I use a whole head and an entire stick of butter.  I throw the cabbage in the pan and cook it till tender.  I like my cabbage a little al dente, not too soft.

Salt and pepper to taste...

Here is a close up of the yummy buttery goodness....just like Fort Days!!

I served this with some kielbasa and brown mustard, a very simple easy weekday meal...typical hunky food...

Bella loved hers,

So did Lizzie, they both cleaned their plates and Bella asked for more!

Later, I couldn't pass this up... I took this picture, Lizzie decided she was going to put a babushka on her head!! You know the Lizzard, whe wanted to look like a princess...

This look is very "old country", kind of like my great grandma Baba...who did actually come here from Slovakia.  Interestingly, both she and my great grandfather, Julius, came through Ellis Island in New York.  When I was a teenager, we took a class trip to NY City and visited Ellis Island.  They have a museum there and also outside is a wall of Immigrants, thousands of names of the immigrants engraved on a marble wall.  I was able to find my Great Grandfather's name.  I have a picture of it, but I can't remember where it was really neat.  I never knew them, they died before I was born.   I actually didn't even know my grand parents ( this is on my father's side-his father's parents).  They too died before I was born.  It's sad to think of that. Oh well, maybe that is why I'm so interested in the history of my family.  Here are some photos of my great grand parents and my dad's parents on their wedding days..

My step-mother, Renee, who is a great lady, decided she would find out a little more about them.  So she put together a scrapbook of all our family history and gave it to each one us; me, my two brothers and my sister for Christmas one year.  Julius Buchko was 15 years Mary Ann (Zdilla) Buchko's senior. (Baba, who wore the babushka, according to my dad.)

Here, we have the wedding photo of Paul Joseph Buchko (my dad's dad) and Naona Rose (Granato) Buchko,  Grandpa Buchko was a World War II veteran who served in the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper, he passed away when he was only 41. My second brother, Nathan, also served with the 82nd and he also jumps out of planes...Naona Rose was only 43 when she passed...I would have loved to have met them. I wonder how Baba and Grandma Buchko made their halushki?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dear LIzzie: The Singing Giggle Princess

Lizzie just amazes me.  You know how it is with small kids, constant chatter boxes; balls of energy that giggle around you, really making life sweet, if we were to just stop and appreciate them. Lizzie is the same singing giggle princess...  she is constantly singing some song or is at my feet asking questions, like: what am I doing, or what is this or that, talking about whatever and asking if I'll play with her.  Finally, after a few minutes of this I finally stop what I am doing and ask her what it is that she needs.  She says that she wants me to put papers in her new care bear folder I gave her yesterday.  It was just the sweetest thing to see that this made her day, made her so happy and has now occupied her.  All she wanted me to do was put blank pieces of drawing paper in her folder so she could draw with it....what a silly kid....the simplest things make her so happy.  Sometimes, like today, I just need to stop what I am doing and listen to her... soon she's going to be grown up and I won't hear the songs of giggle princess anymore... I am so thankful to have this little girl as my eldest daughter. Thank You Lord...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Cup of Joy

Today's Cup of Joy
Today, I have this fresh mint tea sweetened with a touch of honey steeping  in my "travel" mug that says, "me and my coffee (or Tea): a perfect pair...I wanted a large quantity so I can carry it around with me in the house while I'm doing various chores.  Today's chores include; wash sheets and make the beds, finish organizing my movies in our bedroom, work for Preacher, and organize my "craft" cabinet...I've already washed the sheets and made the beds...hopefully I'll get all of these things done today.
Mint tea is one of my favorites.  The aroma is very refreshing and it induces memories of when I was a little girl.  When we lived on a farm (the farm was not was mainly for cattle, hay storage and corn...we just lived in the farm house...) we had huge patches of wild growing mint in our yard.  My mother decided one summer that she was going to make mint jelly with it.  The smell of mint reminds me of that....I think we had mint jelly for years because she made so much of it.  Lamb anyone?
Interestingly,  mint tea is suppose to have some medicinal/health benefits. If you have an upset stomach or heart burn (which at almost 7 months is occurring more often) a cup of tea will help sooth it.  Because of mint tea's fresh aroma, this is used to help in mental focus and alertness, and it also thins mucus and breaks up congestion.  The mint also helps if you have not-so- fresh-breath.