I have this friend - YES, she knows I'm a Dork and still, you know, let's me hang with her - who takes it upon herself to remind my children, to remind me, not to forget...you know...things like, an upcoming class party, or when they should NOT come to school...like, tomorrow...and Friday...Monday, too...I think...because, there isn't any...school, I mean...and they'd be the only ones there and other stuff.
"Don't forget about Saturday!"
I'm sure she didn't notice the extremely blank look on my face, since she wasn't talking to me, as she continued keeping my 8-year-old son up-to-date about his busy weekend.
"Okay, I think mommy has it on the calendar...thanks, M.J.!"
Oh, it doesn't bother me in the least - although, a couple of years ago her concern about my organizational skills, or lack thereof, would have probably kept me up at night and had me avoiding her for days after - she knows, that I know, after all these years of raising kids and killer dust bunnies, there's just not much space left upstairs.
Brain cells are at a premium, people!
So, where am I going with this...um...well, I can't remember...give me a moment...oh, yeah...let's talk goulash!
Well, then perhaps you'd be interested to learn that my parents are Hungarian and that my twin brother and I are actually the first generation to be born here in America! We grew up eating, drinking, and breathing in the delicious aromas of my mother's and grandmother's cooking and believe that - especially, now that it's FINALLY started getting a bit nippley here in Jersey - there's nothing better than a big old steaming bowl of Gulyás soup on a cold day.
I bet you thought it was a beefy sort of stew served over noodles, yes?
Well, Amber's husband Len did and so did Donna's husband - I've since set them straight, the poor misinformed things - that red gravy-laden stew served over noodles (or, dumplings) is actually called Pörkölt and can be prepared using beef, veal, lamb and chicken.
So, I promised them the recipe...um...a while ago...and would love to share it here, with you all.
But, not before announcing the winner of the Bloggy Giveaway from...uh...has it been a week, already!?!
We put all the names of the wonderful people who stopped by and left a comment in a hat - you know I love you, right - and had Mini-Me draw the lucky winner.
My parents returned from a 5 week trip to Hungary, in October, and - in memory of the men, women and children who lost their lives during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956 - I am proudly giving away a beautiful handmade linen table runner, they brought back from my mother's village of Mosonmagyarovar, Hungary.
Congratulations, Gretchen - I didn't forget, see Sharon - and please accept our gift as a small token of my appreciation and friendship.
And now, our recipe for Gulyás:
Gulyas Leves (Hungarian Goulash)
1 large onion (diced)
3 carrots (chopped)
2 parsley root (diced)
3-4 potatoes (cubed)
2 green peppers (diced)
1-2 tomatoes (diced)
1-2 lbs. stew beef (cubed)
6 cups hot water
2 tsp. paprika
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. salt (add more to taste)
black pepper (to taste)
1-3 bay leaves
3 TBS. canola oil
1 tsp. caraway seeds steeped in water.
1. Heat oil in large stock pot, saute onion for 3-5 minutes.
2. Add the chopped meat and stir until well browned.
3. Stir in chopped onion, carrots, parsley root, green peppers and garlic, heat for 3-5 minutes.
4. Stir in tomatoes.
5. Add water, paprika, salt, black pepper, bay leaf, parsley and bring to boil.
6. Steep caraway seeds in a 1 cup of boiling water, strain caraway tea into soup.
[Note: My family prefers adding the caraway tea, rather than putting the seeds directly to the soup.]
7. Turn to low heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
8. Add potatoes and simmer until potatoes and meat are well cooked.
9. Add Csipetke (Chee-pet-keh) to simmering soup.
Csipetke (pinched pasta)
1 large egg, at room temperature
3/4 all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon water
1. Add flour to bowl, making a well (with your fingers) in the middle of the flour.
2. Add the egg, salt and water, mixing until well combined.
3. You're going to have to use your hands and squeeze the dough together. Dough will look coarse.
4. Turn out onto floured table; knead until smooth.
5. Using forefinger and thumb, pinch off small bits of dough - add to simmering soup to cook.
Phew, there ya' go - the real deal - and if you're STILL here...well...I'll love you until the day I d'ugh...um...stop remembering my name!
[knocking on wood until knuckles bleed]
Did I mention we're a superstitious lot!?!?