my weekend - in food

It´s nice to be back but I´ve had such a nice weekend! Friday night after my last patient I headed to Halmstad with a can of Coke (I reeeeally needed it!) and a turkey bagel as only company. As it turned out, it wasn´t that bad, in fact I loved the combination of cream cheese, turkey, roast paprika and fresh herbs. I´ve never thought of roast paprika on a sandwich before (OK, don´t kill me :)) but this is something I am going to cultivate frequently in the future.

My mother was waiting for me with stuffed paprika, which I guess is a legacy after a 250 years long Turkish occupation. I´ve never made this dish myself but I usually "order it" when I come down to visit her. I haven´t had time to compare this dish to the Turkish or Greek ones, so I don´t know how close or far away from those it is. The Hungarian version is made on Hungarian white paprikas (of course!) and is stuffed with minced pork, rice, salt, pepper and onions caramelized in lard. The filled paprikas are cooked in salted water and when almost done transferred into a tomato sauce. The latter is made of tomato paste and juice, paprika, celery leaves, carrots, salt, pepper.

Later that evening I visited some old friends and there I had some Swedish cinnamon buns and Hungarian kifli. Well, not only the paprikas, but I was getting really stuffed as well.

Next morning my mother had another "surprise" for me, the Hungarian version of Baba Ganoush. The Turkish legacy, again... of course with Hungarian seasoning. We use salt, pepper, finely chopped red onions, vinegar or lemon juice and touch of sugar. I must admit, probably because I grew up with this, I still prefer this version and I am still not able to season it as my mother does...Her "Baba Ganoush" has got a smoky flavour without being bitter, and mine is either too salty, too sour or just blend. It´s no big deal, I know, but I just can´t get it right.

After the breakfast we went to see the festivities. Lot of people all over the place, of course, lots of activities and entertainment but no food!! The only food-related things I found were the Bosnian stand, where they were offering coffee made of freshly roasted coffee beans. Unfortunately I don´t drink coffee, so I couldn´t try it but this was the first time I saw coffee being roasted this way.

Medieval music, medieval clothes, music and artillery were the theme in and around the castle. We have listened to an ensemble called Mare Balticum, which specializes in different types of music from before 1700, primarily from the countries around the Baltic Sea – the Mare Balticum. Wonderful music, I was standing there with tears in my eyes, as usual, and feeling embarrassed about it, as usual.

We took a break and had a hideous ice cream that tasted all artificial. After walking 4 hours in the city, we just had enough and sat down in the park to have a rest. If I´ve known there will be this scanty food, I would have brought something for a picnic...

Greetings from Halmstad and three women:) The lavenders are in full bloom, the sculpture is a 14m/45ft-high piece in reinforced concrete, "Woman's Head" (1971), created by a Norwegian sculptor on the model of a figure by Picasso; my mom is catching her breath (hmm, or waiting for me to do that...) and that´s me. No, I´m not drunk, believe me, I´m just shy :)

Next day we took a long walk in the forest and gathered some elderflower. Our Bev on posted some info and recipes with elderflower and I wanted to try the fritters, having heard of them but never tried before. Usually I´m too greedy to use up the flowers just like that, and I always want to make cordial in a try to bottle up some summer. These were and interesting but nothing that I would become addicted to :D

Elderflower Fritters served with a dollop yoghurt and honey

Elderflower Fritters

50g plain flour 50g cornflour pinch of Salt 50g Butter, melted 150ml water groundnut oil, for deep-frying 1 egg white 12 heads of elderflower, with the main stalk part cut off caster sugar, for sprinkling icing sugar, for sprinkling

Make the batter for the elderflower fritters a couple of hours before you wish to serve them. In a mixing bowl, sift together the plain flour, cornflour and a pinch of salt. Stir in the melted butter. Gradually whisk in the water forming a smooth, creamy batter then set aside for 2 hours. Heat the groundnut oil for deep-frying in a wok or deep fat fryer. Meanwhile, whisk the egg-white until stiff peaks form and fold into the batter. Dip the elderflower heads into the batter then fry in batches in the hot oil, frying for about 1 minute until golden and crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Mom had other things waiting for me. She baked Hungarian kalács (Hungarian sweet bread). I always get nostalgic when having these and I must have it with milk and "coffee" made of roasted chicory root.

Then she made greaves. I would never make that at home but I love it! It´s great with bread and raw red onions. Very simple and very székely.

My Sunday didn´t turn out quite as I thought as I got two unexpected patients, a friend of my mothers and my friends daughter. I didn´t charge any of them and already the next day I experienced "one hand washes the other" being a very true saying... Just before heading home on Monday, I discovered that my windshield whipers were out of function. First patients husband is a mechanic, so... I was on my way home withing an hour :)

Home sweet home...


Ilana said…
Hi there. Your mom's stuffed peppers look like my mom's golobtsy, which are stuffed cabbage, but the filling and the sauce look very similar. :))

I liked that collage of pictures and the lavender is just beautiful. How on earth did you do that?!

I have a recipe somewhere for elderflower muffins. Shout if you'd like it.

Glad you're back. Sounds like you had a fab weekend with family. :) Always important!

Kelly-Jane said…
Sounds like you had a good weekend, your Mum obvioulsy thinks a lot about how she will look after you when you visit :)

I like the phrase "one hand washes the other" - not heard that before.

I've always wanted to try the fritters too, but I'm not sure where to find unpoluted elderflowers!
Shaun said…
Vonsachsen - It is great to know you got back home safely. Thank you for regaling us with highlights from your weekend away. I have to say that of all the things made, your mum's stuffed paprikas look so divine. Right now, I have a cold, and that looks like the perfect thing to eat and give my tastebuds a good shock! The elderflower fritters look very interesting, and I would have been first in line to try the coffee! This is an informative and interesting post.
vonsachsen said…
Oh, wow, I have to tell my Mom about the interest in her stuffed paprikas, I´m sure she´ll be happy. Often she is a bit nervous because she doesn´t know what to prepare to please her foodie-wannabe-daughter (can you believe it?)
Ilana, collage is made in Microsoft Picture it! program, nothing advanced really... but thanks :) And yes, the lavenders were beautiful, weren´t they?
Elderflower muffins sounds interesting, when you have the time, I´ll be glad if you sent the recipe.

Kelly-Jane, we use this phrase very often in Hungarian (hand washes hand) and I jsut looked it up what that is in English...I hope it´s not totally wrong :D
You could say that something is quite safe to eat if it has grown about 2 km´s from the closest highway. Of course there is the rain and the airplanes and...I won´t go on with this because then there wouldn´t be anything left to eat,really.

Shaun, I´m sorry you have a cold, hope your Mom takes good care of you. Indeed, the stuffed paprikas are a kind of comfort food, not too heavy and flavourful enaugh, why don´t you give it a try? Do you need any approximate amounts or you manage?

Thaks for your kind words, "folks" :)

Ilana said…
Vonsachsen, I found the recipe in Delicious. Post your email address as a comment on my blog, and then I'll email you the recipe and delete your email.

Tea said…
What a lovely weekend! I'm intrigued by your mother's Hugarian Baba Ganoush. I think I might have to try that--it sounds delicious. Thanks.
vonsachsen said…
Tea :) I feel honoured. I´ve been enjoying your blog for several weeks now, it´s so beautifully written!
Thanks for visiting AND commenting my humble site :D

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