Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hello are you coming or going, it doesn't matter in HUngarian!

I am sitting here on the balcony looking over the 'blue' Danube. The river which separates Buda  from Pest is calm and it is relaxing to watch the sun slowly set . I am very happy to live here.

 When I first came to Budapest I was fascinated by all things foreign. I would spend hours every day walking around and listening to the language, going into little stores, looking at the merchandise but always with one of those free little maps you can get at the hotels. During these walks a least 5 people would stop me and ask in very broken English if I needed help. I would, in the early days, clutch my purse tighter and say 'nem koszonom' and quickly move on . Then as I realized they were not going to rob me but were really offering help, they had seen the map in my hand , I relaxed.  I would answer these kind people in Hungarian and thank them . They then asked where I was from and we had a little conversation .  They were as interested in me as I in them . But it was not too long that I realized that they were interested but that they were also practicing their English on me. OK my Hungarian was not the best but in all cases it was better than their English. Even today 8 years of being here and speaking Hungarian fluently  the minute I open my mouth if a Hungarian person knows one word in English they will speak English OR if they think I am German they try out their German on me. Of course my husband thinks this is hilarious.

One year we went down to Hevis , the largest middle European mineral hot water lake, it is about 2 hours from Budapest at the end of the Balaton.  A beautiful place with wonderful mud for arthritis and rheumatism and a large warm water lake that is swim-able all year round . Worth while checking out .Anyway  we were checking into the hotel and  I was speaking to the receptionist in Hungarian when she asked me where I was from . I naturally said "Budapest" . My husband burst out laughing he knew what she meant. I should have answered Toronto. That is how strongly I feel about being a Hungarian , I have all but forgotten Canada.

The one thing in the language  I can not understand, try as I might, is the word "Hello".
This is NOT a Hungarian word but the Hungarians have taken this word and used it for a word when you  leave the person ! This is forever confusing to me . How many times have I just stood there and stared when I say "Szia- bye" and the person leaving  says Hello! Or on the phone I say 'jo napot, hello' ( I say this in both languages in case the caller is not English)  and there is silence on the other end, to them I have ended the conversation!   The first lesson I give my English students is the correct interpretation of the word Hello.

Today I decided to make breaded chicken for my husband and with it he will get a sour cream Waldorf salad.  This is a salad that is eaten with fried food here in Hungary and is one of my husbands favorite foods.
I will make a bbqued chicken breast for myself, marinating the breast in bbq sauce and lemon and then grilling it to perfection . Much lower in calories then fried chicken. But just about the only way I can get my husband to eat chicken is by frying it .

 Ingredients: for 2 persons

2 potatoes
1 carrot
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 peeled apple cut into cubes.
1 tbs sour cream
1 tbs mayonnaise with 1 squirt of lemon
1 very small onion halved

The whole potatoes should be boiled , peeled and cooled. Cut the carrots up and boil them . Place the frozen peas in a dish and without water let them thaw out .

When the potatoes are cool cut them up unto little cubes and add them to the cooled carrots. The peas should be thawed out and added to this . Never use canned peas as they really become mush when you stir with all the other items . Frozen uncooked peas are perfect when they thaw out .

They taste as a pea should.

Add the apples and onions and mix this together. Now add 1tbs of sour cream , 1tbs of mayonnaise and lemon and 1 teaspoon of sugar , mix well and place in the fridge for a bit for the flavors to mix.. You can also substitute yogurt for part of this .

This is a type of Waldorf salad. Actually you can add almost anything to this and is very easy to put together.
The original Waldorf salad originated  at the Waldorf Hotel in New York City in 1890. That salad had apples  and celery and mayonnaise.
In Hungary this salad usually contains carrots , peas and potatoes in combination with apples. And this being Hungary you use sour cream also. I also add a tiny bit of onion just to give it a bit of bite otherwise I find it bland. I will say I have never seen this salad with corn , thank heavens!

 I made a bbq chicken breast for myself.
This salad is good with any type of meat and can also be eaten alone . It can be quickly made and is vegetarian, it is the perfect side dish on a hot day.

When I was growing as a good Hungarian girl in Toronto we never ate corn as my parents said that corn was only feed to the animals in Hungary and was not for humans to eat. There is some truth to that as our digestive system can not digest corn . Initially when we were vegetable eaters our digestive track was longer and out teeth different but we evolved as we became meat eats and so corn is something that goes tru us and is not digested.
this is an interesting article about this for those who are interested.

ok back to the salad....I often get sidetracked.
The salad has to be in the fridge for a bit to allow the flavors to mix.  Once everything has cooled down we can set the table and enjoy this cold meal.
Cold fried and bbq'd chicken and special home made Waldorf salad. Perhaps a spritzer would go well with this .
And for dessert wonderful home made chocolate chip cookies. I will be making them again the end of this week and post them . These cookies are amazingly good and as you can not find homemade cookies here I get a lot of praise for my cookies. The recipe comes from the New York Times and comes out perfectly every time I make it . So stay tuned and you too can wow your friends.

The fruit for the dessert will be strawberries and grapes in a salad. These two are in season now and are great with the cookies.

I am setting the table and I realize that there is a full moon tonight.
 I would love to get a close up of the moon but my camera can not , however it is great to see the moon as the night is so clear.
 So we sit outside and watch the moon and the lights come on and we are thankful for  another warm evening . I do not know how many more we will have. But the bees have left.....do they know something we don't? 

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