The wind is howling outside my bedroom window, shrieking round the eaves, tossing tree branches in a wild dance.
It’s been a crazy spring, hot and humid one day, shiveringly cold and pouring rain the next. I’ve never seen our area so lush and green. My hollyhocks and mustard plants are now well over six feet tall, towering above the garden fences looking so pretty as they dance in the wind and late afternoon sunlight.
The past few weeks have been a whirl for me, with scarcely a moment to sit down and catch my breath. They’ve been filled with good things and lovely people and I wouldn’t change a moment, but I’m tired and ready for a rest.
Thankfully, starting tomorrow, I shall have one for a few days.
This week Oma and I finished smoking all the pork and everything is wrapped well in paper and tucked into our freezers for use through the rest of the year. Our massive hanks of prosciutto have been well peppered and salted and are hanging in a dark, cool place for the next 8 months or so. They already smell so good, I can only imagine what they’ll be like when they’re done hanging.
Our pickled red cabbage is done and keeping nice and cold in the fridge to be added to salads, tacos, or eaten straight out of the jar. The sauerkraut isn’t quite finished, but is already so good that we keep pinching mouthfuls from the crock.
Our homemade brews are bottled – absinthe, whiskey, Sambuca, and black raspberry cordial – and the spirits for the cherry brandy are almost ready.
We’re both exhausted from our labors, but we’ve had so much fun. We joke that Oma is the brains of the operation and I’m the brawn. She hands out orders and I hop to it, lifting this, pouring that, fetching sugar and spices and bags of salt, clambering in and out of the smoker as she hands me bacon and speck and pickled pork to hang inside. Bear keeps us well supplied with meat hooks and wire and does all the sharpening of knives and fixing of implements to make our jobs easier. It’s been quite the team operation.
On work days we take turns making lunches and cuppas for each other. I always love when it’s Oma’s turn to make lunch because she teaches me all sorts of Hungarian recipes using homemade pasta, fresh tomatoes, capsicum, onion, and garlic, loads of proper paprika shipped over from Hungary, and her own prosciutto, bacon, and speck.
This week she taught me the beloved Hungarian street food – langos. She said when they would make bread, they’d always set aside a few small pieces of dough to make langos. They’d stretch it out quite thin, making sure it doesn’t tear, then pop it into a hot pan sizzling with oil and garlic. The trick to getting langos crispy on the outside and soft on the inside is not to mess with it. No pressing, no shaking, no mussing about with it while it’s cooking. Just leave it on one side until it puffs up beautifully and is golden brown, then flip it over and leave for another 5 minutes or so.
It’s best eaten hot with any variety of toppings. We ate ours with plain Greek yogurt mixed with fresh dill and salt. Sour cream is the more traditional choice, but the yogurt is just as nice.
I never thought that bread would keep us going all afternoon, but we were both still full by late afternoon. Such delicious, simple, and inexpensive fare. I’m smitten.
What’s your favorite simple lunch? xo