Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Warning for those who have aversions to bugs and critters: There are two pictures of spiders in this post. Beware. :-)

Given the opportunity to go mushrooming with two good friends from Kecskemét I was ecstatic. I've done a bit of hunting in the surrounding area for different mushrooms including different varieties of morels and other locally distinctive mushrooms, but being fall after a lot of rain and then some really good sun it was prime parasol mushroom season! So we headed due east for about 15 km outside of town and arrived to some nice patches of grassy forests.

A patch of parasol mushrooms

Our catch after 5 minutes!

These guys were everywhere and they were doing good business!

Hunting for these mushrooms was a breeze as they were everywhere and almost all in very good condition. We just tried to avoid all of the spider webs which turned our walk through the trees into a maze. Our timing couldn't have been more perfect as we saw only a few over-the-hill mushrooms; most were in their prime!

Known as the "deer leg mushroom" in Hungarian (őzlábgombá) I had no idea why until I actually saw them. Here's a photo composite of the stages of life of this mushroom:

Just sprouted

Getting taller and the cap is developing

This cap is starting to open up

Here's a fully grown parasol. The stem looks like a deer's leg.

This one has dropped it's spores and is over-the-hill

The stem could no longer support the weight of the giant aging cap

A patch in many different stages

The beautiful habitat of the mushrooms, spiders, and deer we saw that day

A rare wasp spider

Here's Peter and Laura enjoying some freshly baked zucchini muffins

A big thank you to Peter and Laura for the invitation to hunt for mushrooms and the wonderful dinner of mushroom soup that followed. Delicious!
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Bread Files: Austria, Part II

Dinkelweckerl (?) and müsliweckerl

Briochekipferl and weizenweckerl

Nussbrot (?)

A close-up of that gorgeous texture.
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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dinner at the Gablerbräu

After a long day of exploring the city with Franny and friends we found the Gablerbräu, a restaurant for the "everyman," according to its website. I chose a special and unfortunately can't remember the name of the dish. Because it's a special I can't find it online. It bore the name of Salzburg though, and I do remember what was in the dish.

Clockwise from the top: dumpling, blood pudding, bacon, bratwurst, roast pork and sauerkraut.

I was so excited to begin eating that I forgot that I might want to take a picture for the blog before taking a bite. Luckily Franny reminded me before I took more than a bit of the dumpling and pork roast. I think the pork was my favorite part of this dish with its caraway crust and natural tenderness which paired well with everything else on the plate. The blood pudding, which is tucked underneath the dumpling, was delicious and the sauerkraut was so good that Franny took as much "untainted" kraut as she could. Franny's friend Jenny even picked up the check! Thanks Jenny, I loved meeting you and Lindsey!
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This tasty looking treat was tasty! Made of lots of eggs, a little flour, and some whiskey and cream this was a perfect accompaniment with an afternoon coffee which was a welcome rest breaking up all of the site seeing we had been doing and would do. The texture was crisp and soft at the same time, like eating Tiramisu with meringue. And the added bonus was that it was enjoyed with wonderful friends.
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Indoor Picnic

Olives, pickled artichokes, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh peppers, mozzarella, bergkäse, grapes, pears, wonderfully fresh bread, and some salami for me. This was a perfect indoor picnic to wait for the crazy mountain weather to pass.
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Monday, August 2, 2010

The Bread Files: Austria, Part I

Topfentascherl and Nuβschnecke

Mohnflesserl and Salzstangerl

Croissant and Sesamflesserl

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Lake Wolfgang

The lake in the morning

The quiet marina

You can almost hear the ivy growing...

Franny takes a dip

St. Gilgen from afar

St. Gilgen up-close

Franny in action

Am I eating the ice cream or am I thinking about it?
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Lost in the Woods: a NotPécs Tale Addendum

Franny wrote a great account of our trip to "NotPécs" and "AlsonotPécs," that is to say the trip that was supposed to be about Pécs but wasn't. Read it here at Franny's Hungary!

Here are a few of the "seeing the upside" pictures.

Wild Strawberries!

Mr. Beetle as compared to my hand.

Mr. Beetle's closeup.

May your summer hikes and walks may be more productive, less scary, and just as lucky as ours!
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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chicken Adobo

When Franny was teaching an English Camp at Lake Balaton I was left to ponder a lazy summer menu for just me. What I came up with was chicken adobo due to its wonderful Filipino flavors which are not available in Hungary and its excellent use of chicken.

Way back when I was working at the Burke Museum in Seattle I met a lot of different people who would visit. And yes I talked food with them too. This recipe is inspired by a nice Filipino couple who told me the secrets of adobo. I don't claim to have it perfectly as it was not written down but here's the recipe I used:

Chicken Adobo


1 kilo of either chicken or pork or a combination of the two
1 head garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 cup vinegar
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon paprika
3 bay leaves
4 tablespoons of cooking oil
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons water

In a pot or wok, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and sauté the minced garlic and onions. Add the meat to the pan and sear. Add water, soy sauce, vinegar, paprika, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Mix the browned meat back to the sauce and add cornstarch dissolved in water to thicken and season to taste.

Serve hot with plain rice.
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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Nachos, deconstructed

This feast was made fun by keeping all of its elements separate: (from top left-hand corner going counter-clockwise) enchilada sauce (Rick Bayless recipe), homemade nacho sauce, avocado, green onion, Frito-Lay bean dip (thank you Hanna and Alvin), first tomatoes of the summer, good Hungarian sour cream, and of course tortilla chips. The one napkin seen behind the chips is only a token of the many that were used during consumption.
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Monday, April 26, 2010

Ramson and Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Beginning with some fresh medvehagyma that I foraged from Bakonybél I rolled them up and cut them into a chiffonade.

To these I added some homemade mayo, salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to make the base dressing.

Beautiful ribbons

Building the dressing
To the dressing I added a handful of previously roasted chicken that had been in the fridge overnight. I served it on a sesame wheat bread from the 'Corner Bakery.'

Chicken Salad with Style
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