Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hungry Hungarians

Last week while walking through Randazzo's together, a bin of cabbage gave my mom an idea.  Several days later she was at my door with all the ingredients, and she and I made stuffed cabbage over the course of the afternoon, rolling up the leaves while the babies napped. 

Someday I'll try this one on my own, but as my mom pointed out, you really need to make these family recipes a few times with someone who really knows how in order to catch on to the subtleties.  I have a number of memories my grandma measuring ingredients with her palm and seemingly cooking by instinct, so I know what my mom means.

I also have memories of not liking chicken paprikash (usually just called "Hungarian chicken" in my family) and turning my nose up at stuffed cabbage.  I think it's over time that a kid learns to appreciate the smell of onions and paprika wafting from the kitchen.  Boiling cabbage starts to smell like family memories and actually inspires you to eat it, to request it for your birthday, to learn to make it for your own kids.

But in the beginning, one's first taste is likely to look like this,

or this,

and that's to be expected.

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