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  •  my mom grew up in chicago (10+ / 0-)

    and although not czech, she made kolache for us all the time when we were kids in california.

    those ethnic neighborhoods, they created an extended family via recipes.

    Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

    by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 04:39:12 PM PDT

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    •  My mother (11+ / 0-)

      My mother (nee Vavrick) was born in Chicago. Both her parents were born in Chicago along 22nd Street now Cermak. (The only mayor of Chicago of Czech ancestry.)  Their parents came from what is today the Czech Republic.

      Both my grandparents spoke Czech and would speak Czech when they did not want anyone to understand what they were talking about.

      My maternal grandparents had a retirement farm at the southwest corner of Michigan just over the Indiana border near Lake Michigan.

      Each year the cousins went there and our grandmother and her maiden sister made kolaches and the best apple strudel I have ever had.

      When we would go to Chicago, there was invariably a trip to Berwyn (where I was born) for a Czech bakery.  

      I miss them.  

      I have never been to this part of Texas.  One more reason to go.

      [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

      by MoDem on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 07:16:32 PM PDT

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      •  awesome. my mom's family had a little (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        surfermom, northsylvania, Ahianne

        place near lake michigan, in michigan.  blueberries.  wicker furniture.  screen doors.   docks to dive off.  weird for a california kid, because lake michigan is more than a lake but less than  the pacific ocean.  

        my mom was from the coast of dalmatia, and what she couldn't do with a basic yeast dough probably wasn't worth doing.   potica.  all kinds of bread.  swirled coffee cakes.  pull apart lemon breads.  all kinds of recipes she had gotten from other ethnic groups in chicago.  

        Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure that you are not, in fact, just surrounding yourself with a-holes - William Gibson. (-9.75 / -9.05)

        by doesnotworkorplaywellwithothers on Thu Apr 18, 2013 at 08:49:10 PM PDT

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        •  Blueberries (0+ / 0-)

          And, we were there during blueberry season and picked them to make a little money.

          I will always have those memories.

          [Medicare, and Medicaid, and Social Security] do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.

          by MoDem on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 11:49:04 AM PDT

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      •  Both my mother's parents came from Prague (3+ / 0-)
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        surfermom, northsylvania, Ahianne

        as young people in their early teens; my mother learned to bake Czech recipes by watching her mother, who did not have written recipes but measured things out by eye or palm of the hand. Or maybe she learned from a Czech family in Chicago where I think her father sent her to work in someone's kitchen when she was a teenager (my sister and I think he pocketed any wages).

        But I think we had apple strudel more than kolaches; it was a true holiday dish. It was based on an egg-dough square (lots of egg yolks, and just enough flour to make it stretchy) that rested on a clean dishtowel on the dining room table, pulled out to be about three feet wide, onto which went breadcrumbs fried in butter, apple slices, handfulls of whole almonds (skins removed first after a brief soak in boiling water) and quantities of grated lemon peel - maybe even some lemon flavoring - and I suppose some sugar.

        Then, very carefully, this was rolled up into a big long roundish rectangle, and that was rolled carefully off the towel, seam-side down, into the biggest baking pan. Not sure of the baking time, but once out of the oven and a little cooler, powdered sugar would be dusted lightly over the crust.

        It kept well for days, with the wonderful toughish, tasty eggy dough on the inside turns (and everything else) getting better each time.

        •  And a bit more history - (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          surfermom, northsylvania

          Her father was a circuit preacher to Czech communities from Cleveland to Texas, where on Sundays they might take a horse and wagon out into the country and gather pecans from trees by the side of the road. Perhaps 1910-1920?

        •  That sounds (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Creosote

          stunningly delicious. I have both the West Heritage and Russian Orthodox cookbook from Fort Worth. I'll have to 'cheat' and look up a recipe for proportion,

          You..ought to be out raising hell. This is the fighting age. Put on your fighting clothes. -Mother Jones

          by northsylvania on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 01:31:22 AM PDT

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          •  I think it has vanilla in it too. (1+ / 0-)
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            northsylvania

            But the apple-breadcrumb-lemon-almond mix sounds like very old Eastern European cooking to me now.

            It was always surprising to see how far that egg dough could stretch!

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