This evening it was csikós tokány (chee-kohsh to-kahny) for dinner from my new Hungarian cookbook. Basically it is pork stew with bacon, and it was very tasty. Was just the right thing for our cool breezy evening.
When we got back from walking the dog, I began thinking about how we, or at least I, have wondering more about my ancestry, in terms of culture. It isn’t a new curiosity as I started a family tree a few years ago to try and trace as much of my genealogy as I can, which when one set of your grandparents immigrated from an Eastern European country, it isn’t easy. It doesn’t help when three of your grandparents died before you were born or when you were very young.
My mom and I have tried to piece the family tree together on her side based on her memories, some pictures, visiting grave yards, and reading old obituaries. A few members of the family from another branch of the family have been helpful as well.
Unfortunately, many of my relatives on my dad’s side died before I started being interested in building a family tree. It is harder to piece together my dad’s side as we have a very unusual family dynamic (not a bad one, just a different one). Those left don’t necessarily have the information needed to build the tree too far back.
Wanting to cook Hungarian dishes is a relatively new thing. I don’t remember too many Hungarian meals growing up other than pigs in a blanket and Hungarian Goulash. There may have been more, I just don’t remember.
The urge to cook Hungarian dishes started while browsing through a bookstore and coming across an older cookbook. I bought it of course. A few months later, I came across a featured cookbook at the library, and after checking it out, I had to buy a copy for home. It discussed the history of ingredients used in Hungarian cooking, such as paprika, and how food evolved, as with any society and culture, from the ingredients grown close to home.
I have made a couple of recipes from it, but it is not as user friendly as my most recent purchase, recommended by my friend Amy. This newest cookbook feels much more authentic for lack of a better word. The recipes are easy to follow, fairly easy to get the ingredients, and have been most delicious so far. My goal is to learn how to make dumplings as perfectly, and as tasty, as I can.
My dad’s side hasn’t been forgotten, I just know less about my heritage on his side. Any immigration was more than two generations ago and hasn’t really been discussed. I suppose it is possible they came over on the Mayflower for all I know. The origin of his last name is said to be of Scottish descent, brought by the Vikings from Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
Who knows, maybe my great great ancestors many times over ago were of Royalty.
Long live King Frank!?!