Sunday, March 24, 2013

Gulyas leves!

WATCH this interview with a Hungarian cook from Transylvania!

In a very tiny village far away there is a piece of my heart.

The village is in Transylvania,  which is in Romania, but all of the people there are Hungarian, and they are members of our partner church, whom I have visited four times over the past nine years. They are so dear to me that I feel as if they are part of my family. 

(Above you see Rozi, in her summer kitchen, talking about her memories of our visit).

These people have survived Communism, terrible dictatorship and persecution under  CeauČ™escu, and persistent poverty and threats to their way of life, their culture, their religion, and their land and even their language. Yet they remain people of gentle, loving spirits, warm and joyful, full of faith and goodwill, and hospitable to every stranger with the phrase Isten Aldjon,  a greeting that means "God Bless You."

This week, I will be thinking of them especially, since I was with them during Easter week and afterwards two years ago, and so I have made two Hungarian soups: the first is Gulyas Leves, a beef and vegetable soup flavored with sweet Hungarian paprika.

The village folks cook everything from scratch (like me), and of course almost everything they include is picked or killed in their own yard. I even watched as the lamb was sacrificed for Easter (which, by the way, is mercifully swift when done properly!). I did buy the beef and the vegetables, but everything was peeled, chopped and simmered for hours.

Hope you will share a bit of village life this week!

PS. In July, my partner Minister, Bela, and a young woman from our village will visit us for three weeks and I hope you will meet them when they do! Isten Aldjon!
 Here I am making the traditional bread for Easter Communion with Rozi (in video) .. it is cooked in a kiln.
 Here with a family for a mid day meal.. the boy gave me the red car for Seth. I love him!