Csalamádé, a Hungarian sweet and sour summer pickle

Csalamádé, a Hungarian summer pickle of mixed grated vegetables

I have talked about preserves last time, summer being the perfect season to put aside all kinds of seasonal fruits and veggies. Apart from cherries in syrup, that I made with the leftover of our recent harvest, and kovászos uborka, which I intend to prepare with my freshly bought pickling cucumbers, there is one preserve I never miss the occasion to make when this time comes. And it actually turned out so well this time that I’m afraid the jars won’t last till winter at all.

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Dairy-free Austro-Hungarian scrambled pancake, aka Emperor’s crumbs, Császármorzsa or Kaiserschmarrn

Austro Hungarian scrambled pancake smarni kaiserschmarrn

I don’t have any proper pre-Christmas recipe to display here. Yet I hope this one would fill some of your comfort food needs until celebration time comes, and perhaps also once it will be gone. Indeed, smarni  as it is called by much Hungarians, seems like an ultimate comfort food to me, that homey dish you typically make when it’s cold outside and you have little time to cook or are in a lazy mood.

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Hungarian mushroom stew or gomba pörkölt 

Hungarian mushroom stew, gomba pörkölt

Autumn has been creeping in slowly, inspite of still frequent electric blue skies and warming sunbeams. The colors of flowers and fruits are now fading away, squashes of all sizes and colors started invading the kitchen, and the cooler evenings and first rainy days remind us of comforting, hot dishes. And apart from some sore throats and blocked sinuses, autumn carries so much goodness ! Mushrooms, especially.

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Hi there and welcome! I’m a French girl living with a French man in a French place and aspiring, like many people nowadays, to share her passion for food through her own blog. This could have been that simple if my background hadn’t exposed me at different levels to Hungarian, Slovak, Czech and lately, Asian influences, giving me the taste and curiosity of authentic food from different horizons. Juggling the corresponding food cultures has not always been evidence to me though, since even though I’ve been in love with food for as far as I remember, it’s not until I found myself running a household that I got interest in cooking myself and experimenting with food.

To me, we all have something to share about food and are all able to cook, providing we devote time enough to it. I won’t pretend having outstanding cooking skills. Rather, I’m an eternal procrastinator, hopeless time waster and utterly slow cook. But like every home cook, I grew more comfortable with cooking over the years of practice. I’m only on my way to become a good cook, but as my interest keep wandering I eventually come up with my humble personal “repertoire” of recipes and my own feeling about food.

Blogs are a great way to go further into food knowledge by sharing about our experience. Indeed, while I used to be sort of a walking stomach, I pay much more attention today to what I cook, and what with. I’d like to pass down the better of what I’ve learned from my relatives or by myself, adapted with more contemporary ways with cooking. We can hardly not to be “responsive” cooks anymore, and day after day, I grow more concerned about health impact, environment-respect, methods of production and seasonality of food produces. Anyway, as a lazy girl, I always lean toward traditional recipes, or sheer simplicity – few things annoy me like an arm-long list of ingredients: the genuine taste of one fresh vegetable or fruit sometimes yields a dish on its own. However, diets and trends don’t suit my temper, and I find that moderation, versatility and awareness are a good place to start.

“Not quite French cuisine” refers to the worldwide sources of inspiration of my ways with food, as well as to the difference between my actual cooking as a French girl and the foreign image of French cuisine, that sophisticated gastronomie I’m not a huge fan of. I haven’t made a soufflé in my whole life and surely won’t try my hands at it till I reach age of reason, which should take quite a while. I also have to warn you that you’ll hardly find any traditional French, ostentatious pâtisseries here. Indeed, as our lives get hectic, I think we need above all home-cooked yet simple dishes to fill our stomachs and satisfy our cravings. That’s why I also get an increasing interest in Central European food. I acknowledge it does not sound like the most modern one, and I myself have long underrated it before I found out it only needs a few twists to be accurate even for people who care about their diet, one way or another. There’s more to it than paprika, and it’s one of the purposes I give this blog to show how homey, easy to prepare, and not just filling but tasty and inventive it may be.

I hope you’ll appreciate your visit, as much as I do appreciate giving birth and hopefully carrying out to this blog (for more information about the way I intend it to be run + contact details, please see the About section).

Cheers !