A remarkably unremarkable day

It was a day remarkable for its unremarkableness. I was invited by a friend (by his mother, really) to a meal. I went, had an enjoyable time, and left before the conversational pauses got too long.

The meal itself was very tasty; an excellent beef noodle soup (“handmade noodles,” Martin’s mother explained, “with my hands!”), followed by a plateful featuring two different kinds of potato dumplings and two different kinds of cabbage (czech variations on sauerkraut), all framing a lovely roasted duck breast. It was an excellent meal. conversation was convivial, I managed a bit of czech, I understood some of the jokes and the rest were explained to me, which gave everyone a chance to laugh at them again.

Martin’s father has a very impressive collection of books. He was able to travel to the west during the communist times, and he would smuggle books back into the country, at considerable risk. We talked about the weather, about how warm things have been so far this year, the warmest in almost 50 years (or was it 80?) and that was fine with them. The entire family agreed that there’s no such thing as a winter that’s too warm. Personally, I waiting for the payback storm. After the last two winters, it seems only a matter of time before the bottom falls out of the thermometer.

Feeling bloated, I declined the offer of a lift the short distance home, and instead walked home through the light rain, and reflected that what not long ago would have seemed a sure opportunity for culture shock was instead just a pleasant meal with a family I didn’t know very well.

On a not-very-related note, this evening the downside of my new favorite place was made abundantly clear. Saxkova Palańćinkarna is closed on weekends. Spending the evening there with a chocolate crepe to fill in the gaps that are starting to appear in my stomach would have been perfect. I was halfway there when I realized what day it was and that I would likely be disappointed. I wandered up and down the street for a while, and ultimately ended up at U Kormidla, which is nice enough but doesn’t have readily available electricity. Ah, well, I can always write at home.

9 thoughts on “A remarkably unremarkable day

  1. And our weekend was two days of 37 degrees Celsius (just under 100F). The air was thick with smoke, as several hundred of hectares of our bushland is on fire at the moment.
    Ah.. Summer is back…

  2. Jerry. Please get yourself invited again, and in the meantime, study the Czech words for measurements in cooking. Ask for recipes.

    I can assure my retirement income if I can find a decent recipe for potato dumplings — my husband is Polish, and his grandmothers are long gone.

  3. THis just stolen from some other site, and Edited at bit…:

    And while someone once swore to Brown that squirrels look both ways before crossing the street, they’re apparently looking for something other than cars.

    Robert McCleery, who completed his dissertation at Texas A&M on urban and suburban squirrels, outfitted squirrels with radio transmitter collars and found that 80 percent of them died under the tires of a car or truck.

    But squirrels have their shortcomings.

    Sometimes they forget where they buried their nuts, although Brown said their sensitive noses allow them to sniff out ones hidden by their neighbors.

    Still, who cares about squirrel habits besides a small band of scientists?

    Lots of people.

    Search for “squirrels” on the Internet and Web sites like “Squirrel Lover’s Club” and “Scary Squirrel World” pop up. There are sites that allow readers to comment on stories like the one from Russia about a “pack of furious squirrels” that reportedly tore a dog to pieces.

    Another site, “The Campus Squirrel Listings,” judges colleges by their squirrel populations. The U.S. Naval Academy and the University of California, Berkeley, are among the top schools.

    Not mentioned was the percentage of the collars worn by SSDC members were actually recovered

    Will the scientists prevail? Will they finally root out the truth? Is there still a chance against this menace? Will we find thier weakness? I don’t see how! Not against these odds.

    pL

  4. On the subject of cooking measurements, it’s CRAZY here. They use this whole “metric” system thing and it’s deci-this and centi-that, cubic grams and liters per celcius. And if you say flour they think you mean flower, ’cause, hell, what kind of language would spell the same sound two different ways?

    I will see about the recipes. The dumplings I would guess are the most likely parts of the meal to have instructions; the others could well be seat-of-the-pants cooking.

    pL, you want me to fix the spelling on that? Roiling I would leave, but baguet doesn’t seem to serve any artistic purpose.

  5. I stand behind pL’s spelling. A baguet is a large loaf of French bread; a baguette is a small, or at least skinny, one. If pL is talking about large quantities of dough, he’s talking about baguets.

    On the other hand, roiling is more applicable to bagels than baguettes or baguets. The dough is formed into the basic toroidal shape, and then it is placed into the broiler to solidify the surface, but not to the extent of cooking it. Then the bagel is dropped into boiling water to cook part way. The bit of boiling is important; it allows the finished bagel to be both moist and chewy. Once the bagel is done being boiled, it goes into the oven to be baked.

    So if you’re roiling a bread-like substance, then searing it, then boiling it, then browning it, you’re probably making bagels, not baguettes.

  6. Spell check friends…spaetzel? German noodles boiled. Those are delightful.

    I actually do know how to make spoon dumplings (slovokian style from ex hubby’s mom she taught me a dozen recipes including one with plums in middle of dumpling).

    But I always like good recipes!

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