Sunday, February 12, 2012

An old favorite from my peeps

                                                                 Chicken paprikash

My grandfather grew up about six hours outside Vienna, near the Hungarian border, and about 15 miles from the Yugoslavian border. My grandmother was born and grew up only several miles away from the village of grandfather, Rabfidisch, but over time it made all the difference. As the imperial Austro-Hungarian Empire gradually contracted from its wide world domination, the little village of Theresia Yost's became part of Communist Hungary.

Way before then, they had both emigrated to the U.S., landing in Allentown, Pennsylvania. That's where they met, not in the cozy landscape of their native land. My grandfather was a high-level professional waiter in Europe, and started his own restaurant in either Newark or Manhattan...a white table cloth place with a dining room and gentlemen's grill. My father remembers sitting in the kitchen with the very tall cook making small things.

So the upshot is, we grew up with a variety of Austro-Hungarian foods -- my German/Irish mother tried to keep up now and then.

And in this finally really cold chapter of winter, I decided to go back to the old school dinner. Hungarians make everything delicious -- meats, salads, vegetables, chicken-- with the addition of a little flour and sour cream.

Several chicken thighs, onions, some fresh Hungarian paprika, sour cream made a warming and nostalgic dinner.

And a loving salute to family.

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