Some people have the runner's high, the book worm bug, the junk jaunt jives or the garage sailing - antique hunting fever. Lately, I have the baking fever. And not just any kind of baking, good ole family tradition recipes or dishes like kolaches, rolhliky, apple strudel, rosettes, and cherry pie. Okay, the cherry pie was more for a birthday present for my dad and the rosettes aren't really baking, but I will include ithem. Next on the list will be Stollen. I know it is considered a Christmas bread but I need to get my practice in.
If you don't know what a kolache or rolhliky are, they are Czech pastries made from sweet dough. Czech families would bake them for family gatherings, church functions, funerals, weddings - any excuse to eat them. The many flavors include cherry, apricot, prune, poppy seed, Bavarian cream and cottage cheese. Rolhiky, made from the same sweet dough, are more recognizable as crescent rolls. Both are excellent fresh out of the oven, or as my nephew likes them, warmed up with a little butter. They also make for great dunking in a cup of coffee.
I am confident I can make and improve my apple strudels and pies, it's the kneading of the sweet dough and the patience of letting it rise that I struggle with on the kolaches. You need to set aside about 5 hours at least to make the dough, work it, let it rise and repeat. And another half hour to sit and enjoy what just came out of the oven.
So a few weeks ago I spent some time at home helping around the farm. After helping get the alfalfa drilled and fields worked, trees watered and fence made, I snuck into the house and convinced mom to do some baking with me. It wasn't hard to get her on board as Easter was around the corner and she was getting phone orders for some bakery for a few upcoming dinners.
This was the 2nd time that we teamed up together to do some baking. I think I have observed her tricks and tips and am hoping to try it on my own soon. I have the counter space, the time and the patience now. What I don't yet have are the guinea pig mouths who are willing to take a few dozen off my hands or willing to maybe add a few pounds to their waist line as they are very delicious and you can't have just one. Any takers?
What are some of your family tradition foods?