“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” — Maya Angelou
Gray and rainy morning, gray the whole day. Sipping my favorite Earl Gray, reading the Sunday paper and a book about books. Planning the holiday schedule, deciding on projects to undertake. And surprised by the still existing colors in the garden.
Chocolate chip cookies were definitely not part of the classic Hungarian pastry repertoire I grew up with. My first exposure to this wonderful American delight happened in 1994.
In the last two months at work, two of my colleagues surprised me with two different issues of this year’s SAVEUR magazine. Kathy thought I would enjoy the article on Hungarian cooking in the October 2013 issue – yes, I did very much – and Peter, while giving me a bunch of architectural and gardening magazines, maybe threw into the mix the January/February issue just for variety.
To be great, be whole To be great, be whole; exclude Nothing, exaggerate nothing that is you. Be whole in everything. Put all you are Into the smallest thing you do. The whole moon gleams in every pool, It rides so high. — Fernando Pessoa
The Hungarian word pite is not easy to translate into English. My dictionary says: pite – fruit-flan, pie, tart, and for almás pite – apple tart/turnover. Other sources call it apple cake. The name doesn’t really matter – the two flaky buttery crusts, bottom and top, filled with cinnamon flavored apples make one of the classic Hungarian pastry staples.
When you have pears at home that ripen fast and you want to use them in a dessert, you start searching for a recipe that is easy and simple, and promises something amazingly tasty. That is exactly what happened the other night.
“Tell me, and I will forget. Show me, and I may remember. Involve me, and I will understand.” — Confucius
My family always had a large walnut tree. That meant picking fresh walnuts in the fall and drying them in boxes for lots of baking throughout the year. In these days, here in Seattle, we don’t have a tree, so I buy the walnuts, usually shelled. I love them and bake often with them.
The sweet smell of fruit and butter lingers in the air long after this cake has been removed from the oven. Many times over the years I baked it when I wanted something easy and delicious. This cake is a perfect companion to tea. Thanks to my sister for the recipe. In my old-fashioned, hand-written Hungarian recipe book, it’s the first entry. Only six lines – ingredients and instructions together.
“Always remember: If you’re alone in the kitchen and you drop the lamb, you can always just pick it up. Who’s going to know?” — Julia Child