Friday, October 15, 2010
A hunger for Hungary
After chatting with Andre Watts the other day I had my piano teacher, Stephen Manes, and his Hungarian wife, Marta, over to dinner. Along with our friend Michelle, who is also Hungarian.
And I got to thinking: The whole day was about Hungarians! Andre Watts is Hungarian and so are Marta and Michelle.
Plus I was making goulash for dinner. Which, Hungarian goulash is not the goulash you get in company cafeterias, with macaroni and ground beef. It is a thick beef stew with paprika and onions and peppers and sour cream and, in the case of the recipe I was slavishly following, potatoes. There is also a case to be made for serving it with egg noodles but this recipe called for potatoes.
I used genuine Hungarian paprika which I brought home with me from San Diego. Come to think of it I made a beef stew for Leonard Pennario too for which I used that paprika. It is almost gone now.
We ate dinner with my Hungarian table linens ...
... that I picked up at that one estate sale where everyone was sitting around talking Hungarian. And one of the women approached me and asked if I was Hungarian.
I said, regretfully, no. It would have been fun to be able to tell her yes.
And perhaps I should have said I was. Perhaps I am! That is what Marta told me after our dinner.
She said, "You must have Hungarian blood in you."
That is quite a compliment to my goulash and to me. That is a picture of a Hungarian woman at the top of this post! It is from the art gallery in Budapest.
I began thinking, yes, I must have Hungarian blood in me. Yes, definitely.
I danced better in Zumba class thinking that.
Marta said, "Check with your mother on this. The Austro-Hungarian Empire was wide and lasted a long time." I will do that! I will check and see if my mother admits that yes, I have Hungarian blood in me.
But in a way I do not have to check.
I know it must be true!