I am still in Brandýs nad Labem enjoying the hospitality of my family. Růžena has prepared many delicious traditional Czech foods for me: palačinky (cross between a pancake and a crepe), koláčky (pastry) and fruit knedlíky (fruit dumplings).
Knedlíky are a mainstay of Czech cuisine. The closest translation is our word “dumpling,” but forget everything you’ve probably known and eaten called a dumpling. Authentic knedlíky are light and fluffy but with a slightly chewy texture. They are steam cooked and can be shaped into a loaf or balls. If served immediately, while hot, they are sliced with thin string. Růžena uses dental floss-genius.
Guláš with knedlíky is a traditional meal and is good to the last drop of sauce! Dobrou Chut’!
Actually, I’ve been here for 2 weeks. I wanted to write before, but between jet lag, lost baggage, numerous technical difficulties, and adapting to my new surroundings, I’ve been, well, a bit overwhelmed!
I never thought I could undertake such a move alone, and let me just say, if You are considering a similar uprooting, be sure you have friends or family in that foreign place to take you in and help you get on your feet.
Kat (Kateřina) and her brother, Kuba (Jakub) were at the airport to pick me up. They live in a small suburb of Prague called Brandýs nad Labem. Nad Labem means “on the Labem River.” (The Labem is the Elbe River in Germany) Currently I am living with Kat, her mother Růžena, and Kat’s 13 year old son Bohdan in a lovely big house that sits high above the river. Kuba and his family live close by and I will introduce them to you later.
Růžena is an excellent cook and she prepares all of our meals. We sit at table together without the tv on, remember those days? Breakfast consists of various breads, ham and cheese, butter, local honey, and an assortment of Růženaś homemade jams: apricot, cherry, and strawberry. Lunch is the main, and only “hot”meal of the day. In the afternoon we have our coffee with a zakusek, a sweet pastry or dessert-often taken outside in the garden gazebo overlooking the river. Dinner is a light affair like open faced sandwiches called chlebíčky (chleba means bread).
The weather here is quite pleasant as the Czech Republic sits at 50 degrees north latitude. It is noon as I write this and 82 degrees. The high will be 87 with low humidity. Of course, like all people around the world, they complain about the “hot” weather.( I know all of you back home in the US, like me, are rolling your eyes right now.) So, when it is hot, we take our walks in the evening along the river. The scenery is simply idyllic dotted with ducks on the water and small boats anchored along the riverbanks.
Of course, my transition has not been without its share of difficulties and complications. I will say more about those later….. Until next time- Mějte se Hezky! Have a Great Day!