Tag Archives: slivovice

Foggy walk precedes August rain

August delights

Foggy

By Emma Palova

It was a foggy morning walk on the gravel road to the Sisters as August made its grand entrance on the summer scene this week.

After days of drought, the rain was forecasted at 70 percent last night. Ella called the weatherman, a douche bag. That was very appropriate, since “douche” in French means shower.

On Tuesday, I went to the Paulson’s pumpkin patch farmer’s market north of our ranch. I bought our favorites, peaches and plums for the classical Czech summer fruit dumplings dish topped with cottage cheese.

I had to pass on the first harvest of cucumbers, since we will not have the time to can them this year. But we do have a good stock of last year’s sweet and sour pickles to get us through the winter.

Purple blue plums are also the main ingredient in plum brandy, known as “slivovice.” I call plum brandy, the Moravian gold.

It looks like an abundant harvest this year.

blog pics currant 7-20 004
Czech fruit dumplings with cottage cheese

The Paulson’s farmer’s stand overlooks the vast fields of vegetables, fruits and orchards that were wilting in the heat, along with some marigolds by the fence.

“Did you do the rain dance?” asked me the owner sitting comfortably in an orange folding chair behind the counter loaded with fresh produce.

 

Among the novelties at the stand were sweet jalapenos. I have yet to try them. But, I did buy yellow cauliflower and red lettuce for different color varietals.

“No, should I?” I asked.

“You should do it every morning,” he said.

Then, I remembered while watering the patio garden, I did run a stream of water on my brand new mysterious “rain chain” and on the tin sunflower, causing it to whirl.

And it finally rained, this morning after I dropped off Ella at the summer school. I went to my favorite hideout, and it poured on the lake. I watched the rain swirl and twirl on the windshield.

But, before that, being totally stripped of any energy, I ate the entire Chocolove xoxox Almonds & Sea Salt dark chocolate bar. It tasted like heaven, after weeks of starving myself for the book signings.

To my great delight, I discovered inside the chocolate wrap a poem by Alexander Pushkin:

Thou and You

She substituted, by a chance,

For empty ‘you’- the gentle ‘thou.’

And all my happy dreams, at once,

In loving heart again resound.

In bliss and silence do I stay,

Unable to maintain my role:

‘Oh, how sweet you are!’ I say-

‘How I love thee!’ says my soul.

It’s going to be a great August.

I am looking forward to the Czech Harvest Festival this Sunday in Bannister. Watch for post.

 

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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Czech Superbowl & Olympiad special

Czechs go wild over games & events

This is what true Czechs& CzechAmericans would treat themselves to while watching the Superbowl and the Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, or any other event for that matter.

The game spread would definitely include several six packs of Czechvar, the export trademark of the real Budweiser (watch for an upcoming story about the stolen trademark from its origins in Czech Budejovice), plum brandy known as slivovice, sweet & sour pickles, salami and kielbasa and a loaf of good sourdough bread.

Pictured in the photo is a Stein depicting the capital Prague, a flask of plum brandy, home-made pickles canned on our country ranch, wishing it was Hungarian salami and locally purchased at Ric’s six-pack of Czechvar crisp as horse radish.

Watch for my post Czechs & Sports in honor of the Olympic Games in Sochi

Copyright (c) 2014  story and photo by Emma Palova


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PlumFest in Vizovice aka Trnkobrani

PlumFest in Vizovice, Czech Republic features contest in eating plum dumplings

Every year at the end of August, my mom’s native town of Vizovice in Czech Republic celebrates a big plum extravaganza that lasts three days. The annual PlumFest traditionally attracted thousands of people because of its free-spirited nature.

We stayed at my grandparents’ summer house at Krnovska 111. My grandpa Joseph called the old house a ranch, which was a stretch of imagination but it stuck.

Classic plum brandy known as slivovice.
Classic plum brandy known as slivovice.

I always invited a lot of friends for the festival from the secondary school in Zlin. So, the three days were a big party inside and outside all over the town. We picked up those who didn’t know where ranch was at the local train station.

Grandpa always looked forward to the PlumFest as much as we did, because he liked to party with us. I only remember him once really getting angry at us, and that was when someone on a Saturday night locked us up and threw the key to the ranch inside a rubber shoe. The next morning that person didn’t remember a thing, and just jumped out the window to catch the first bus.

The rest of us didn’t know where the key was, so we couldn’t let grandpa in. Grandpa thought we just didn’t want to let him inside his own home.

“Let me in you hooligans,” he pounded on the door.

Other than that incident, everything always went smooth. The program usually consisted of different bands including at the time famous band Olympic in the evening.

The town is also home to well-known comedian and mime Borek Polivka, and he quite often made a cameo appearance.

But, mainly Vizovice is known for the famous liquor company Jelinek that makes plum brandy. Plum brandy is exported around the world, and can be easily recognized by the plums on the vignette. Plum brandy also called slivovice was presented as a gift at the Heritage Mass at St. Cyril’s last week at the Czech Harvest Festival in Bannister, Michigan.

Contest in eating plum dumplings in Vizovice.
Contest in eating plum dumplings in Vizovice.

The major event on Sundays was the plum dumpling eating contest. Brave men sat at a long table on the stage. Assistants brought out plates with batches of 20 dumplings at a time. The rest of us cheered them and encouraged them to eat more.

One champion ate 60 plum dumplings, and then received a certificate and a paid  hot dog at the local establishment. I never found out if he ate the hot dog. He could hardly stand up from the table.

The tradition of the PlumFest continues to this day. It takes place at the Jelinek liquor company, and it has been shortened to two days. So, if you want to test your eating capabilities, the contest in plum dumpling eating is this year on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 1 p.m. on Starobrno Stage.

For more information on the  PlumFest go to: www.vizovicketrnkobrani.cz

Note: I published a recipe for cream cheese fruit dumplings on my facebook. I will also put it on my author’s page. Even though they’re sweet, they are not considered to be a dessert.

 

Copyright © story and photo by Emma Palova