image

image

MY COOKBOOK

MY COOKBOOK
Click on the Cookbook for the Recipes

Figyelem

Felvételeim nyilvános publikálása engedély nélkül nem használhatók.

1.4.13

HOMEMADE AMARETTO LIQUEUR


This is a lovely almond flavoured drink with a slightly bitter taste. Recipe is by Margaret Garfield from “Garfield’s Party Time Favorites”. Amaretto extract and smoothy crystals can be purchased at any wine supply store.
2 Tbsp Amaretto extract
1-1/2 cups sugar
6 tsp smoothy crystals
40% Vodka
• Combine extract, sugar and crystals in blender.
• Add the vodka to the 32 oz or 1 L mark [4 cups] on blender.
• Blend at low speed until sugar and crystals are dissolved.
• Bottle.
• Improves with age.
The Easter Monday Story:
Liquoring the Easter Monday sprinkling-visitors was probably the only time I saw an array of liqueurs while growing up. My parents didn’t drink; they neither had the time nor the inclination. So before Easter the annual 2 litres of barack pálinka that my other grandma cooked up for us was turned into a variety of liqueurs, using chocolate, coffee, walnut and orange essences. I snuck a few swigs from it when nobody was looking and my two absolute favourites were the coffee and the walnut flavoured liqueurs. My husband cooks up the stuff now, but he uses vodka for the base. Darn it all, for my old age I developed an alcohol allergy. I am not exactly sure what kind of booze I am not allergic to, but the prospect of going into an anaphylactic shock stops me from experimenting. However, I am happy to say I can liberally cook and bake with booze and I love the flavour booze gives to my cooking.
Speaking of Easter Monday sprinkling… I was aghast to learn that the old barbaric custom of men dumping bucketfuls of cold water on young women on Easter Monday is making a comeback in rural and not so rural Hungary; perhaps it never left from some parts. The idea is that girls must be dunked, sprinkled or they will wilt. So on Easter Monday Hungarian women and girls wait for the men and boys with decorated eggs, baking, and liqueur and sometimes with money gifts in exchange for the dunking service.

 

Growing up in the busiest section of Budapest, [hetedik kerület] I was never subjected to these humiliations. I don’t think that was because city girls were held in higher esteem, it’s just that apartment dwelling is not conducive for throwing buckets of water around. So I grew up with getting sprinkled with cheap cologne instead. Now that was plenty humiliating for me so I cannot wrap my head around the idea why would a 21st century young woman allow men to soak her with ice cold water on a chilly spring day in the name of tradition! This custom is nothing more then the re-enactment of a fertility rite, but in the past couple of years the Hungarian propaganda machine has morphed it into a religious custom; something to do with baptism and the resurrection of Jesus. When all else fails give some outrageous pagan custom a Christian purpose, involve the nationalistic pride and all of a sudden what once was passé becomes a sacred duty to uphold. I am truly amazed at the gullibility of people. Mark my word, the cheap cologne in the not too distant future will be replaced with holy water.

I cannot tell you how I hated Easter Mondays. I resented the imposition of the neighbor boys coming to sprinkle my hair for money and sometimes taking a swig of liqueur when I was fully aware of the fact that the same guys would never acknowledge me if they passed me on the street. By the end of the day I had a headache from the mixture of cheap colognes and when I no longer could stand it, we stopped answering the door, cutting off all stragglers, who would be drunk by then anyway and we washed the junk out of my long red hair. When I turned twelve I got a haircut and hooked up with an older cousin and her friend and started the tradition of spending Easter Mondays walking the belváros [downtown] and sunning on the steps by the river. Now these… were fun times. As for the rest, the Hungarikum can have it all.


I will never forget my first Easter Monday in Canada and the realization that no sprinkler will call. I felt a sense of loss for a brief moment and then we bundled up our brand new baby daughter and the three of us went for a walk.


8 comments:

  1. I love reading stories like yours, Zsuzsa! It's not my own culture, but it's interesting all the same. Thanks for sharing that little slice of your past!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an interesting story, Zsuzsa, Mom never mentioned it so I'm guessing that it never happened in her neighbourhood either. But I bet it did when she went to visit relatives in Oroszlany.
    My parents often made these liquors, one of their favourites was coffee liquor, and if I'm not mistaken they also tried making egg liquor.
    I used to love palinka but these days it's an instant hangover so I tend to avoid it!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've never heard of this tradition but it sounds barbarous indeed. I would have been throwing raw eggs at any boys who showed up on my doorstep to confer this great blessing on ME. :(

    As to making one's one liquor ... my dad was never a successful wine maker but he could make rakia that would peel the paint off the walls. I still have a bottle or two around and am thinking of making fruit cordials this year using the remnants.

    Your amaretto sounds very tasty indeed but I think I'd try the coffee one ... Did they use whole or ground coffee beans?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you Dino! I am also fascinated by personal stories from other cultures.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Eva, your mom would have known about the videki viz locsolasrol and must have been personally well acquainted with cologne sprinkling, but I suppose it didn't make an important enough impression on her, otherwise you would know all about it. Palinka on its own is pretty harsh, I could never drink it except if made into a sweet concuction such as this.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Maria, the Czech custom is whacking the bottoms of girls with a broom which I think is far worse in what it symbolizes. But yes, the Hungarian version is not far behind, no pun.

    No coffee grinds were involved; we always used extracts to make the liqueur.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Zsuzsa, I was going to say how this amaretto looks lovely and then I got all hypnotised by the words barack palinka... I am lucky to have from time to time some of it made by a friend's father and it's the only super-strong alcohol I go crazy for! It's fantastic when you put it into apricot jam (before preserving of course). It makes the jam more interesting and sophisticated (I have put some bought palinka only and scarcely because I'm not sure when I will be able to bring some from Hungary next time).
    Is it you on these photos? How elegant you look! I am so glad you have shared them with us! You have beautiful hair colour!
    (Here imagine my big, big sigh...). You will not be surprised to learn that this horrible tradition exists in Poland (not in Switzerland though!). It came from the villages (I don't want to sound snobbish, but I'm sure it didn't exist in cities before the war, at least not in its present aggressive bucket-throwing form...). Most women don't go out on Easter Monday or are afraid to... even grandmothers get attacked.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thank you Sissi! Yes it was me and the beautiful red hair would be all white if I didn't dye it. And the baby in the picture just turned 45 this February. I am an old lady you know.

    Some old customs should be done away with and the Easter Monday abuse of girls is one of them. They come from a time when women were objectified. I always hated this one, right from a very early age and to think I was only exposed only to its gentler form with the cologne sprinkling. I must have been 8 yrs old when I was very sick and I was made to get up for one particular neighbour boy to get sprinkled on. I still resent that. I think my mom was afraid what would happen if I didn't get a sprinkling. It boggles the mind really…

    ReplyDelete

Translate

me

My photo
I began to post recipes for my family and it turned out to be a work in progress. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has over 900 recipes of Hungarian and international recipes. My recipes are organized into a cookbook format. On top of the page click on the cookbook to get access to all my recipes. If I ever figure out how to add a printer friendly gadget I will add it. In the meantime feel free to cut and paste. Happy cooking!

Archived Recipes

All my previous posts are listed and organized into a cookbook. Click on the cookbook with the wooden spoon image on the upper left corner to access over 900 recipes. You may click on the archive below, but it can take a long time to load.