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20.11.13

ZERO DESSERT

 
Flu season is upon us, but I hope the flu shot will work its magic. When I had the croup my mother made a tent in the middle of our room, [igen nem volt gyerekszobám] and placed a large pot of hot chamomile tea in the middle. Then she made me lean over it and put a towel over my head and kept repeating INHALE! The other thing she did was make us a whipped concoction from egg yolks and sugar. I liked that. And that was the tradition I carried on to my children. We call it zero dessert. We came by the name quite by accident and it stuck. Susie was at the age when a child asks a lot of “what is that” and “why is that”. After a while you give random answers, such as “ask your father” and “just because”. Naming everything “thing” does not always work. So as I handed her a mug of this “thing” she asked me what it was and  I told her it was “zero dessert”.
 
Susie was always a beauty

Today I remembered my youngest asking a while back for the zero dessert recipe… and well here it is. To every egg yolk add 2 Tbsp of white sugar and beat it vigorously for 5 minutes. That means high speed on the electric beater. The egg will become frothy, but because of the concentration the sugar will not dissolve. So when you eat it, it is smooth and yet scrapes the infection off the throat giving a sense of relief plus you get a nice burst of energy at the same time. Zero dessert has no medicinal value except for some strange reason it makes you FEEL better. And that’s the Zero Dessert.

1 egg yolk
2 Tbsp sugar
 
• Place the ingredients in a small bowl and beat vigorously for 5 minutes or until the concoction expands and becomes thick and creamy. Best to use an electric hand beater.
 

17 comments:

  1. Your little Susie is cute and looks like she would ask a lot of questions ... and not let you off until she got them all answered either. :)

    I have a vague memory of my mom making something like your zero dessert years ago but not the actual taste of it. When we had sore throats from a cold my mom used to give us hot chamomile tea with actual dried chamomile flowers. The only time anyone in our house really DRANK tea.

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    1. Yes there is that chamomile again. I never liked the taste, but it seems to crop up for various medicinal purposes. I am not a chemist so I cannot differentiate between the folklore and the actual healing property of chamomile flowers. I tend to be a sceptic and not easily swayed by naturopathic applications. If it makes me feel better… well then it can’t hurt to try. But inhaling chamomile steam may not have been any different than inhaling steam.

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  2. I do remember the chamomile tea sauna! We didn't have zero dessert but Mom always made hot tea with lemon and lots of honey for our sore throats. Then there was the black coffee for stomach issues, and charcoal pills, it was not my favourite at all.

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    1. Chamomile tea sauna! - So that's what it was called. It may have been a Hungarian thing Eva. How is the weather in Toronto? The snow fell here yesterday and we are currently sporting -16C and it feels like -21C. If I didn't know I was in the mild temperate region of the BC Interior I would think I was back East.

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  3. My mum (edes anyukam) always made me inhale steam, Zsuzsa… she had been a nurse in Hungary and although I hated getting sick, she always took such good care of me. Lovely recipe… must try it!

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    1. Nothing like our mum taking care of us Lizzy. I named mine Mamika - which was very unusual - and the name stuck.

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    2. That's funny ... my dad used to refer to my mom as 'mamika' and my brother and I picked up on it. Even though we were in the Yugoslavia (currently part of Serbia, near the Romanian border) there were Hungarians around so maybe that's where my dad picked up that term of endearment.

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  4. Hi Zsuzsa! Love your blog. My Grandparents were Hungarian and I LOVE Hungarian food! Thanks for your recipes! :)

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  5. What a surprise! In Poland such a dessert is called "kogel mogel" which doesn't mean anything, but sounds funny (I don't recall it as a cure though, but as an easy dessert that children were allowed to prepare on their own). As a child I loved adding cocoa to it and making thus a chocolate version.
    As for the steam... I still inhale special drops (sold in pharmacy) diluted in boiling water (they smell minty and sometimes a bit of eucalyptus) when I have runny nose and a headache. It works miracles.

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    1. But of course Sissi! We keep thinking of different countries and cultures in Europe when in fact Europe isn't even a large continent and the individual countries, because of their close proximity to each other share so much. I watched an interview with a Polish lady recently. Her living room and the table she laid out with food could have been at one of my relatives’ apartment in Budapest. She was oh so familiar…

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  6. I think the chamomile tea saunas would have been much more pleasant than the Vicks vapor rub saunas my mother used to give me. It was so hard to inhale and now they are finding that Vicks vapor rub isn't good for the lungs. UGH! Have never seen, tasted nor heard of anything resembling your Zero dessert! It sounds very interesting and definitely something I need to try - sick or not. :) Love the picture of Susie!!! She IS a beauty!

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    1. Peach Lady I hated breathing in that heat. Ah that's bad news about the vapor rub, I have one in the medicine cabinet... Ah my Susie, she is 45 yrs old and her petite body is ravaged with MS and yet she is still so beautiful.

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  7. Zsuzsa, I think it's nice to share old photos of our children when they were little...although my children especially my daughter would 'kill' me to post a photo of her when she was a little girl!
    I don't know too much...or at all about this dessert, but I'm sure it had its special place in 'at home cure aids'. Your Susie sure was a little 'beauty'!

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    1. Elisabeth, I named it zero dessert, my mum just called it egg. When I had a coughing fit, ment ki a konyhaba, hogy "kikeverek egy tojast".

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  8. Hello. Can you answer my question? I make baked breaded chicken using butter, flour, breadcrumbs and seasonings in a large baking dish with some lard and olive oil. After prepping the chicken, I place it in the heated dish and cover and bake at 300 for about 40 minutes. I take it out and turn over the chicken, recover and put back in for another 30 minutes or so and take it out to turn over and put back in 'uncovered' for another 20 minutes at 320, When I take them out to turn over, many times(almost always) I lose the coating on the chicken. It comes off in the dish . Is there a trick or secret or just someway to not have that happen? Thank You for your dedication.

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    1. I think you handle your chicken way too much. I have two recipes you may want to try. Cut and paste them separately into the search box at the top:

      Homemade Shake And Bake Chicken
      Baked And Breaded Chicken Cutlets

      If you are breading cut up chicken, use the shake and bake method. For baking traditionally breaded chicken, [coated with flour, egg wash and breadcrumbs] it is best to fillet the chicken into equal thickess. I also found if I pre-treat the baking dish with PAM or some type of cooking spray the coating will not stick to the dish. But definitely you don’t need to keep turning the pieces around more than once. Always use a pair of kitchen thongs to turn the meat instead of stabbing it with a fork.

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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!

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