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6.11.15

COTTAGE CHEESE STICKS


This was among the first recipes I tried from Margit néni’s cookbook. Aside from guessing the amount of dry yeast to replace cake yeast, what attracted me to the recipe was the fact that the few ingredients it required weighed the same.  I had a new imperial scale and I weighed a tub of cottage cheese and adjusted the other ingredients to it. No calculations were required! What I didn’t know at the time was that cottage cheese was not túró. The recipe still worked for some inexplicable reason and cottage cheese sticks remained one of Jim’s favourites. This must have given hope that the young girl he married from Hungary will make good food one day. All I brought with me to the new world were memories of food. I knew nothing about cooking; I was such a novice I looked for a recipe making tea... in a Hungarian cookbook ha! I sent frantic letters home how to make rántás [roux]. All my cookbook would say, “make a good roux...”.
Only love kept us alive during the first few months until one day Ann Eggleton came over and we started having daily chats on the phone. How we did it, I am not quite sure anymore... I didn’t speak English and she spoke no Hungarian. But there we were talking. Ann thought me English and a few tricks in the kitchen. In order to eat I gave up on my Hungarian palate for decades. I ordered a Purity cookbook from the Vancouver Province’s Weekend Magazine. I could use the Purity cookbook without calculations and I didn’t have to hunt for ingredients, everything was available at the Prince Rupert Co-Op. Aside from a few Hungarian dishes, my children grew up with Canadian fare. Many dishes I make now they never tasted and in all fairness would not even like... As time went on I tried a few recipes from Margit néni’s old cookbook and these cottage cheese sticks are among the few I still make to this day.

Cottage Cheese Sticks

1 cup 2% cottage cheese
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp instant yeast
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 egg lightly beaten
1-1/2 cups grated cheddar


  • Drain the cottage cheese for a good hour.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour.
  • Add the yeast, sugar and salt and whisk to combine.
  • Stir the drained cottage cheese into the flour mixture to form dough.
  • Roll the dough on floured surface to 1/2 inch thick.
  • Brush the top with the egg wash and spread the grated cheddar on top.
  • Cut into 3-4 inch sticks.
  • Place the sticks on prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden.

7 comments:

  1. What a delightful story, Zsuzsa. xxx

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  2. I found your story of your mom's cooking experiences very interesting. Immigrant women had their own challenges to face when they came to Canada. Feeding their families was just one of them. The cheese sticks sound delicious. There's a fried donut called 'papanasi' that I've made that also uses cottage cheese in the dough. It's amazing how versatile it is.

    My mom's recipes were all in her head when she came to Canada at 40 yrs of age. And since her English reading skills were poor, if not non-existent, she didn't have the option of reading English cookbooks. Between talking to the Romanian speaking women she worked with in a Jewish deli and the food that our mostly Italian neighbours made she managed to feed us quite well. Though there were more than a few Yugoslav/Romanian dishes that my brother and I did not like and refused to eat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was me in the story Lara. I had no choice but to learn the language and learn to cook. I was 18 and there was no recipe in my head. :-)

      Delete
    2. I knew that but thinking of my mom's experience inserted YOUR mom into your story. It must have been early in the morning before my first coffee. )

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  3. That's an amazing story Zsuzsa, my dear Mom's Aunt came to Canada to marry a Canadian, she lived in Welland, Ontario; Katinéni would have been your mother's age.
    I have my Mom's old cookbook (published the year before of her birth, 1935 (Az Ínyesmester Ezer Új Receptje published by Athenaeum, 1935). I can read Hungarian (with difficulty) but I must say, I've never been able to read a Hungarian recipe.
    I just made a sajtos rud yesterday, my Áginéni's recipe. She uses tejszin to pull her dough together. Your version looks very light and delicious.
    I suspect my Mom didn't know how to cook when she came to Canada, but she did bring one cookbook. Eventually my Mom became a good home cook and was able to improvise well, but it drove my Dad crazy because she never wrote her improvisations down so she never made the recipe the same way twice! I can recall sitting at the dinner table and Dad would say, "that was delicious, did you write it down?"
    Eva http://kitcheninspirations.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha Eva, your mom sounds just like me. Since I started the blog I write the recipes down, but do I follow my own recipes? Ha!

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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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