Mamika – A Hungarian Grandmother is phtographed by grandson Sacha Bada

I heard this story on As It Happens CBC Radio One.  Sacha Bada is a photographer, film maker and looks like he does commercials, now living in Paris.  His grandmother – Mamika (term of endearment for grandma in Hungarian?) is in her 80’s and he started taking pictures of her in costumes to cheer her up.  She dresses up in all these wild costumes including super heroes.  Originally from Hungary it appears they fled to France before or during the War.  What I find charming is that some of the videos of Mamika right at the beginning are in Hungarian with French subtitles!  There are videos and photographs in a book.  If you keep clicking on things, you can get to different places.  Some very artistic and edgy photographs. 

When you first get to site, you’ll see a video playing on a computer screen, and Mamika is sitting below the desk…don’t skip the intro, as here is where she speaks in Hungarian.  It’s kind of nice to hear some of the mother tongue spoken as it always reminds me of my two Grandmas.  Click on Mamika holding the big pair of white briefs….to get to different parts of the site including video and the Book of still photographs which are a mix of commercial photography and photos of Mamika.   

There’s been a lot of exposure through this website and I think it’s cheered up his Grandma.  Her other claim to fame is that she help hide/save 11 Jewish people during the WWII and that is one of the reasons why Mamika is Sacha’s hero.

Have fun….and I hope you enjoy it. It’s easy to get carried away and just keep looking at everything.  http://www.sachabada.com/site.html

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No Paprika? What’s a good Hungarian without paprika

It’s a cold day for Vancouver, so it seemed like a good idea to make soup: Tomato Soup with Noodles Hungarian style.  I soon found out that I didn’t have any paprika and called my neighbour Rosina who luckily came to the rescue.  My Mom used to cook this soup while I was growing up and I loved it, but somehow I’d never really learned how to make it.  Last December I went to visit my cousin Diane in Nova Scotia and she showed me how to cook it.  Now, it’s an easy recipe to whip up on a cold night.   Here’s how:  dice a cooking onion in oil until translucent; add some paprika and sauté another minute.  Add 1 large can of tomato juice and season with salt and pepper.  Add a splash of soy sauce and cook on simmer for 1/2 to 1 hour.  About 15 minutes before you are ready to eat, toss in some small-sized pasta or orzo.  The traditional Hungarian way is to make tiny egg dumplings we called nookedli.  Use a fork to beat 3 large eggs in a bowl, add some salt, then gradually mix in enough flour to make a stiff batter.  Initially the batter will appear lumpy, but it will smooth out as you mix and add more flour.  Turn the batter out on to a dinner plate pushing it to the edge and use a soup spoon to “pinch” off small pieces of batter into the soup.  Hold the plate or rest it on edge of pot.  Turn up the heat on the soup so that it is near boiling.  The noodles will double in size and raise to top of soup when noodles are cooked.  Soup is ready to serve.

Cathy’s Chocolate Pudding Cake – so good and easy

You may have heard of this recipe before – 5 minute Chocolate Mug Cake; I found it in a newsletter.  You mix all the ingredients in a coffee mug – I use a 2 cup measuring cup, and then bake it in the microwave.  It’s addictive.

I’ve made changes to the original recipe by cutting down on the sugar and replacing the oil with yogourt.  I’m sure you can find the original “5 minute Choclate Mug Cake” if you are interested.  This recipe is too easy and I find myself making this on quite a regular basis.  But if you love chocolate, it will definitely fix any cravings.

Cathy’s Chocolate Pudding Cake in a Cup

2 T. flour
1 T sugar
2 T cocoa
1 T flax meal (optional)
1 egg
1 T yogourt (plain or vanilla)
               if you don’t have yogourt, you can substitute with sour cream or oil
splash of vanilla
dash of salt
4 T milk

Optional extras:  dried cranberries, sliced or slivered almonds, chocolate chips, mini marshmallows (1 T).  I usually have cranberries and almonds on hand.  I haven’t tried marshmallows but I think that might be good!

Mix all the dry ingredients, add the egg and yogurt – mix into batter.  Next add milk and stir, batter will now be quite thin.  Add in your extras.

Microwave on high (my microwave is 750 Watts) for 2 ½ minutes.  The pudding will may rise over the top of the mug, but will collapse when baked.  Let sit for at least a minute as pudding will continue to cook and the centre, if a bit liquid-y, will finish cooking.  This makes one generous serving.  You can easily double recipe 2 or 3 times and even put it into a small baking dish.

You may need to adjust cooking time depending on the wattage of your microwave.  Also you can adjust the amount of milk by 1 – 2 T more or less.  If you use more milk, you will get cake and pudding.  With less milk, it will be more cake-like.  Both ways are good.  If you want to be really decadent, add a dollop of whip cream or ice cream.

It’s a great time of year to eat apples and pears

I’ve made this recipe a couple of times – baked apples and pears with an oatmeal and almond crumble topping.  It’s easier than a crumble and you probably get more fruit.  Let me know if you like it.

Baked Pears & Apples
Pre-heat oven to 350 F

Step 1
2 -3 apples cut in half & cored
2 – 3 pears cut in half & cored
               (cut out enough fruit so there is room for filling)
Place fruit on cookie sheet cut side up (line with parchment paper for easy clean-up)*cut a slice off bottom of fruit so that it will stay standing upright

Step 2
Melt ¼ cup melted butter
Brush some melted butter over tops of fruit

Step 3
Filling
1 cup regular oatmeal
1/3 cup light brown sugar (do not pack down)
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup slice almonds  

Mix all dry ingredients then mix in remainder of melted butter.  Spoon filling into fruit and lightly press down.

Bake at 350 F for 20 – 30 minutes (riper fruit will cook faster).  You may need to cover with foil for last 10 minutes to prevent topping from getting too brown or burning.  Test for doneness with a fork – fruit should soft but firm.

To serve:  drizzle with honey or maple syrup and put a dollop of yogurt, whipped cream or ice cream.  Reheat leftovers in toaster over or microwave.