Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Dollop of Sour Cream

Chicken paprikash with additional sour cream when plated
Cooking Hungarian

Like many cultures, food can be a central theme. But for Hungarians food is an expression of love, camaraderie, and celebration. It is quite unexplainable.

My favorite Hungarian recipes can be found on any internet if you Google them... but there are nuances and differences of ingredients, measurement, or cooking styles. But the one thing that is common in most Hungarian dishes is sour cream either mixed into the sauce while cooking or topping the dish when plated and served.

The following are few of our family's Hungarian dishes with their nuances.

Chicken Paprikash
 All Hungarian dishes start by cooking several chopped onions until soft.  Take the pot with the onion off the fire and add the paprika (paprika will burn and taste bitter).
Add chicken, chicken broth or water and heat
Stir in 1 cup of good sour cream.

Chicken Paprikash sour cream added to sauce
Additional sour cream can top the paprikash if desired when plated (see at top of post).

Cabbage Rolls
Sour cream is added to the cabbage rolls when they are served.

Stuffed cabbage before cooking
The rolls filled with an onion, beef, pork, rice mixture and wrapped in blanched cabbage leaves are then covered 1/2 way up the pan with water. I top with sauerkraut. Top the entire dish with tomatoes or tomato juice and then a few peppercorns.  Stuff a few pepperoni into the crevices of the cabbages. Cook 1-2 hours until rice is cooked.

 Cabbage rolls plated with sour cream. Many Hungarians do not top this dish with sour cream.

Hungarian Beef Goulash

Goulash while from Paprika
Goulash is usually cooked with beef. Use a top sirloin rather than stew beef so that the beef is very tender. The sour cream is added to the plated goulash.
There are two kinds of goulash. One is served over a homemade noodle or "nokedli" (spaetzel) and the other is like a soup made with potatoes and more liquid.

Other Hungarian Food served with sour cream

Langos is a fried puffed bread that should be sprinkled with cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Picked up and eaten by hand.

Uborka Salat is a cucumber salad. The cucumbers are sliced thin, salted and left to drain of their natural liquid.
They are to be cured in the refrigerator with a vinegar, garlic, salt, sugar dressing overnight. Before serving, sour cream is mixed into the salad. Add a dash of paprika just before serving. If you leave the cucumbers unpeeled the dish with the paprika on top reflects the colors of the Hungarian (paprika) and green (cucumbers).

Rakott Krumpli  is cooked sliced potato, cooked sliced eggs, layered with sour cream. Stuff kolbas, sausage, pieces of thick bacon, or other spiced Hungarian meats in between the layers. Top with a sour cream mixture. This dish resembles scalloped potatoes. 

Hungarian Summer Squash is grated summer squash (or zuchinni or spaghetti squash) sauted with a bit of flour and cream added and then sour cream. Top with lots of fresh dill!

Cheese Dip Farmer's cheese or an America unsalted feta cheese with sour cream, paprika, caraway seeds.

The following are Hungarian Dishes Made Without Sour Cream
There are many dishes served without sour cream. Desserts like Dobors torte, walnut cake, poppy seed strudel, and palachinka are just a few.

Palachinka is like a crepe and can be prepared sweet or savory.

For a sweet palachinka:
A ladle of mixture into a frying pan. Tip the pan to spread the mixture all around the pan and then flip to the other side.
It can be served rolled up with apricot jam inside. 

For a savory palachinka:
You can use the crepe for savory dishes also. Roll chicken inside and serve with a paprika cream sauce...then sour cream can top this savory dish. 

Please see one of my favorite websites for Hungarian cooking (below).

Also Facebook: Hungarian Cooking.

See online June Meyer's website.

If you enjoy Hungarian Food and wanna swap recipes,  just write me.

See ya down the road, 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Getting Somewhere ...With Unusual Spellings of Names

Hungarian Name Spellings Can HELP

A stop at the Family Search exhibit booth in the Jamboree 2105 exhibit hall netted me some great family data.  I posted my 

gggrandfather and

gggrandmother of the


to my Family Search family tree.

 • I added the surname Balint given name Martony and his wife given name Agnes and her unusual maiden name Zsigai.
• These unusual spelling of names matched information in the Family Search database which I then attached to my tree.

• I knew when I saw Zsigai and the name Agnes with it, I had found my gggrandmother. (Other match suggestions of Zsigi and Zsiga with the name Agnes were (perhaps a translation/typing error) all matches of information for my gggrandmother.

• There were no further suggested matches and no source given. 
I was disappointed that there was no source such as an image of BMD or census record. The only thing the folks at Family Search exhibit table could tell me was that this information was in the Family Search database. 

 Note the blue icon. There are other icons of importance (See below)

In the Hungarian language and culture Martony, Balint, and Zsigai are not unusual names or spellings.  
•We are not used to working with the spellings of these names so they STOOD OUT as the only names matched and were not easily confused with other surnames. 
•If the database had other names like these, most certainly they would have been my Martony and Agnes.

• The Zs is an actual letter of the Hungarian alphabet and is used at the beginning and pronounces only similar to the English like Z in zipper.

I typed in the information of my gggrandparents and left the Family Search exhibit booth. Once back in my hotel room I tried to continue work on this tree but found the information I had entered was not to be seen.

Note: It may take several days for the find and your acceptance of the find to be added and seen on your Family Search tree.  

When working on Family Search and as other matches pop up, note the small icons at the bottom of the button: 

red exclamation point = error such as "father born before before the mother's birth date"
brown (computer with magnifying glass) = source hint such as a "leaf" in Ancestry
blue (keyboard with ?) = research suggestion= no source attached  
Note the red, blue and brown icons

Caution: Unmatching or unattaching matches that are NOT good matches are too easily attached. Then you have to go through the process of unmatching/deleting them. 
Note: Not an easy process to find and complete.

 One week later I received by email confirming the linking of these matches in LDS summary format.

This match due to an unusual spelling of a name was a good match.

Another couple of the Berger/Szabo surname wer added. The email below provided source name and microfilm numbers.

What are your experiences with Family Search? 

Please contact me and share them.

See you down the road,

Friday, July 10, 2015

My Pal....Flip Pal

Several years ago I bought a Flip Pal...

This blog post is not a "how to" of the Flip Pal but some comments and suggestions on my most recent use.

Flip Pal, memory card, USB adapter, lid needs to be removable as scanning a large document you must turn the Flip Pal OVER to scan a large item in sections for stitching together. (see below)

My cousin Leona and I have been promising to get together and share family stories, photos, and documents.  In her most recent email Leona said she had some very old death certificates and other documents. I asked her to copy them and send them to me. Unfortunately, the documents were too old and too brittle to take somewhere and make copies.

I took my Flip Pal to her house and we scanned documents for most of the morning. I used my Flip Pal to take several pictures of documents that would be "stitched together" when I got home.

Leona indeed was correct. Some of the documents were very old, delicate, and brittle.

NOTE: She and I went to the Container Store and purchased acid free document portfolios and photo containers.  I made her promise that she would go right home and put the worst of the documents into these containers today and the remainder soon after.

Scanning: (I use a MAC computer)
If you are scanning to "Stitch together a large document, you must remove the lid and flip the Flip Pal over and scan as shown below.
1. Be careful as you scan in sections.  Overlap if you are using several scans to create one document from a large document.
2. Align edges carefully. 
I wasn't so precise but I still got a good result.
scanning sections of a large item
3. After scanning, take the memory card out of the Flip Pal. 
Press in and it will pop out.
4. Read the directions for the use of the memory card and accessory like the USB adapter. 
I needed to use the USB adapter.

The Flip Pal disc in the adapter and in a USB port

5. Once the card is inserted into the computer, the Flip Pal folder or device icon will appear on your desktop.
Flop Pal folder or icon. Here an icon on my MAC

6. Click on the folder/icon.  You will see the Finder tool bar and  
the Mac folder will open on the desktop.

7. To download in preparation to stitch together...
     • click on flip pal folder/device on the desktop 
     • open the MAC file folder, click TWICE on Easy Stitch
     • you will see Easy Stitch on the toolbar line (see below)
I did not see this at first as I wasn't looking in the right place.
     • Go to file to Open.

See tool bar with Easy Stitch. See Easy Stitch highlighted, and the blue Easy Stitch window that will show stitch progress.

 • Your scanned items in a scanned number list and the actual scanned item pieces will both be displayed.
     • You will need to see and work with both of these lists.

This took me a few minutes to understand, find, and connect with. 

Both lists shown
Calculate the scanned numbers from the copy of the pieces you want stitched together and then highlight them on the scanned numbers list.  You may need to go back and forth between screens.
This also is not a easy concept to grasp at first.

The scanned items that will be stitched
     • Hit Open and then ...Wait
     • You will see the stitching progress on the blue Easy Stitch window. (see below)
This takes a couple minutes so don't try to attempt other task as it holds up the time for this process.

Blue Easy Stitch window showing stitching progress
     • Your scanned item will be shown on the screen in stitched format.  


Remember to take the disc from the computer and replace into the Flip Pal. 

Check batteries frequently.  
Carry 4 (four) AA batteries in the case. 
The Flip Pal will run haltingly if batteries are low.

Do you have a Flip Pal?
Please contact me and tell me your experiences.

See ya down the road, 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Palesnik Sure Ain't Poland

For the Longest Time
The Caronia

Even though I found my grandmother and mother on the passenger list for the ship Caronia, for the longest time I was puzzled about the Ellis Island transcription that stated Last Place of Residence as Poland... Croatia.

This is the actual entry for Anna Binder and child Kata.

This is the same information on the Ellis Island print out.
 (see below) with the entry Last place of Residence of "Poland...Croatia"."

I used the flip-pal to scan and "stitch" the document below. 
More on Flip-Pal in another post.

It was only through sidestepping to my half Great Aunt Katie Muehl (noted before in the post Serendipity) and looking at emails from her family members that information from Ellis Island transcription was corrected

I looked at the entry written as Poland...Croatia with a magnifying globe and saw the last Place of Residence was actually Palesnik, Croatia.

Below is a portion of an email from cousin Mark Muehl:

"Joseph paid their fare and had some $80 with him. Joseph had been to America before between 1903 and 1907 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I did a quick search but couldn’t find him on a ship manifest in 1903. (Looks like another funny case of him returning to Palesnik to find a wife, then coming back to America. What is it with Palesnik and wives?)

This is just one email as there were many email confirmations from Mark stating that the last place of residence was Palesnik, Croatia.

location of the city of Palesnik, Croatia
Palesnik is a small town in Croatia not far from the city of Zagreb.
It is so small that wikipedia only provides the following description:
PaleŇ°nik is a village in Croatia. It is connected by the D45 highway.Ň°nik

• Have you had experiences with Ellis Island transcriptions such as this example?

Please contact me through this blog post as I would love to read your stories.

See ya down the road,
See posts: 
* Serendipity
* Flip Pal