There’s only one reason to go outside when temperatures drop below freezing: to enjoy the thrill of hot food thawing you out when you come home.
Otherwise, I vote for staying in bed all day, snuggled under a comforter, watching chick flicks… or dude flicks (do they even make those?).
Thankfully, the Czech Republic has many wonderful foods for bitterly cold winter days. This means that I’ll be able to leave the house this week. Hurrah!
The Czech Republic is in eastern Europe where summers are hot and winters are c-c-c-cold. The nation consumes dishes loaded with all manner of potatoes and cabbage, as well as stews and roasts. Think rugged, down-home cooking. Typical of many eastern European countries, the Czech Republic uses sour cream as a thickener, dipper, topper.. you name it, sour cream is in it. They also enjoy caraway seed and dill as principal seasoning agents.
You won’t believe it (I almost don’t believe it), but I dug up a dish that includes more than half of these ingredients: Potato & Pickle Soup [Recipe]. Oh yeah. Special thanks to those of you on our Facebook Fan Page who voted to include it on our menu this week and to Clifford A. Wright -one of my favorite cookbook authors – for sharing the recipe with us. (See our interview with Clifford A. Wright)
Funny thing about the Czech Republic is how much of their food can be found here, in America. When their immigrants, like so many others, came to our side of the “big, salty pond,” they cooked their favorite recipes to remind them of home. For example, you’ll find the much adored meat and sweet filled buns called Klobasneks/klobasnikis/Klobásové [Recipe] and Kolaches/Koláče [Recipe] dotted throughout our culinary landscape (most notably in Texas and Oklahoma, where entire festivals are dedicated to the treats).
For those with a bit of a sweet tooth, plums and apricots are beloved in the Czech Republic. When dried they are often cooked down with sweeteners into a thick, sticky filling for Kolaches. As for their savory counterparts, the Klobasneks/klobasnikis? There are many choices for fillings, but in my opinion there’s nothing better than wrapping dough around a spicy Kielbasa.