...gonna kick the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight... musings of a hungarian in texas

©2003 by Annamaria Kovacs. All contents of this blog are the property of the author. Use with written permission only.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sausage and Cabbage

While this might not sound like your absolute favorite, give it a try. I made this twice in the past two weeks and got totally cleaned pots both days.
(and if you can come up with a better name, please let me know!)

The ingredients in this one are important; wherever possible, I will give substitutes, but there are certain things that you really need to have to pull this one off.

1-2 tbsp. pork lard (this is the one that you will really need if you want to get the real flavor...If you can't get or use this, try it with sunflower oil)
1/2 of a large onion, chopped fine
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 of a cabbage head, shredded
2-3 cups of chicken stock (beef stock is fine, too)
1-2 teaspoon of sweet Hungarian paprika (no substitute)
1-2 tsp. of half-sharp Hungarian paprika (no substitute)
1 tsp. caraway seeds, whole
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
salt to taste
1 lb. of venison kolbace (ours was homemade courtesy of Technogypsy, bless him...but if you don't have ways of obtaining this, beef Polish kielbasa would do in a pinch...or any Hungarian type sausage that is not heavily smoked but contains garlic and paprika)
sour cream, (optional)

1. Sautee onion and garlic in melted lard in a larger pot for about 3 minutes over medium-high heat. Add caraway seeds and continue sautee until you hear the caraway seeds popping, for about 1 minute more. Pull off heat and add two types of paprika; stir vigorously.
2. Return to heat, add a bit of the chicken stock so paprika base does not burn. Add shredded cabbage, mix in well. Add pepper and salt. Cover pot, cook until cabbage is almost translucent and soft, for about 15-20 mins, adding chicken stock as needed to prevent burning.
3. Add sausage/kolbace, cut into 4 pieces. Add more stock if needed, cover pot again, and continue sautee for 15 minutes more until sausage completely heats/cooks through. Check for seasonings, correct by adding more salt/stock or black pepper if needed.
4. Serve in deep bowls with dollops of sour cream on top, if desired. Dish should have some fairly thick sauce underneath the cabbage. not much, but enough to sop it up with crusty bread.
This serves 4 for dinner(or 2, if you have The Husband as the second person at your table...)


Monday, February 20, 2006

R.I.P G'Kar...

Those of you who know me know that my favorite sci-fi series happens to be Babylon Five.
This news certainly saddens me...he was only 59. Lung cancer is no discriminating...
R.I.P. G'Kar...

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Bathroom Woes II or All Things Come in Threes

Well, that was interesting... and I, again, got reassured in the firm belief that the old Cymri bards writing those triad poems were really unto something...but I jump ahead. Remember, Kind Reader, my previous post, as I was sitting there waiting for the plumber to come out and tell me what was wrong with my bathroom that leaked water seemingly behind the wall?
It was not just seemingly. It was leaking water behind the wall. My plumber guy and his assistant had to remove the sink (I hate pedestal sinks, really impractical stuff, by the way). Then they took off the paneling. Then they said interesting things...The water apparently was coming for quite a while, so the wallboard was so soaked he could just pull with his bare hands and it came out in chunks, like bread. Behind it, there was standing water, and a spurting leak in the cold water manifold. (As a result of this event, I know more about plumbing now that I ever wanted to, as my plumber made sure I got detailed explanation and description about everything they were doing. I liked that a lot.) They shut the water to the house, tested everything for additional leaks, cut the pipe and fixed the part that was leaking.
Then they left, leaving us with a bathroom still wet and smelly...this was expected and explained: we need to dry it out, get a piece of wallboard, put it in place, then replace the paneling, and call them back so that they can put the pedestal sink back. Therefore, The Husband spent the better part of Friday evening replacing said wallboard, while inhaling insane amounts of gypsum powder. As a result of that, he got a sinus headache-developing into migraine thingy today, from which he's JUST NOW recovering. Yippee.
And why did I say that all things come in threes? Because Friday, when The Husband wanted to go to Lowe's to get said wallboard, he discovered that Edward, our gray Jeep was dead. As in dead. Not responding, not moving, not starting, not doing anything.
Great, huh? But wait, there's more. When I got home, and he related the incident, we discovered that a part of our gutter, due to the strong winds that ripped though DFW this week, got damaged at the back part of the house.
Okay, this was the point, when we said: "This was the third, no more okay?...Right?"

So far, it is good. Turned out that the problem with Edward was the simplest one (and not a dead alternator, thank Heaven!) : the battery died, was replaced today and Edward runs just fine now. Gutter has to wait a bit until we recoup.
And the bathroom sink will be back and running Monday when our plumber comes back in the morning. Good that The Husband is off President's Day!

Now: if I could compose one of those poems...like The Three Disasters of February...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bathroom Woes

Our master bathroom started to exhibit serious signs of a leak last SUnday morning. We called in the problem through our HomeShield coverage, and they scheduled a service for Tuesday (called the problem in on Sunday, they called back Monday afternoon). The Husband stayed home Tuesday to supervise: they came around 2pm, he called and told me they fixed it around 300pm. I got home at 530, walked into the bathroom that was supposedly fixed and it was more standing water on the floor than before the fix. We called the plumbers back, they came back, prodded and poked and and told us the leak was behind the panel of wall behind the sink, and they'd need to pull the sink pedestal, the toilet and the panel to get to it to fix. Meanwhile, they did a quickfix, run water in the sink, it did not leak (The Husband was standing there while they were doing it, and it did not leak). We said 'cool, we'll call Home Shield tomorrow'. The plumbers left, and next time I got to the bathroom, there was even more water on the floor. Puzzled, we put more towels on the floor and called HomeShield Wednesday. This time it was I who took half a day off for Thursday, as they said they'd be coming between 800 and 1000.

So: I am sitting here, wringing towels, waiting for the plumbers to show up again. It is 1000. NO one's here. I call the plumbers' dispatch. She's puzzled too. She says:'let me page him'. She calls me back 10 minutes later, apologizing through her teeth, as the plumber guy was in a meeting this am, and will not be able to get out here before 1130.
Now: if I know this yesterday, I would not have taken the half day off, just go to work and get into the car and drive home when they call that he's on his way (I work about 15 minutes from home).
I REALLY hope they do a decent job this time: otherwise, my evaluation of them will go down a notch, and thatd be a pity, because I like ts plumber service--they always'd been prompt, courteous and extremely knowledgeable while expaining in totally layman's terms that even I can understand what they were doing. But when your bathroom is mysteriously flooding from behind the wall, you get a bit agitated.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cherry Cobbler Upside Down (or How to Take Care of Sick Husbands)

As I mentioned before, The Husband is officially sick with Da Sickness plaguing so many of our friends (despite their protests of not being ALL THAT SICK at all)... So, he was craving stuff last night something fierce. One of the items was "something cobbler-like" (whispered on that tentative voice with questionmarks all over it that tends to make you all misty-eyed)...SO I made the cobbler below, and it was properly consumed in two sittings last night, while watching Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar (brown is fine, just pack it down)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg
1/4 cup (4 TBSP.) butter, melted, warm
1/2 cup milk at room temperature
1 tsp. salt
dash of cinnamon
1 lb. bag frozen dark cherries, slightly thawed in microwave for 1 minute on 30% power

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease one 9-inch round cake pan (can use nonstick cooking spray, butter or sunflower oil).
In medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, baking powder. Pour in melted butter, add egg and milk. Whisk together with medium whisk until ingredients are well combined and lumps disappear.
Pour batter into cake pan. Scatter cherries on top.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until tootpick inserted in middle comes out clean.
Serve warm, spooning out of the pan.
This would work well with other fruits, such as peaches (fresh or frozen), or berries (blackberries or raspberries would be awesome).




Happy Valentine's Day, everyone...The Husband is sick, our bathroom has a large leak and we suspect one of the pipes in the wall is busticated (yes, that's a verb, thank you very much), and I am rather busy at work, despite the Boss being out of town. Yech.

See The Husband's blog for wookie pelt pictures referenced in the previous post, by the way. It's a work in porogress, currently The Wookie became An Ewok (actually two), and is still sitting in our garage as other Projects (yes, that's a capital 'P', thank you very much) got priority, like, you know, getting better and FIXING THE HOUSE...Plumbers are expected this afternoon, The Husband will probably sneeze on them.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The problem with Netflix...

...is that you run the risk of the DVD they send is so old, so worn, so scratchy, that it simply refuses to run 40 minutes into the movie. And it won't start again, no matter how much you clean it because, well, it's so scratched you can see it across the room.
And that's what happened yesterday with the original 1975 version of The Stepford Wives; I have not seen it yet, and now I am totally in suspense, because it was rather creepy...Yes, I know the story and basic plotpoints, so no surprises, but the buildup in the original version is just amazingly well done. ::sigh:: Now I'll have to see if I can get it through the local Blockbuster (still have a giftcard from Christmas I need to spend there, so hey).

In other news, I am progressing well on my Christmas scrapbook, and with the additional snapshots The Lemur and his Cupcake sent me, it is positioned well to be finished before this month is over. Then I can start on the Wedding Book. That will be a different adventure, as it is a 12x12, while this one was a small 8x8...requires an entirely different sort of spatial arangement and more photos, for starters. Will have an oipportunity to work on it tonight, while The Husband and The Lizard Queen are busy with cleaning The Dead Wookie In My Garage (tm).

Oh. TDWIMG? Those of you who have not seen the thing, it is an entire fleece from a particular breed of sheep called racka, once very common in Hungary, that we obtained through all kinds of means that are long and complicated to tell here. And, as you will see soon, it really looks like a skinned wookie. The Husband is planning to felt it, once it is cleaned. I told him it needs to be scrubbed first at least twice OUTSIDE the house (in a plastic trach can) to get rid of most of the ungodly smell and its causing factors trapped in the fleece...before he can EVEN think about putting it into the washing machine. In a mesh bag. And I will bleach the whole thing after he's done. Twice.
We are planning on blogging the event with pictures, so check back later this week, either here or at The Husband's blog. It probably will be hysterically funny, or so I hope.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Roasted Salmon with Rosemary Crust

At the request of eowyn, here it is: sorry I am so late with it!

1.5 lbs. salmon fillet, skin on
4 medium garlic cloves, or more, minced (depending on how much you like garlic)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1-2 tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped (this is one of those recipes whre you really need the fresh rosemary, not the dried)
1/4 teasp. salt
1/4 teasp. freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 450F. Line baking sheet with aluminium foil.
Place salmon fillet on foil, skin side down.
In small bowl, mix all remaining ingredients. Spoon over salmon, distribute evenly (I just use my fingers).
Refrigerate for 10 minutes; cover sheet up with paper or plastic wrap to prevent your fridge smell like salmon and garlic for two days.
Bake 10-15 minutes or until salmon flakes. This will depend on the thickness of your fillet, so check for doneness in the middole. It took me about 20 mins, as my salmon was rather thick.
Serve with vegetables or rice (or both).



Wednesday, February 01, 2006


We had some quiet time yesterday...wonder of wonders. I did not even have to cook, as we had leftover pizza and salad from a work lunch (yay free food!) Which was just as well, as I promptly forgot to take out the salmon I planned to make from the freezer anyway. We had a movie to watch, Clint Eastwood's Bloodwork, which I have not seen yet, unlike The Husband, who kept most annoyingly chuckling and making remarks about certain plotpoints that I was supposed to pay attention to to get the final twist. I did NOT want to get the final twist...I want my suspense intact if it is a good movie with fine acting which this one was, thank you very much. I love the way how Clint Eastwood reinterprets the cowboy/white knight myth every time he makes a movie, and this was no exception. I happened to miss his last one, Million Dollar Baby, but I guess I can always add it to the Netflix list...Just afraid how it would go down with certain Husbands who know a thing or two about boxing.
We actually got so quiet after the movie (him reading, me translating some articles from Hungarian) that we did miss the SotU address...Read it afterwards on the 'net with all the trimmings, so The Husband could get his customary vodka at least post-speech.
Old Man Cat got some kind of infection in one of his ears (the way he squirms every time we try to clean it makes it hard for me to determine exactly which one it is)...so we watch and hope it gets better soon. It was pretty bad last night--of course us holding him down and cleaning those ears did not help to improve his mood at all. He shunned us all night, sleeping in the library pillows instead.
And that was it, pretty much. Tonight I am roasting salmon with rosemary (I happened to freeze the whole large package I bought on sale a while back in one lump, so I will make a LOT of salmon) and hopefully some more quietness.