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28692Re: [Slovak-World] "Food and Eating"--2

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  • Helen Fedor
    Feb 23, 2010
      Thanks, but I have to 'fess up and say that I'm not translating this text. It's already written in English in _Slovakia: European Contexts of the Folk Culture_ (Bratislava, 1997), but it's in a "funky" English that sometimes doesn't make sense or sounds absurd. I'm basically copyediting it, making it readable. This item was translated into English in Slovakia. As I've heard in other, similar situations, "Oh, we know English." No, sorry, you don't. JB, if you read my very first email on the topic, labelled #1, you'll see what I mean. Compare it with #1A.

      I've heard of those books and they're on my to-read list, but that list is verrrrryyyyy long. "So many books, so little time!" is the story of my life. On that subject, I just finished reading _The Linden and the Oak_, which someone on SW had recommended. It's quite an interesting book and pretty well written. My major quibble is with the dialog. Why so formal? The author avoids contractions (for the most part, although there are sentences where it's an awkward mix); is this because he thinks it sounds too modern? I thought it sounded odd to have two peasants fellows, around 22 years old, who've known each other all their lives, talk to each other saying something like "I wonder where it is that he is going." It's jarring to the ear and just draws too much attention to itself.

      All opinions my own

      >>> "J.B. Bulharowski" <j.bulharowski@...> 2/23/2010 2:55 PM >>>

      Just wanted to thank you for the "translation" messages on food. I realize it is a huge amount of work. Perhaps I didn't catch your source for all this information, or I've forgotten/missed out on the thread, but I find it utterly engaging. My background is in food and history but food and its production from seed to table is of great interest to me. I wish I was as fluent in the language as you are so I could delve into it myself.

      Off the Slovak subject, have you read any of Michael Pollan's books(?) "Omnivores Dilemma," "In Defense of Food," and so forth, he's quite fascinating and opinionated, (nothing wrong with that). Nice to read when you aren't translating Slovak or doing your genealogy. What's the statement I saw somewhere, "so many books, so little time!"

      Again thank you and keep submitting that good stuff.

      Cheers, JB

      From: Helen Fedor <hfed@...>
      To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tue, February 23, 2010 12:14:37 PM
      Subject: [Slovak-World] "Food and Eating"--2

      Barley was another important cereal. Barley grains were roasted before use, and afterwards were ground in a quern [a primitive hand mill for grinding grain < http://www.stalbans museums.org. uk/What-s- on/Diary >], or were crushed in a mortar. This primitive means of producing flour was used in the Slovak countryside until the first decades of the 20th century. Later, barley groats [grains with their hulls removed] began to be made in mills. Home-made groats were very nutritious, more so than rice, which gradually replaced groats in Slovak cuisine during the 20th century.

      A thick mush made from groats was cooked with salty water or a thinner mush was cooked with milk, and was served with milk, butter, or lard. Festive wedding-mush was flavored with honey. Sausages were often filled with a groat mush. It was said that groats held up well when mixed with blood, so they were put into blood sausages; "beggar" or "black" mush was cooked from groats at hog-killings. Groats also formed the base of various thick, nutritious dishes. Podders [plants growing in pods, such as peas, beans, or lentils] and sauerkraut were often cooked with them. Smaller barley groats were cooked in milk-based and water-based soups, where they cooked along with vegetables. Formerly, barley groats were also used to make home-made leavening. Lukewarm water was poured onto the groats, wild hops with onions were added, and the mix was left to ferment. The resulting liquid and groats formed the so-called "parkvas," which was used to leaven bread
      dough. When the "parkvas" was dried, it was still good even a couple of months later(4). This method of preparing leavening gradually faded in Slovakia during the first half of the 20th century. Generally, it was replaced by leavening that was made from the leftover bread dough or soaked bread, or in some places brewer's or distiller's yeasts were used as leavening. In mountain regions, barley flour was also used for cooking and baking. A mush called "c~i'r," as well as a sour soup, were made from it. Barley flour was often added to rye flour to make home-made bread; barley flour was also used to make unleavened flatbreads, which often replaced leavened bread in the mountains.(5)

      All opinions my own

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