To contribute to the festivities

I did not manage to formulate a post yesterday; I apologize for that.  It was Christmas Eve, and I was thus zealously consuming food and participating in animated discussions with my family.  Albeit that I’m an atheist, and that I’m Jewish by background, my family is rather “lax” where religion is concerned; its members somehow established that Christmas is the most, erm, convenient excuse for frantic gift exchanges, joyous guzzling of white wine, and general displays of merriment.

The food is prepared by my grandmother; some of you, if you know me personally, will comprehend why.  She has been an excellent cook for the entirety of her life, crafting recipes that please nearly everyone, and adapting readily to new culinary styles.

I would hope it’s fairly obvious that I’m trying to get at a non-academic posting.  Neil actually suggested that I should formulate one in order to stay in touch with what’s happening outside of my mind; he’d make a veritably useful psychologist, I think.  Do I divert from my typical interests with ease?  Not at all.  You can tell.

That said, let me attempt to be personable, for once.  My grandmother not only cooks, but also bakes really well.  She delights in making small sweets, the which are very popular in most European countries.  These, quite simply, make my [holi]day; I particularly enjoy her vanilkové rohlíčky.  A rohlíček doesn’t precisely have an English equivalent – certain Czech-English dictionaries claim that it’s identical to a roll; these look more like croissants.  That, though, is unimportant when we’re faced with the fact that they’re incredibly good.  They’re pictured below:


These are creamy in every aspect of their being – tender to the teeth, they disintegrate upon contact – the sweet, icing sugar coating is lightly rivalled by a hint of lemon zest within the dough.

With my grandmother’s permission, the below is the fifty-three-year-old recipe that she finalized one day prior to her wedding.  My apologies for any unorthodox units – dekagrams seem thoroughly approachable, as far as I’m concerned; I’ve no knowledge of Canadian baking conventions.  I employ the highly precise špetka and hrst when I do [attempt to] bake.


60 dekagrams of flour (preferably smooth, white flour as utilized for bread)
46 dekagrams of unsalted butter
14 dekagrams of ground hazelnuts or walnuts
14 dekagrams of white icing sugar
The zest of half a lemon.

Mix and knead all of the aforementioned ingredients thoroughly, until a dough forms.  Let this rest in the refrigerator for approximately thirty minutes.  You can then begin slicing the dough into pieces of approximately equal size, and rolling these into log-like shapes.  They should be rather small – each little roll should be approximately three centimetres long prior to shaping.  Curl the ends of each roll as depicted in the above image.  Nextly, bake at 350°F until the dough rises.  If you wish to determine whether or not your rohlíčky have been thoroughly baked, flip one over – you’re looking for a pale pink base.   Presumably, “After little bit pink, that’s it!”  When they are done, dip each rohlíček into a mix of vanilla and white sugars.  You can eat these for up to three months after they’ve been made.






The leftmost image depicts the original copy of my grandmother’s recipe.

Happy holidays, everyone!

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2 Responses to To contribute to the festivities

  1. J says:

    You’re Czech? Where of?

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