Have you heard about witches’ days and do you know what happens at this time of year in Slovakia? Have you tasted the beautifully crafted medovníky and would you like to know how these honey cookies are made? Or do you want to see what our Christmas dinner looks like? This and much more is wrapped up for you in the new book that has just seen the light of day.
Three years after the launch of Autumn (Fall) Book of A Taste of Slovakia series, the third one is arriving in bookshops. It brings the winter tastes of this little country in Eastern Europe locked in between Austria, Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Czechia. All our neighbours have contributed to the variety of dishes we cook, though we have certainly created our own ways to prepare and serve them. Take these Punch-Soaked Sponge Slices as an example, or Linzer Cookies – another Slovak favourite.
The new book brings recipes for popular Slovak cakes and desserts, as well as those that are rarely made these days, like this old-fashioned wedding kasha.
We introduced the Winter Book at a small launch party in Artforum Žilina bookshop a few days ago. Two ladies who contributed to the book with their recipes and photographs joined me at the event. Andrea, a medovníky baker and Jana, a confectioner, brought in their knowledge and positive vibes. Renáta, a musician from a traditional folk ensemble, entertained all guests with a couple of cheerful songs.
As we talked about different variations on Christmas sauerkraut soup or Opekance, we couldn’t help but reach out for bits of yummy food prepared for this occasion. Andrea had brought her delectable medovníky (honey cookies), I’d made Medvedie labky (Bear Paws), Banánové jednohubky (Chocolate Banana No-Bake Bites) and a platter of sausage, cheese and veggie rolls (canapés), all of which are included in the new book.
There are many more goodies linked to the season that are worth exploring and trying out. Here is what you will find in the 5 chapters of the Winter Book:
- The Countdown to Christmas (Witches’ Days, Advent, Christmas markets, medovníky, Christmas wafers)
- Traditional Pork Specialities (Pork Feasts and homemade pork products: pork cracklings, sausages, brawn, pork in aspic)
- Christmas or Vianoce (in the past and today, Christmas dinner, Bethlehem’s Plays, Rusyn Christmas, Christmas menu, Festive cakes)
- Silvester and New Year’s Day (festivities, cold buffet, finger food and desserts)
- Slovak Wedding (in the past and today, the Čepčenie ceremony, wedding menu, wedding cakes)
The third book has 180 pages, it is beautifully laid-out and illustrated with full-colour photographs. I’m ready to send it out to the world and hope you will enjoy discovering its treasures.