What’s Bryndzové Halušky, you ask?
Potato dumplings with bryndza sheep cheese and bacon is one of the national dishes in Slovakia. This hearty meal consists of halušky (boiled lumps of potato dough similar in appearance to gnocchi and a soft sheep cheese, optionally sprinkled with cooked bits of smoked port fat/bacon.
Still haven’t interested you in this dish?
I have to admit that it’s not the most delicious-sounding or scrumptious-looking meal in the world . . .
. . . and the kitchen tool that you use to make it is quite odd-looking . . .
. . . but because Bryndzové Halušky holds HUGE memories for our family, it’s the most wonderful food in the world!
Let me explain.
When our children were in Grades 1,4 and 7, our family moved to Devinska Nova Ves, Slovakia for three years. We made wonderful friends who taught us how to make Bryndzové Halušky and our entire family loved the acquired taste of this meal.
The memories linger. Oh, how they linger.
Our children are now adults and they have strong and very fond memories of this Slovak dish.
When a Slovak friend of my son’s gifted us with a halušky maker from Slovakia, my oldest daughter was so over-the-top excited to recreate this Slovak masterpiece.
This past Saturday was the big day. (Well, we also made the dish again on Sunday!)
My daughter took the helm with great confidence and I was…well….hovering.
My son, Drew was also hovering.
Diane and Drew still hovering.
The three of us were later-focused in making this halušky perfectly. Everything had to be right – the smell, the clumps of potato, the size of bacon pieces, the melting sheep cheese. There was much discussion and many samples. There were also many pots and spoons and pans accumulating on the kitchen counter.
But we did it . . . and the first taste brought everything back. The memories flooded in.
Others gathered that day thought the halušky tasted good but for Dawne, Drew and I, it was PERFECT. We were fully present in the moment, basking in the taste and sharing in the memories.
Food does this, doesn’t it? Food brings the memories rushing back.
The smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies (for me, it was the taste of raw chocolate chip cookie dough, shared with a friend)
The made-with-love comfort food we gobbled up as teenagers.
The first time you ate sauce-dripping BBQ’d ribs with your hands.
The custom-made birthday and celebration cakes.
The bacon and eggs shared in a diner with the one you love.
The tried-and-true-never-let-you-down shortbread cookies handed down through the generations.
The Sunday dinner sit-down-as-a-family pot roasts.
The meals your mom kept hot until you returned home from the Girl Guides meeting every Tuesday night.
The culinary disasters you’ve created and dumped.
Homemade, fresh-from-the-oven bread.
The list goes on. We’ve all been there. We all have these beautiful memories.
Food reminds us where we’ve been.
Our family has been to Slovakia.
Bryndzové Halušky takes us right back to that little kitchen in that little apartment in Devinska Nová Ves.
The memories are precious and we will never forget.