Clicky

Bublanina

This was my first time making the dessert Bublanina. According to Google Translate, Bublanina means “souffle”. So, the Bublanina should have a puffed up and fluffy appearance.

I used a recipe by “Tinks” from www.food.com. The preparation time was only 20 minutes and bake time 35-40 minutes.

Here are the ingredients that I used:

  • Splenda Sugar Blend (the recipe calls for sugar)
  • Butter
  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Salt
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Orange Peel
  • Mixed Berries

 

This is a picture of what the dessert looked like before I sprinkled powdered sugar on top of the fruit. (While the Bublanina bakes, the fruit is supposed to sink into the batter.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The recipe called for a 10″x6″x5″ pan. I only had an 8×8 pan handy.

As I looked at the dish in the oven, I saw my fruit had sank into the batter in some places. I was unsure when to pull the dessert out because I did not want the cake to fall.

After 31 minutes of cooking, the cake was ready to pull out of the oven. The edges were a little darker than I like, but the rest was golden brown.

Below is a picture of the finished product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am surprised how yummy this dessert tastes with so little ingredients.  The Splenda mixture worked well as a sweetener. I chose to use this sweetener because we are trying to limit our sugar intake.

If you are looking for an easy Czech dessert to make, this is definitely a great recipe to try. For my adaptation of this recipe, click on Bublanina

 

 

 

Verdigre, Nebraska-Czech it out!

I know this is not exactly about Texas Czechs, but I thought maybe this town might interest some of you.

While traveling to Crofton, Nebraska for the holidays, we ran across a Czech town named Verdigre. The town had a sign welcoming us (Vitame Vas).

Verdigre is a small town with a population just under 600 people and is known as the “World Kolache Capital”. 

My husband and I made a beeline to the town bakery. We pulled up to the Verdigre Bakery and proceeded inside to take in all of the baked goodies. The bakery had a good variety of kolache flavors.  (One little tidbit I found, was that most bakeries, at least in the area of Nebraska I was in, do not make meat kolaches. My husband was sad because he is used to those yummy meat ones found in West, Texas).

We made our purchases and began a conversation with the owner about Czech genealogy, of course 🙂 I found that some of the popular Czech names of this town are: Pavlik, Sukup, Vesely, Bartos, Ruzicka, Kucera, Pavelka, Filip, and Svoboda.

After talking with the owner, my husband and I then headed out to the car to try each product we bought.  The kolaches tasted yummy!  They were different from those made in Texas. (I am not a food critic, so I cannot explain how they were different). We also purchased some Bohemian Rye bread, which was delicious!

If you ever find yourself in that neck of the woods, Czech out Verdigre!

More pictures found on facebook.

 

A Day of Remembrance

Today is November 2nd a day of remembrance.  Whether you are observing the Day of the Dead or All Souls’ Day, you are remembering the departed.  Family and friends travel to cemeteries to where their loved ones rest.  Graves are adorned with burning candles and flowers.  In some cultures, even offerings are left for the deceased.

 

Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

In Mexico, parts of South and Central America and even the United States, many celebrate Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead).  Family and friends will set up an altar with favorite foods, offerings, and brightly colored decorations to welcome back the soul of their loved one.

A common symbol of the day of the dead is a skeleton or skull.  These are not decorated morbidly, but with lots of color.  A popular flower for this day is the marigold.  People will decorate their graves with marigolds by making elaborate designs or sprinkle the petals on and around the area.  The marigold is considered the “flower of the dead”.  Supposedly, the scent of the flower will bring the dead back to the earth for this celebration.

Dusicky (All Souls’ Day)

In the Czech and Slovak Republic, family and friends will travel to the cemeteries where their family is buried.  They will lay flowers on and around the graves, as well as, burning candles.  This custom is to celebrate and remember the ones who have passed on.

Religious Observance-Feast of All Souls

All Souls’ Day in the Catholic Church is a day of prayer for the faithfully departed who are in Purgatory. Graves are decorated with flowers and candles as they remember, pray, and pay respect to the dead.

There are several foods associated with these observances.  I found a recipe for Pan de Muertos (Day of the Dead Bread).  If you visit this website, the recipe received great reviews.  Here is another website full of different recipes from “All Souls Cake” to “Sugar Skulls” to “Eggs in Purgatory.”

“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.”

Author Unknown

Photo of candle by: gnuckx

Additional photos-Day of the Dead by Melissa Eckhoff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What can a death certificate tell you?

When doing genealogy research, I find that the death certificate provides a wealth of information.  I will actually look for this document first when starting on a person’s history.  If it is filled out completely, it can provide many leads.

There are 5 pieces of information that a death certificate can provide:

  1. Last address.  For those of you that have not discovered “Street View” in Google maps, check it out. Most of the time there will be a picture for the address you type into the search field.  Why am I telling you this?  The death certificate sometimes lists the home address of the deceased relative.  You can search the address to see if the home is still standing and what it looks like.
  2. Name of funeral home.  This can prove to be helpful in certain situations.  For instance, my great, great grandmother did not have a death date on her tombstone.  I could not find an obituary or death certificate for her either.  The family had all used the same funeral home, according to their death certificates.  I visited the funeral home and they found the burial records for my great, great grandmother.  I was able to complete that portion of my research because her death date was now known.
  3. Clues to family members.  There are several sections of the death certificate that can provide clues to family members.  The father and mother’s names are the most valuable, in my opinion.  This can provide the maiden name of the deceased, if she is a female. The mother’s maiden name may be listed as well. Unfortunately, this part of the death certificate is not always filled out and may be left blank.  The informant name can also lead to family members.  Sometimes the informant can be the wife, brother, sister, or their children.
  4. Name of cemetery.  The name of the cemetery can come in handy, if you want to visit the tombstone.I recommend taking a picture because future weathering of the stone can cause dates and names to be unreadable.
  5. Cause of death. For those of you who want to add to family medical records or if you are just curious, the death certificate provides a cause of death.  This can validate family stories about how someone passed away or answer why someone died at a young age.

 

I have had so many questions answered by death certificates.  Do you have any stories of how a death certificate helped lead you to answers about your family history?

 

Pocket Dictionary for Cemeteries

I am not even close to being fluent in the Czech language. Repeatedly, I find myself referring to Google Translator, when trying to read tombstones. So, I made a pocket dictionary of common words that I run into when visiting cemeteries.

The dictionary is divided into family relationships, months, and words and phrases. This is small enough to fit in the glove box of your vehicle so that it is handy when you do not have an Internet connection out in the middle of nowhere.

If you are interested in using the pocket dictionary, you will find it under “Documents” under the “Resources” menu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hruska’s Store and Bakery-Ellinger, Texas

What do you get when you combine kolaches, home décor, off the wall gifts, friendly service, and juicy hamburgers? Well, the answer is Hruska’s Store and Bakery.

This store is filled with lots of goodies made by Hruska’s such as Milk Chocolate Pecans and Holland Mints. There is even an area full of Hruska-made jarred and bottled goods. If you look in this section you will find an enormous variety, from Corn Relish to Blackberry Cobbler to Garlic Stuffed Olives-yum!

hruskas

If you look around, Hruska’s stocks their store with products from local companies. I found pecan chewy candies made in Columbus, Texas by Kay Klauber Candies. There are bins of several different kinds of pralines made by Katy Sweet Confectioners. On an end cap, I discovered Krenek’s Bohemian Noodles, Bar-B-Q Sauce, and All Purpose Seasoning made down the road in Fayetteville, Texas. I even ran across beef jerky made by Prasek’s Smokehouse in Hillje, Texas.

I couldn’t help but gravitate toward the home décor section of the store. I found so many cute wall hangings, lamps, canisters, etc. Not only is there a wonderful selection of home furnishings, but a unique collection of gifts.

I am saving the best for last. Hruska’s has a large bakery/meat section. They have kolache flavors that I had never tried before such as pumpkin and cream cheese. They also serve up burgers, sandwiches, salads, and more.

I would definitely recommend stopping in at this fine establishment. They have something for everyone. For more information, visit their facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Hruskas/180546952012462?fref=ts.  To view more pictures of Hruska’s visit http://www.facebook.com/CzechsOfTexas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Identifying Mystery Photos

There is nothing more satisfying than identifying a photo of an unknown person.

About five years ago, I came across a stack of unlabeled cabinet photos that were found in the possessions left by a relative who had recently passed away

As I looked through the pictures, I became sad.  There was a photo of a couple on their wedding day, about three photos of a family standing outside their home, and a picture of a newborn baby, among others.  These people were someone’s mother, sister, brother, uncle, and grandfather and had become “unknown woman #1” and  “mystery man #3”.  I took this as a challenge and decided to focus on finding out the identity of these people.

While visiting my family in Pleasanton, I decided to visit our family plot in the local Catholic cemetery.  As I was walking around, I noticed that some of my relatives had pictures on their tombstones.  Upon closer inspection, there was the woman and man from the unknown wedding photo from the exact cabinet photo I had recently received from my relative!  Now, a name could be put to a face.

A few months later, I took a trip to West and visited St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery.  As I was taking pictures of some of the tombstones, I ran across a young woman’s photo that looked familiar.  I searched through my unidentified photos and it was, again, the very cabinet photo I received from my relative.

There were about 8 more pictures left in the pile that needed to be identified.  My mother purchased the book History of St. Mary’s Parish-Praha, TX and discovered the names of two people by looking through the family histories. Now we had a family name for a group picture full of unidentified people.

The last place that I took my photos to be identified was my family reunion. The eldest person at our reunion and her brother identified a picture to be there mother, father, and siblings.  They were also able to identify two more pictures as their uncle and aunt. I was so thrilled!

So, if you have pictures that remain a mystery, check cemetery photos.  Also be sure to look through as many books on Texas Czech communities that you can find.  Some Catholic churches put out a book of past parishioners and their family histories. Always take your pictures to family reunions; I make a bee line to the elders of the family because they may remember seeing a photo as a child or recognize a face.  Lastly, I post my mystery photos online on www.deadfred.com in hopes that someone runs into them and submits the name.

Do you have any unidentified photos?

Please look through the “Mystery Photos” page under “People Pictures”.  If you are able to identify anyone or would like to submit photos please email me at: Melissa_eckhoff@yahoo.com.

Kolaches across TX

Everyone has their own favorite bakery that they stop in to purchase those delicious pastries that Czechs are known for — the kolache.   I cannot go through West without visiting Gerik’s Ole Czech Smokehouse and Bakery or even think about leaving town before I stop in at Original Kountry Bakery in Schulenburg, Texas.

The trouble I run into when I go to different cities is how do I know if they serve true kolaches.  I don’t want to walk in, look, and walk out so I go with the places that I know.

I have recently compiled from a number of sources, a list of bakeries across the state that make Kolaches (I had no idea there were so many). I don’t know about you, but I intend to stop in to each one someday and sample their yummy treats.

Bell County

Green’s Sausage House
16483 State Highway 53
Temple, TX 76501
(254) 985-2331 or (254) 985-2585
http://greenssausagehouse.com

Kolache Kitchen
23108 SE H K Dodgen Loop
Temple, TX 76504
(254) 778-5202

Bexar County

Kolache Shop
11703 Huebner
Suite 200
San Antonio, TX 78230
(210) 558-3900
http://kolachestop.com

Burleson County

Kolache Capital Bake Shop
203 Texas 21
Caldwell, TX 77836
(979) 567-7584

Caldwell County

The Blue Ribbon Bakery
Highway 80,
Prairie Lea, TX 78661
(512) 488-2222

Collin County

Kolache Station Bakery
3115 W. Parker Rd. #535
Plano, TX 75023
(972) 519-8315
http://www.kolachestation.com

Colorado County

Kountry Bakery
408 West Main Street
Weimar, TX
(979) 725-6901
http://www.kountrybakery.com

Little Bakery
1233 Fannin Street
Columbus, TX 78934
(979) 732-5701

Dallas County

Kasa Kolache Bakery & Café
761 S Macarthur Blvd # 113,
Coppell, TX 75019
(972) 745-8822
http://coppellkolaches.net

Fayette County

Hruska’s Bakery
109 W State Hwy 71
Ellinger, TX 78938
(979) 378-2333
http://www.hruskas-bakery.com

Lukas Bakery
135 N. Main Street
LaGrange, TX
(979) 968-3052

Original Kountry Bakery
110 Kessler Avenue
Schulenburg, TX
(979) 743-4342

Weikel’s Bakery
2247 West State Hwy 71
La Grange, TX 78945
(979) 968-9413
http://www.weikels.com

Galveston/Harris County

Kolache Bakery
908 East Main Street
League City, Texas
(281) 338-0446
http://www.kolachebakery.com

Olde Towne Kolaches & Bakery
8821 Westheimer Road
Suite 107
Houston, TX 77063
(713) 781-7144
http://www.otkbakery.com

Ranch Bakery
5431 Barker Cypress Rd.
Suite 500
Houston, Texas 77084
(713) 589-8797
http://ranchbakery.com

Hays County

Dos Gatos Kolache Bakery
700 North LBJ Suite 102A
San Marcos, TX
(512) 392-1444
http://www.dosgatoskolaches.com

Hill County

Country Czech Bakery
302 W. Elm St.
Hillsboro, TX
(254) 580-2898

Lavaca County

Kountry Bakery
802 East 4th Street
Halletsville, TX 77964
(512) 798-4423
http://www.kountrybakery.com

McLennan County

Czech Stop & Little Czech Bakery
I-35 Exit 353
West, TX
(254) 826-4170 or (254) 826-5316
http://www.czechstop.net

Gerik’s Ole’ Czech Bakery
511 West Oak St.
West, TX
(254) 826-3327

Village Bakery
108 East Oak St.
West, TX
(254) 826-5151

Palo Pinto County

Machacek Bakery & Market
300 Grant Ave
Strawn, TX 76475
(254) 672-5372
http://www.machacekbakery.com

Robertson County

Zamykal’s Gourmet Kolaches
709 Main St.
Calvert, TX
(979) 364-2386

Tarrant County

Duffey’s Kolache Bakery
5250 N. Tarrant Parkway
Suite 100
Ft. Worth, TX 76137
(817) 428-2777
http://www.duffeyskolachebakery.com

Kenner’s Kolache Bakery
2812 South Cooper
Arlington, TX
(817) 465-8213

Travis County

Babicka Kolache
408 Brazos Street
Austin, TX
(512) 568-5980

Kolache Creations
7113 Burnet Rd Ste. 112
Austin, TX
(512) 458-5542
http://www.kolachecreationsbakery.com

Lonestar Kolaches
http://www.lonestarkolaches.com

STORE #1:
3800 North Lamar, Suite 700,
Austin, TX 78756
(512) 323-FOOD (3663)

STORE #2:
1701 Parmer Lane,
Austin, TX 78727
(512) 719-FOOD (3663)

STORE #3:
2606 FM 1825, Suite 101,
Pflugerville, TX 78660
(512) 251-BUNS (2867)

STORE #4:
6317 Bee Caves Rd Suite #330
Austin, TX 78746
(512) 327-BUNS (2867)

STORE #5:
3601 West William Cannon
Austin, TX 78749
(512) 899-BUNS (2867)

Williamson County

Monica’s Czech Bakery
12820 North IH 35
Exit 275
Jarrell, TX 76537
(512) 746-4445
http://www.monicasczechbakery.com

 

Photo by: whitneyinchicago

Search button for this website

The “Search this Website” button will not search the “Cemeteries” and “People Pictures” photo galleries.  The photo galleries are in alphabetical order by last names.

Recipes & Remembrances of High Hill: A Collection of Pictures, Stories and Recipes-FOR SALE

Copies of the cookbook entitled “Recipes & Remembrances of High Hil: A Collection of Pictures, Stories and Recipes” are for sale!  This book contains old family recipes, family histories, and pictures of parishioners of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in High Hill, TX.

This cookbook can be ordered through the St. Anne’s Society of High Hill.  Here is the order form:

http://stmary-highhill.com/cookbook-order-form.pdf