Week 100: Magyar Magic-in Geneva

Dear Adèle,

 

I write you back from London, it is alive and energetic as ever. Perhaps the best possible balm to the pangs of leaving you is returning to the sights, sounds and smells of this devastating city. Amid the hustle and bustle of this global capital, I thought it would be nice to reminisce a little on our blissful past weekend together. The charms of Geneva’s old town, and the simple joy of playing you at backgammon are still fresh in my memory, but as ever one of the highlights was our little bout of cooking together. This week, we decided to revisit a favourite of ours from our wonderful trip in central Europe: Hungarian Lángos.

We discovered this little delight in Budapest’s covered market (http://budapestmarkethall.com/great-market-hall-budapest) the morning of our walk up to the charming Buda castle. One stand out memory of the trip was your mad dash to the market on the morning of our departure, while I waited at the station with our bags, anxiously awaiting your return with a second helping of this mitteleuropean treat. We nearly missed our bus to Bratislava, but at least we would have had the Lángos.

Lángos is fried bread. Deep fried bread. Traditionally served with sour cream and grated cheese (the particular type of which we are still unclear on). While perhaps not the healthiest of lunches, it was welcome reprieve from the creeping cold of the Franco-Swiss autumn, and from what had been quite a turbulent week for us both. I know I use this excuse for comfort food far too often; maybe it’ll die out when summer approaches, and I can instead gorge myself on ice-cream and other season-appropriate indulgences. Or maybe I’ll eat both. And perhaps I’m beginning to hit on the underlying reason for Syrian dispositions to diabetes (the old joke about obesity not running in the family, it’s just that no-one runs in the family).

As is ever the case when we are both faced with dough, you took the lead. You found the recipe (http://visitbudapest.travel/articles/langos-recipe/) began the mixing, and allowed me to involve myself when it came to mixing the dough (making the fatal error of not flouring my hands, but you were kind enough not to mention this, making a show of their being something wrong with the recipe).

The previous night you had begun the process of making sour cream from crème fraîche, seeing as sour cream was oddly elusive at your local French supermarkets. With the sour cream ready, and Lángos freshly fried, all that was left was to pile on the grated cheese, sprinkle on some black pepper, and devour.

I loved them, you were a little disappointed that they had come out too crunchy, and less doughy than the authentic. You blamed yourself for using too much flour. I had another one. So did you. I snuck another piece while no one was looking. Talk of flour was rapidly forgotten.

Your mum liked them too.

It was not the only adventure of our weekend together, and I look forward to pictures of the finished product from the yogurt you began making while together, hopefully garnished with a little something extra!

Forever craving a hearty home-made dinner by your side,

Yusuf

 

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