Monday, June 10, 2013

Kolaches, and dishes, and bloodbaths, Oh my!

I've been sitting here most of the afternoon trying to decide what to write about today. I have come across several ideas that sparked in my mind but lost most of them to something shiny or my phone telling me it was my turn at Ruzzle. What can I say, I am easily distracted today.

So considering I can't seem to focus on one thing long enough to write an entire post you are going to get some random different topics until I feel there is enough content to justify a post. It is good to be in charge.

- I was reading something on Buzzfeed about why living in Texas is amazing. I have plenty of my own reasons, but the list was full of amusing entries, many of which I would not have considered (and still wouldn't). About halfway through they listed off kolaches as one of the reasons that Texas rocks. I found this incredibly amusing.

First off I am quite certain that the Czech danish is made in other states, as I am certain that Czech immigrants settled elsewhere. I can't say if kolaches are as popular elsewhere, but these lovely eats are not a Texas phenomenon by far.

This amused me on another level though. If you know me well you have probably heard my kolache rant. For those of you who have never stood over a bakers box in the breakroom with me while I espoused my very strict pastry views, allow me to share.

Growing up we would often visit my great aunt and uncle who lived in Schulenburg, TX. It is a little sleepy community very close to Columbus, TX. The highlight of going on these trips was the fact that we could get barbecue from the central meat market, and kolaches and pigs from this one little bakery in town. They were this amazingly wonderful sweet part of my childhood that I will forever cherish.

That being said, what you get at a Dunkin Donuts or even at the famed Czech Stop in West are not really kolaches. I mean they are, in the most basic of ways, but they so are not. If you had eaten what I grew up on, lovingly made by this little old Czech woman who probably didn't speak much English, you would understand what I mean.

First things first, there are no savory kolaches. Sausage wrapped in dough is a pig in a blanket or sausage in a bun. Still tasty, but not a kolache. You can call it a kolache all you want, that doesn't actually make it a kolache. I hate being tricked into thinking there may be kolaches only to find a box of pigs instead. Also most commercially made pigs have too much bread to the amount of sausage, or the wrong kind of dough.

Secondly kolaches are not bread and jelly, as one of my coworkers recently described them. They are bread, but not just bread. The bread is light and sweet and buttery and not a roll but not a biscuit and certainly not cake. It is sort of hard to explain, but when you taste it, you know it. All too often what you get is nothing much more than a standard, overly dry, yeast roll with a divot and some preserves in it.

Lastly most kolaches you buy are mostly dough. The divot is never big enough to hold much of the filling. In the end you are left with slightly hard, slightly dry, under filled pastries. That is not the experience you really want to look for.

I still try one every once in a while to see if they are any good, but I am usually disappointed.

-  Yesterday was one of those days where nothing went right. I had bribed the husbeast on Saturday night with new terrain for warhammer if he would take me to buy new dishes on Sunday. He is very easily bought. I must remember this in the future.

I have a dish problem. I love dishes. I can normally walk into any store selling dishes and find something that I want to go home with. Sometimes it is a bowl or serving platter, sometimes it is a set of glasses, sometimes it is a tea cup, but there is always something.

Of course this turns out to be one of those times when you should never say 'always'.

What should have been an hour trip down to World Market and back home turned into an eight hour ordeal. We drove all over. We went down around the Galleria, we went way up into Plano, hell we went all the way to Allen at one point. We went everywhere we could think of and came up with nothing but disappointment.

We were met at every turn by incredibly small and incredibly unsatisfying options. After leaving a giant two story monstrosity of a Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I decided it should be renamed Bed, Bath, and some other random crap. They had the bed and bath thing down, but it was sadly obvious why there is no specific reference to kitchens in their name.

By the end of it all I was so disheartened that I just gave up. I never give up on shopping. If shopping were an Olympic sport I would have gold medals. I can find anything. Anything but dishes apparently.

I have been told by the husbeast that since I already let him buy the terrain that I can still have new dishes, that there is no time limit on the promise. Such a good husbeast.

- I do not watch Game of Thrones. It isn't because I am opposed to lengthy period dramas where all your favorite characters die, I am totally in for that. I just don't get HBO and am currently over my limit on shows I am following. I also haven't read the books but that again is a lack of time/over committed thing.

So last week after the Red Wedding episode came out and everyone lost their minds over it I admit my interest was piqued. I wanted to see what exactly all the fuss was about. So when I was conveniently offered a chance to watch the offending scene I jumped on it.  What can I say I am only human.

Now I admit I don't know anything about the show or the characters. I had nothing invested in anyone I saw on screen. I got to watch just enough of the action before the incident to at least understand the characters relationships to one another (can you tell I am trying not to put in spoilers?).

All that being said, I am not certain what the outcry is all about. I mean it was no more graphic than a lot of movies and television out there. I admit the first offense was a little more disturbing because of the manner in which the act was carried out on that particular person, but that was about it. Otherwise it was not that bad.

Perhaps I am desensitized to things like this from reading too much Shakespeare. Honestly it is no worse than Titus Andronicus. Of course that would probably be putting to much credit in the hands of a good portion of the viewing audience to be that familiar with Shakespeare. 

1 comment:

  1. I fully agree on the kolaches issue . . . what most are trying to pass off is just sad . . . and no, the sausage surrounded by bread (while often tasty) is not a true kolache . . . My grandparents immigrated from Czechoslovakia before the split so I can still say that . . . as did most of the community from West, to Leroy to Axtell to Elk - *tiny* little communities that are wonderful . . . so I've had some homemade, and some from shops other than the Czech stop, and the bread is almost a light doughnut dough, but not quite - it's a 'I know it when I see it' thing . . . andnowIwannagotoWest Damn