Kolache clarification

 My youngest food-conscious son sent Matthew Sedacca's Eater post about the Texas kolache tradition from 2/15/2016. Fortunately Sedacca explain's the "massive cultural confusion" associated with Texas kolaches, particularly the totally untraditional Little Smokie sausage in a "blanket" that most Texans think of as the true kolache. This has always bothered me, although they are tasty with the cheese and jalapeno. "Massive cultural confusion" is like putting mini-marshmallows and Nutella on pizzas.

As in East and Central Texas, Nebraska had a large immigrant population of Bohemians and Moravian Czechs. They cooked and baked as they were accustomed in their old land, but adjusted and innovated when traditional ingredients were unavailable in the new. 

According to Sedacca the Czech name for a sausage wrapped in dough is klobasnek. I didn't find a klobasnek recipe on my search this afternoon, but I found my great-grandmother's koblihi recipe, transcribed by her daughter Emma in 1943. Two layers of sweet yeast dough with plum butter between, then fried sounds really yummy!  "Czech donuts" close, but no kolache.

My great-grandmother, Mrs, Mary Mastalir's kolace recipe in the Pierce Congregational Cook Book assumes one knows a thing or two about yeast and dough, but I don't. Okay, give myself credit for not being afraid to open Pillsbury biscuit containers by whamming them against the edge of the kitchen counter ... I am afraid of typing diacritics, though.


Mrs. Turek's Bohemian rolls sound good, but they are not kolaches.

Mrs. Mary Mastalir's daughter-in-law Halma Mastalir baked the kolaches of my personal memory in this kitchen. I often wish my sons could have sat around her dining table or helped in that kitchen. Do my sons have memories from their Grandma Fritzi's kitchen that compare? Do they have food/flavor memories that give them a sense of exotic roots and time-travel?


Halma lived in a world where people still needed to know how to make their own soap, pickles, and sauerkraut by the quarts.

My own mother, Fritzi, made frustrated attempts at baking kolaches using Halma's recipe. I tried to help once.  It wasn't pretty. Think hockey pucks with jelly.

On the way to work there's a Chinese donut shop selling Tex-Mex jalapeno kolaches. We are all descendants of immigrants in various stages of massive cultural confusion, with or without the mini-marshmallows and Poppin' Fresh dough.

© 2013-2016 Nancy L. Ruder

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