"Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes Capture
Flavours of Heritage"
Monday, February 27, 2006
Page: A8 Section: Seniors
Byline: Kit McDermott Column: In Touch
Dateline: BRANTFORD Source: The Brantford Expositor
|There are books and albums for preserving memories and photographs of past and present events, as well as images of loved
ones. But how do we recapture the taste and aroma of homemade delicacies, favourite meals or celebration dinners?
Easy for some, with cookbooks and family recipes for quick reference, not a problem for most of us. Imagine, however, that the
creative chef and her secret recipes has most ingredients and methods for preparation stored in her head, with only bits of
information jotted down on scraps of paper and the backs of envelopes, sometimes in Hungarian, or Swedish, German, or even
"That was the problem in our case," Clara Czegeny told me.
"My sisters and I were in the habit of phoning our mother, from Alberta, with requests for ingredients of familiar recipes, and
mother would always include a mild rebuke, namely, we should have paid attention in her kitchen when we were girls at home."
When I suggested that Helen's Hungarian Heritage Cookbook must have been the direct result of solving the problems, Clara
assured me, 'yes,' but it happened in rather a round-about way.
"We, the family, wanted to give mother a surprise party for her 80th birthday, Jan. 14, 2006. Last October I suggested that we put
together a collection of her Hungarian recipes and offer them to the invited guests.
"Originally, we had planned to have five books printed, one for each of the girls in the family," Clara said. "Knowing that friends
and relatives would bring gifts to the party, we asked instead that they make a 'Love Gift' donation, for a fund designed to support
a young missionary and his family in Hungary on behalf of our church, Evangel Pentecostal Church, on Fairview Drive in
Clara told me that 55 books were printed, but after extra orders began arriving from friends in California, Ohio, Sweden and
Australia, another 50 books were ordered. Her mother adds, "and the cheques kept pouring in, so that we ended up sending
$1,100, that's 137,000 florins in Hungarian money, enough for a period of four months living expenses for the missionary family."
Although written, compiled and edited by Clara, her introduction in the book states, "Helen was the translator, the teacher, the
master chef, chief editor and consultant."
Clara acknowledges support and thanks to sisters Elizabeth Hart and Anne Lindsay and their families, assisting with testing and
tasting, and to Uncle Nick Czegeny.
Clara thanked her daughter, Evangeline, for her great contribution to the overall look of the cookbook, with its charming floral
cover and illustrations, including colourful photos, the graphics and colour matching. Evangeline is a graphic artist and
Published by Clara's, Dream Machine Publications, the book was printed by Hurryprint in Brantford. Included in the contents is a
brief history of Hungary and foods, a bio of chef Helen, a checklist for successful baking, and the development of Hungarian
It was when Clara and I spoke on the phone, setting a date for the interview, that Clara warned me not to eat lunch because her
mother planned to offer samples of some of her favourite recipes. Naturally, I was glad to heed the warning and expected a tea
party with home baking. Instead, to my surprise and delight, Helen had set the table for dinner, a three-course meal, followed by
an astonishing array of dessert treats.
The traditional Hungarian chicken, or "hen" soup featured the delicate homemade snail noodles. The chicken paprika was served
over another variety of noodles, with extra sauce on the side. The cucumber salad, served with an extra dollop of sour cream, to
bring out the flavour of special herbs, was delicious.
Where to begin describing the taste and texture of the cakes and pastries! The Hungarian names rolled easily off the tongues of
Helen and Clara as they identified each dessert, with me recognizing kifli, poppy seed and walnut cake, and tiny jam-filled
I'm told that the French croissant is believed to have originated in Hungary, and then taken to France by the chef, one of many
who were imported to Hungary by Royalty and wealthy citizens, adding famous French cuisine to the native dishes. There are also
Austrian and Turkish influences to be detected in the internationally famous cuisine.
Helen says she first learned to cook when she was six years old, wanting to surprise her mother, she says. "Even now, I always
have six or seven types of baked goods in the freezer, in case someone comes in for coffee or tea."
She makes all her own pasta, showing me the variety, each type intended for specific recipes, with some noodles requiring hours
of patient shaping by hand.
To read the rest of the article, click here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
© 2006 Osprey Media Group Inc. All rights reserved.
For Copyright Click here...
Illustration:• Photo: Brian Thompson, The Expositor / Helen Czegeny shows some of the home-made pasta noodles she
makes, along with her daughter Clara Czegeny who created the cookbook project.•
Photo: Brian Thompson, The Expositor / Helen Czegeny with a number of dishes and treats featured in her cookbook
"Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes".
Edition: Final Story Type: Column; Recipe Length: 1861 words
Illustration Type: Black & White Photo
|Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes authors,
Clara and Helen are excited to promote their
book with media taste and sign events!
|Dream Machine Publications
Paris, Ontario, Canada
Helen's Hungarian Heritage Recipes Cookbook ™
Copyright © 2005-2012 by Dream Machine Publications
ALL Rights Reserved.
No words, titles, subtitles, phrases, graphics or otherwise from this
site may be reproduced without written consent by the author.
Last Updated April 13, 2012
|Kit McDermott says of
"Rhapsody of Recipes"
truly Captures the unique
"Flavours of Hungary"
and Hungarian Heritage.
Chef Clara Czegeny
|Kit McDermott of Brantford Expositor says of our
cookbook "I believe that ...Helen's Hungarian
Rhapsody of Recipes is one of the most amazing
Hungarian Heritage Recipe Cookbooks and a culinary
masterpiece containing over 200+ delectable and
delicious test-kitchen recipes just like your
grandmother prepared in her kitchen!
"Helen's Hungarian "Rhapsody of Recipes" truly
Captures the unique "Flavours of Hungary" and
Hungarian Heritage" KMC 2006 ©
|Helen's Hungarian Heritage
|BY CANADIAN BESTSELLING COOKBOOK