Lately I’ve been more obsessed than usual with my heritage. I’ve always been the one in my family keeping tabs on my lineage, but for some reason lately I have been completely possessed with it. As a kid I was always left alone in my Grandma Pearl’s den scouring through endless pages of photos. Constantly staring at the faces of the past that make me who I am.
So after getting robbed on one lineage site, I found Ancestry.com. I did the 14 day trial for free and was entranced after one day I was hooked so I got a subscription. Within hours I was finding cousins I never knew I had. I love family. I often hate family, but I love family. I found a line in my tree that dates all the way back to the 16th century in America! I’m supposedly related to Abraham Lincoln in some way. My mind just immediately goes hog-wild when I’m looking at these records. If you’ve ever read a good book & have transported yourself in your mind to that place, that is how it is for me.
On ancestry.com you can look at real records from census polls, military drafts and enlistments, death & birth certificates, immigrant logs and so much more. Seeing an immigrant log of my Great Grandmother (I called Nana) coming into America from Scotland just immediately took me there in my mind. I could see it and it was almost tangible. I found out so much about my heritage I never knew.
I was looking through old records of my Mother’s Dad. My Mom doesn’t have a whole lot of information on that side of the family because my Grandfather died when my Mom was 3. All we ever knew was that we were Russian. My Great Grandmother Sophia lived to be 101 years old, but she never spoke a word of English. So needless to say talking to her may have created obstacles. I found an old census record dating back to 1920 for them. At that time my Grandfather wasn’t born yet. At first I didn’t think it was them, but it had to be. It was the same names and the last name is so rare you can hardly find it on google. The thing that confused me was it said they had a 6 month old baby named Daniel and that they were listed as Russian, Polish & Hungarian. My Mom had never heard anything about being Polish or Hungarian and I had never heard of Daniel?!! WTF? I had to find out what this was all about so I called my Mom. Yes indeed she had an Uncle Danny, but no one ever spoke to him because he was a drunk. Well! I do declare!!
So then I became obsessed with the Polish & Hungarian part. What? Wait? A new culture in my life? That means new food!!! I knew a little bit about Hungarian food as I used to have a neighbor that was Hungarian. She used to bring me over Chicken Paprikash with homemade Spaetzle at least once a month. It was mouth-watering slap happy yummy to my tummy goodness. I guess people like to cook for me. I am definitely a great eater & appreciater. I never knew how lucky I was until she moved to Seattle & no more Paprikash ;-(
I couldn’t let that stop me. So when I found out I was Hungarian, I knew I had to find out how to make Chicken Paprikash & Spaetzle. Surprisingly enough it wasn’t that difficult. I’ve made it several times since & it makes me happy every time.
Real Authentic Hungarian Chicken Paprikash
1 whole chicken cut into pieces
1 Bell Pepper (small to medium size) diced & deseed
1 diced tomato
1 small diced white or yellow onion
1/4 cup Flour
Hungarian Paprika (I use half sweet & half hot)
1 cup chicken broth
Sour cream (mix in before serving. I like it this way but it is really good without it as well)
For Spaetzle Noodles
2 cups Bread flour
2 large eggs
1 cup water
tsp. kosher salt
(this is the best recipe to me & even though Magdi says not too wet I find this is the best way to turn out. Some people scrape little by little on a cutting board, but I like Magdi’s way of using a cheese grater and spatula.)
Here are the best instructions to follow. I found that Magdi’s way turned out to be just like Susan my Hungarian neighbor except Susan used sour cream.
Nokedli or spaetzle instructions