All Things Czech

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Czech Websites

Slovak-Czech Varieties: I’ve purchased food, cookie cutters/forms, and some other Czech items from this store. They are awesome! They ship incredibly quickly, pack the items very well, and the food items I’ve received have always been fresh.

Czech Folks

Westfest Polka Festival

Czech Heritage Society of Texas

Dům Porcelánu:  I love this amazing porcelain shop!  Located in Prague, they sell original Czech Cibulák, or Blue Onion porcelain.  They have an online store where items can be purchased and shipped to the United States.  Their shipping rates are very reasonable, and they pack the items incredibly well.  I’ve spent a small fortune adding more pieces to my Cibulák collection (shhhh… don’t tell the hubby).  

Czech American TV

Kolache Festival in Prague, OK

Growing Up Czech

The other day I was surfing the internet looking for an online retailer where I could purchase additional pieces of my favorite Czech porcelain, Zwiebelmuster.  Along the way, I landed upon a blog written by a woman named Tanja, who moved to the US from the Czech Republic in the 1990′s.  In her blog, she asked a reader, Jana, to write about her experiences growing up in a Czech family (click here to read Jana’s story).  I couldn’t help but post a response with my own recollections of growing up Czech – we had so many similarities!  Below is the comment I left on her blog.  I’ve added to it as I recall more:

This was so funny to read and brought back so many memories of my childhood.  My parents were Czech and moved to North Texas in the early 1970’s with my brother and sister (both Czech born).  I was the American accident born later.   My sister, to this day, still jokes about this with me.  I knew growing up that my family was different from other families in our neighborhood, but honestly, it didn’t really phase me much.

I remember during our Halloween Carnivals at Handley Elementary School each classroom had a different activity that children could participate in.  My mom was cast as a fortune teller for a couple of years because of her thick Czech accent – they must of thought it added to the intrigue.  As for the fashion sense of my dad (or the lack of), I recall him wearing black socks and sandals A LOT, even when it was freezing cold outside.  It’s funny, he must of been ahead of his time, because I see my students sporting this hot fashion trend now.  It still makes me cringe!!  He’d also freak out if we didn’t wear our ba?kory (slippers) in the house, as if we’d come down with the plague if they weren’t on our feet!  I can remember the parties my parents would have with their other Czech friends, which usually ended in a chorus of Czech singing.  I’d come out of my bedroom and yell at them to be quiet.  I remember when my maternal Czech grandparents came to visit (I think I was 9 or 10 years old).  My grandpa taught me how to count to 10 in Czech.  He would also take showers in our backyard by hanging a water hose over the branch of a tree.  He would wear his boxers, so I wasn’t scarred too much ;) !!  I can remember shopping with my mom.  She and I would have a conversation and people would give us weird looks.  She would speak to me in Czech and I would speak in English, so maybe that’s why others thought it was strange.  To this day, my sister and I speak “Czenglish” when we don’t want someone to understand what we’re saying (it’s usually our kids!).  I can remember garlic being the cure-all for my illnesses as a child.  Earache?  Mom would stick a mashed clove of garlic in my ears and shove a cotton ball to keep it in!  She’d then wrap my head in a torn, 1/4 piece of a twin sheet.  And I remember hovering over a slowly boiling pot of salt water to clear my stuffed nose.  The reference to wanting a “Happy Meal” cracked me up.  Boy, can I relate!  I don’t think I actually had one until I was in my teens and bought it myself!  We RARELY went out to eat.  It was always home-cooked Czech foods and homemade bread.  My sandwiches were often “open-faced” so everything would fall off when I took a bite if I wasn’t careful.  And Jana is so right – meals frequently started with a soup (in our case – it was often bramboracka).  Also, I love how Jana can relate to the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding.”  That movie also reminds me so much of my family, especially the mom in the movie.  I love it when she asks, “Are you hungry?”, the boyfriend (Ian) says “No.”, and she says “Ok, I’ll get you something to eat.”  That was SO my mom when my husband and I were dating and he’d come over to our house!!  I miss the “Czech Days” at the Texas State Fair.  Those were always fun.  I really, truly miss coming home from school during the holiday season to my mom baking and getting the house ready.  Honestly, it feels like a wonderful dream when I think back to it.  She always made me feel so safe and loved.  And I miss my dad ALWAYS buying me flowers on Valentine’s Day.  He was a hardworking, supportive, dedicated family man that I didn’t really appreciate until I got older and lost him.  Most of all, I really miss my parents!  They taught me so much that I am passing down to my own son.  And all of those Czech foods that I grew so tired of as a child?  I spend hours preparing the same meals now that I’m an adult so my husband and son can enjoy them.

Czech Pastry – Koláče

**Click to Enlarge**

Thank you for your interest in my mom’s Koláče (Czech Pastry).  CLICK HERE for an updated version of the recipe.  :)

Czech Christmas Bread – Vánočka

**Click to Enlarge**

Thank you for your interest in my mom’s Vánočka (Czech Christmas Bread).  CLICK HERE for an updated version of the recipe.  :)

Czech Potato Soup – Bramboračka

Thank you for your interest in my mom’s Bramboračka (Czech Potato Soup).  CLICK HERE for an updated version of the recipe.  :)