What’s not to love about a country with the highest per capita consumption of beer in the world AND boasts a 99% literacy rate? As they say in Czech “Kde se pivo vari, tam se dobre dari” (Where beer is brewed, they have it good!).
We started off by reading through a pretty decent library book on Czech history and culture, and, of course, the kids were fascinated by the fact that the Czech Republic is teeming with castles. They have added this to their list of places that they definitely want to visit. We also found a website with Czech fairy tales so we read through a few of those. I had forgotten that fairy tales do tend a little bit toward the macabre. We also found a site with audio of common Czech phrases , and we had fun wishing each other “dobry den” in the morning.
Since the Czech Republic is known for their crystal beads (I really wish I had bought more of these beads when I visited Prague), we pretended to be jewelry makers and used Deirdre’s pop-beads for our necklaces. I also remembered the amazing marionette shops and was hoping we could put on a puppet show, but, unfortunately, we didn’t seem to make the time for it. The kids really enjoyed watching videos of Czech folk dancing, and they loved dancing around the kitchen to the music. Deirdre REALLY wanted to me to make her an authentic folk dancing costume, but that was just way beyond my realm of capabilities right now. Maybe sometime…
Finally, we dabbled in Czech cooking. We found this recipe for Palacinky (Czech pancakes) in one of our books, and the kids loved them so much, we ended up making them every morning for a week and a half. There is now a “No Czech Pancake” rule in my house.
Palacinky (Czech Pancakes) – 4 servings
1 cup flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp suger
2 tbsp melted butter
1/4 tsp salt
Mix eggs with milk. Add salt, butter, sugar, vanilla, and flour, mix until smoother. Heat and lightly grease griddle or frying pan. Make thin, crepe-like pancakes by filling a pan about half full in center and tilting pan so batter spreads quickly over bottom to edges. Heat until batter is dry, then tun over and cook the other side. Spread jam on pancake and roll up. Sprinkle powered sugar on top.
We also had Czech food one night and made Chicken Paprika and Cabbage Poached in Vingear. Pretty tasty, and the cabbage recipe gave me the chance to finally open the caraway seeds that came with my spice set! And, of course, we had a Pilsner Urqell!
Next week – Dominica