Simon Benedek Zsuzsa

The first 30 years of my life I spent in Székely-land, in Europe’s Lothlórien.  During these 30 years I experienced good, great and dreadful moments too.  I was a skinny little girl; I was never hungry and did not want to eat. The only way I was able to be fed when each bite of food was delivered by a spoon disguised as a choo-choo train, mostly through my dear father’s patience. My precious mother just kept saying, “Your kid should become a bad eater just like you!” Well, he did! To feed my dear son, Csongor, became a chore equivalent to a workout. Since then, the situation has much improved though. Moreover, fate has endowed me some 17 year ago with a sweet little girl, Kincső, who like her father, Lorand, also loves her belly. Back then, in many cases, having not yet finished their lunch, they already asked about what’s for dinner? Therefore, I had to cook, and I was most pleased to cook for them for their enjoyment; certainly, mine as well! It’s very heart-warming to watch one’s cooking being consumed with such enjoyment.

My grandparents were peasant farmers – straightforward, Székely people – I think my love for the usual rustic dishes comes from their life-style. I spent every summer vacation “serving” with them all the way, so to speak. There were a lot of scrambled eggs for breakfast, cheese polenta strudel, tarragon potato soup, stews, cabbage and noodles, and funnel cake. I love bean soup with smoked hocks; I love smoked bacon, onions, with thick-crusted crispy bread.

My parents were civil administrators, now retired and living in my hometown, in Ditró, where my one and only sister Gabriella lives with her daughter, Boroka.

It’s been close to 12 years now that life has brought us to Cleveland. It was not easy in the beginning, but we adapted to the American lifestyle pretty well. We have learned to live our life here, and we found our place in the U.S. as well. I love my job! I direct one of CTL’s department, a biotech company. I love the people here, the Cleveland Hungarian community – I like people in general. Maybe this is why the “Bocskai Radio Boys” could get me to “cook on air”. I think, throug this Hungarian Bocskai Radio, full-blooded Hungarian words will enter the vernacular of Cleveland Hungarians, as will the Hungarian recipes spice up their life.

 

There was never a time when things were naught! After all, even evil contains something good, one just needs to find it, and make it prosper!

PS – Cats are my favorite animals. They are just drop gorgeous! 🙂

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