Hungarian Ground Walnut and Poppy Seed Rolls (Beigli)

Hungarian Ground Walnut and Poppy Seed Rolls (Beigli)

Today was a combined Spring Festival and Mother’s Day Celebration at the San Fernando Grace Hungarian Reformed Church in Reseda.Martine and I always show up the first Sunday in May to help relieve the parishioners of their excellent home cooked food. Available was gulyás leves (better known as Hungarian Goulash, actually a beef and vegetable soup), Hungarian kolbasz sausage with red cabbage, barbecued pork (laci pecsenye), and langos (a fried bread concoction that Hungarians go gaga over). But the starring attraction were the many varieties of pastries, especially a type of custardy cheesecake not quite as sweet as the deli variety, and, of course, beigli.

When I was a kid in Cleveland, it was the beigli with ground walnut that I most particularly remembered. My Mom made it at least once a week, together with the ground poppy seed variety which I did not like nearly as much Although Martine made major inroads on the pastry table, including several varieties to take home, for the first time I passed up sampling any. I know what it tastes like. I love it. But I have Type 2 Diabetes and am fighting a difficult battle.

Still, we had a good time, watching a recitation, singing, and dancing presentation on the subject of Mother’s Day. Then, the local dancing master, Tibor, showed couples how to dance the csardás, the most famous of the Magyar folk dances.

Finally, there was a literary event in which the author of a book on the 1956 Hungarian Revolution had two reciters read passages about how he fled Budapest to Yugoslavia and finally settled in the United States. I didn’t understand very much, as my Hungarian is quite rudimentary, and both the book and the recitation were mostly above my head. Still, it’s good for me to reacquaint myself with my native tongue, however much I stumble my way through it.