the last week

our european adventure is almost over.

i have a lot of mixed feelings about leaving. on the one hand, this was the experience of a lifetime. what american-born foodie doesn’t dream of living in europe and traveling as much as (financially) possible? i’ve had so many incredible opportunities, made some awesome new friends, seen beautiful cities, and eaten delicious new cuisines. my world has expanded.

but it’s not an easy thing to leave all your friends and family behind for a few months. i’m not very good at keeping in touch with people, and i miss my friendships. i miss my dog like crazy. i miss being able to ask for things in english and not struggling to understand simple words and phrases. i miss my big, beautiful kitchen. i miss knowing where to shop when i need a new pair of flats or fresh herbs. and i miss having a purpose. being unemployed is fun for a little bit, since i’m here for my husband and there’s no guilt associated with it (yet!) – but things are coming to an end, and job searching is stressful and disheartening. i want to find something that sparks my creativity, that lets me feel useful and appreciated, and that involves food, travel, photography, and writing. surely my dream job is out there, waiting for me.

but until i return to america and pick up a six-pack of guinness (which i can’t find in budapest) and whip up some fish tacos (i miss mexican food like crazy), i’m determined to enjoy my last two weeks in europe. week one is in budapest, and week two will be spent road tripping to france with my husband. unless we get hopelessly lost, expect to see photos (and perhaps some video) from prague, paris, lyon, nice, and venice.

i can’t think of a better send-off…except perhaps for this yummy hungarian
potato stew called paprikás krumpli. i wanted to feature a vegetarian version of one of the most famous and ubiquitous hungarian dishes, goulash, but this dish features meat so prominently in both texture and flavor that replacing it seems to be more trouble than it’s worth. perhaps when i’m back in the states and can more easily read labels for things like spices, i’ll attempt to make my own version, but until then – enjoy this hearty, filling, and inexpensive dish, filled with classic hungarian flavors.

hungarian paprika potato stew (paprikás krumpli)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, diced

5 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1 paprikas or bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
1 15 oz can chopped tomatoes
4 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
2 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp celery seed
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup cream 

in a large stockpot, heat olive oil and saute onion for about 5 minutes. add diced potatoes, pepper, tomatoes, stock, paprikas, celery seed, and parsley. add salt and pepper to taste. cover and allow to simmer for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring as little as possible so that potatoes don’t break up. stir in cream and allow to simmer for another 10-15 minutes. serve with warm bread.

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9 thoughts on “the last week

  1. I do this too when I leave a place – want to stay a little longer, but missing home too – almost like separation anxiety or something. Great post – great photos – thanks for sharing!

    • yes! wishing i could split myself in two, or just go home for a bit and then come back…but it’s never quite the same. will be good to get back though :) thanks for the kind words!

  2. Thinking of you everyday – especially as you travel for the next two weeks ….. all our love,
    Chris

  3. Have SO MUCH FUN in your last two weeks! And eat some really good food. And then describe it to us in excruciatingly jealousy-inducing detail. k?

  4. I hear your yearning for the ideal job. Sometimes those fulfillment and satisfaction needs come with multiple jobs or a combination of employment and hobbies. And then sometimes, you land the perfect job.
    I wanted you to know about a company called Culture Kitchen who offers a unique opportunity for interested folks to cook authenic cuisine from various countries via the internet. They are based in San Francisco and I believe, they are expanding. You may want to check them out on the web. Their mailing address: Culture Kitchen · 549 PENNSYLVANIA AVE · SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94107. I learned of their services around the holidays, and had an Indian-themed package sent to my brother and sister-in-law for their holiday gift. Maybe check them out for a job opportunity.

  5. I’ve made Chicken Paprika a number of times, but I haven’t heard of this dish before. It looks like the cream elevates the simple ingredients. Good luck as you make this transition — and be sure to enjoy every last minute in Europe. I spent many years living abroad and in other parts of Canada, but now I cherish raising my two young girls closer to home where they can spend lots of time with their grandma. You’ll find new things to love back in the states….

  6. Pingback: Gastronomy Alumna: Hungry in Hungary « Gastronomy at BU

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