Picnic in Czechoslovakia

Picnic in Czechoslovakia

novacekfamfriendspicnicrevcrSelf-confined to my air-conditioned condo in the city this morning, I look at old photographs and write, determined to escape the heat.

One photograph set in the Tatra Mountains of Czechoslovakia in 1931, soothes me. It captures a happy moment of my late husband Charles Novacek and his family picnicking in a scenic place, surrounded by their friends and nature.

It looks like everyone has enjoyed a delicious meal and are now relaxed, focusing on each other and the beautiful day – probably wishing it would never end.

I would love to be there – the location, the company, the food. I wonder what they had to eat and drink.

Perhaps, rezeň, a breaded pork steak/schnitzel. Or baked smoked pork (pečené údené bravčové mäso) with horseradish sauce. Or stuffed cabbage (holubki) and homemade sausage (kolbasi), potato dumplings with sauerkraut (Halušky), cucumber and vinegar salad (Uhorkovy Salat), and rye bread with caraway.

Beer (pivo). Wine (vino). Mineral water (minerálka), or sheep milk (urda). For dessert maybe kolache or a cherry cerešňová or blueberry (čučoriedka) bubble cake (bublanina).

The image inspires sweet thoughts of joyful conviviality.

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