1.06.2010

Country Chicks, City Chick


porva, hungary

Csirke, which means chicken, was the very first word I learned in Hungarian. I'm not sure how or why, since between András and I, we eat chicken rarely to never, but by the time I made my first trip to Hungary with him, this word was planted firmly in my vocabulary.

On that first trip, we visited András’ nagymama {grandmother}, or Mamma, on her farm in Porva, next door to the tiny house that would become ours. I fell in love with her, her strudel, her land which she farmed by hand in the late afternoons, and the csirke that ran around her backyard showing off their clean coats like pompous city pups. Their presence gave this land that to me seemed to me more fairy tale than working farm an unmistakable authenticity.
Since that first trip, I always visit the hens, happy as larks laying their eggs for our table, and whisper them thanks. We owe much to them.
Nine months after our wedding in Virginia, András, his parents and I hosted a Lakodalom {wedding party} or Lagzi in our backyard in Porva just yards from the little chapel where we laid Mamma to rest earlier that week. At dinner, her csirke ran around clucking beneath our wedding table of kolbász and parikas, Tokaji and goulash ladled from the family bogrács that bubbled over a live fire. Just before dessert, I picked up one of her csirke and tucked it into the silk of my dress, now well worn from two of the happiest days of my life. András' father snapped this photo, which turned out to be one of my favorites of the day, which nods at the dichotomy between the city and country life we both adore, and our shared love for those who cultivate life on the land, including Mamma, whom we dearly miss.
Some of our other favorite photos from this day are featured today on The Brides Guide, the Martha Stewart Wedding blog, and we're deeply honored. And I’m sure from time to time, you’ll hear more about that day here too.
As for the csirke, stay tuned.

1 comment:

Katie said...

The first Hungarian word that I was successfully able to recall without thinking about it was: ablak. :)

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Sarah Copeland is a food and lifestyle expert, and the author of Feast: Generous Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite, and The Newlywed Cookbook. She is the Food Director at Real Simple magazine, and has appeared in numerous national publications including Saveur, Health, Fitness, Shape, Martha Stewart Living and Food & Wine magazines. As a passionate gardener, Sarah's Edible Living philosophy aims to inspire good living through growing, cooking and enjoying delicious, irresistible whole foods. She thrives on homegrown veggies, stinky cheese and chocolate cake. Sarah lives in New York with her husband and their young daughter.