A chef, a countryside cottage, a camera

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The idea of the “Taste of Memories” was born in February 2015 in Malaga, Spain. It was 14 degrees outside, continuous sunshine and noise of the never-sleeping harbour city. I could have planned another hiking tour in the Andalusian mountains or another Spanish speciality to cook but my thoughts were far away. I was thinking of the village in the Hungarian Bakony Mountains where my grandmother was born and grew up, the little creek which is flowing at the back of the garden, the fruit trees and the idea of picking raspberries from our own bushes. I remembered the little cottage which was built in the 1930’s and I know from my grandmother’s stories that the village people joined forces to put together the stones needed for the house. The tile stove that gave warmth in the living room; the stove in the summer kitchen which was in the past just dedicated to making marmalade; the cupboard with its old glass doors and the one door once broken was replaced by a completely different, polka-dotted glass and the white paint which was a little bit worn so you could see the original dark green paint.
After this day I couldn’t stop thinking of all these, I woke up in the middle of the night and started writing notes for myself. I know there is something illogical being at the Mediterranean sea dreaming about moving to a place which is maybe one of the coldest in winter in Hungary and where I will need to spend a lot of time by digging the orchard, and pruning trees. Definitely a strange idea! But still… my heart was even more impatient and urgently saying: let’s go!
Almost a year has passed and here we are after crossing Europe by van finally arriving in this beautiful Hungarian landscape. When early in the morning I am trying to open the fence for a chicken which has escaped from our neighbour and suddenly it jumps on my back using it as a spring board and goes back home…Well, in these moments I can definitely state that we have arrived.
I am in search of a lost time when there was enough time to pull the dough for the strudel on the kitchen table, knead the bread or make a fire in the garden on summer nights, telling stories or counting stars. I am in search of old recipes of my half-Hungarian, half- German origins, old stories, tastes which recall old memories and create new ones. I want to season the moment today so that we will remember the tastes tomorrow.
We- my boyfriend and I- will do what we need to do: give life to the garden and the old fruit trees. Refine the thicket so we can enjoy the beautiful view of the little creek. It will be a return to our roots but at the same time creating something new. The house needs to be filled up with life, the kitchen with meals and this blog with tastes and memories. I will take my camera, spoons and knives, let’s start this exciting journey!
Welcome to my little Hungarian countryside world I hope you will join me on the way.
With love,
Judit

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Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.

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