‘What do you think about climbing a mountain and watch the sunrise ?’, I ask my friend, Meli who I know is not a morning person but can get as enthusiastic about crazy ideas as I do.
‘Uh…sunrise? In the Bakony mountain? Well, I am in… But only if afterwards I get some coffee and at least 3 hours resting time in your garden on a blanket.
‘And what if it is cold outside’, I ask already worried I might be not able to fulfil her requirements.
‘Your sofa will be OK for me too.’
Agreement is made.
We admit that going to the woods in darkness to a place that we don’t know is maybe too courageous (= dangerous) so we decide to take it easy first and go hunting for a sunset instead. The day of our tour things get a little bit messy. I plan to climb a bigger mountain, Meli gets confused and thinks of the smaller one, so she doesn’t take her hiking boots. She gets stuck in a traffic jam and I forget to buy batteries for our flashlight. So apparently life wants us to go “hunting for smaller games”, so we will be able to catch the last hours on the top for sure.
As always, we have so many things to discuss, that we miss the route which leads to the viewpoint. Two times.
‘Shhhh, wait with that story, complete silence please, let’s pay attention’, says Meli in a strict tone, as she were my headmaster, then we finally elegantly park the car on the side of the road, and we act as if the two extra turns were intended.
The surrounding of the viewpoint is completely empty, we are the only ones climbing up the stairs. Since I need to fight my usual acrophobia, I am holding Meli’s arm and try to only watch the horizon to avoid vertigo.
‘Do you hear what you don’t hear?, I ask the rhetorical question. Meli starts to laugh but she understands what I mean. There is complete silence. Neither the noise of the road nor of the villages father away don’t reach us.
There is peace here.
It is nice to stop for a moment, in the middle of the process of building up our new little world and new home. Our life gets back to its usual path, we create our daily rituals that give us a sense of security and stability and establish ourselves again in this loving village community which was so hard to leave when we started the renovation of our house.
Two lovely woman, Hédi and Anita helps me to find a source of raw milk from a dairy farm. I only need to hang the bottle on our fence two times a week, and pick it up so we can have fresh milk all the time. We get beans and cucumber from Tibor and his wife, Ani brings us freshly baked scones one day, my other neighbour, Marika gives us root vegetables which I use for a the best meat consommé ever. In return, I bring her a bowl of it, but she feels embarrassed.
‘ I didn’t give you the vegetables because I expect anything, Judit…’, she says.
We receive a piece of goat cheese from Virág because I gave her a lift, I bring her goats fallen apples and I get ones of a quite rare variety which she has in her orchard. I remember my teacher from grammar school likes these so called ‘skin apples’ very much, so I will bring them to him. Mária brings us two willow saplings that we plant at the creek, parsley and chive and armful of sage to hang and dry which will be perfect for roasted pork. No money will be exchanged here, everybody gives to the other from that he has more than enough.
At that moment, on the top of the mountain in the light of the sunset we gave thanks. Each one of us for the things we are grateful in our own lives, and both of us for the fact that we are alive.
Until we gather strengths for a sunrise tour, I think a little bit of training doesn’t harm. I mean not in hiking, rather in creating the best takeaway eatable hiking equipment which is ideal for sunset/surise tours, and other special occasions. It is also possible that it gives further motivation to Meli to get up early in the morning. I was looking for something sweet that fills up the air in the house with such a scent while baking that I get even faster in finding my hiking boots.
As many of you know, my weakness is yeast cake. ‘Bukta’, this wonderful, jam-filled bar especially. Then suddenly the apple jam jars lined up on the kitchen pantry shelf catch my eyes, that I made a few weeks ago. And suddenly the light bulb goes on in my head. Bukta filled with apple jam! This jam is thick enough that it doesn’t pour out during baking and sour enough to be a good fit to the sweet dough.
After taking the photos I grab the first peace with slightly exaggerated enthusiasm (=impatience) and I rest assured that those crateful of apples that we carried down to the cellar won’t go to waste….
‘Bukta’ (yeast cake rolls) filled with apple jam
500 g all-purpose flour
20 g fresh yeast
2 egg yolks
300 ml milk
60 g butter
50 g caster sugar
1 pinch of salt
1 jar of apple jam (ca. 200 ml)
butter for brushing
Warm up the milk a little but until it is lukewarm, pour 100 ml into a cup and dissolve yeast and a teaspoon sugar in it. Cover and let it rise for 5 minutes. Mix egg yolks with the rest of the milk, melt butter. Add yeasted milk, egg-milk mixture to flour and knead well until the dough starts to get some flexibility. Finally add melted butter and knead until you get a smooth, soft, but flexible dough. Cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest for 1 hour. Butter a 30×23 cm ovenproof dish and line the bottom with parchment paper. Roll out the dough to 1 cm thick on a lightly floured surface and cut 8×8 cm squares from it. Put a spoonful of jam in the middle and roll up each rectangular. Place the rolls tight to each other into the ovenproof dish and brush the top with butter. Let it rest for another 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 200 °C and bake ‘bukta’ for ca. 15 minutes or until golden brown.