Hungarian Goulash Soup

Hungarian Goulash Soup 

On a lovely sunny day in June what else would you make but ... goulash soup! I was flicking through The Soup Book last Friday evening looking for my inspiration and the spouse plumped for goulash.  The recipe calls for a lot of onions thinly sliced, chuck (or rib) steak in pieces, paprika (2 tbs), caraway seeds, cayenne pepper, tomato puree, beef stock and sour cream.  The spouse set off yesterday morning to get the ingredients, checking with the butcher what chuck steak was. The butcher asked him what the steak was for, and approved the choice for the recipe! We don't come across it very often in these days of pre-packed meats and other items - the expertise of the butcher, the green grocer, the fish monger and individual acts of helpfulness and interest. Returning to the story, caraway seeds could not be obtained so we proceeded without them. 

I sliced the onions thinly using our old mandolin, a wedding present all those years ago and still going (the grater blades have faded away though). Beef stock is not something I have in the freezer so I used cubes. Once all the ingredients (except for the sour cream - it's a garnish) have been incorporated, the soup is left to simmer for 1 hour and 45 minutes so the onions disintegrate into the soup.  We had the goulash for dinner last night - deliciously rich and tangy. Even the picky offspring and his two friends enjoyed it. The older rugby-playing beast of an offspring, who is still away, would definitely like this in the winter months on his return from a bruising training session. Certainly this is a winter soup - the spouse said it reminded him of skiing holidays and lunch breaks on the mountain sides.


Buzzing about 


There were numerous bee and buzzing references in the media over the last week, all due to some sporting event taking place in South Africa, involving people handing over their hard earned cash or indebting themselves for the foreseeable future to travel to see an overpaid minority shifting a ball from one spot to another. (It's only a game, lads.) The buzzing metaphor has been applied to the noise of the vuvuzela (see the article in Wikipedia for more information) in several newspaper articles (click on the links to view):  

One of the more amusing references was on the Ryan ("Please like me, please like me, I'm clever, please like me, I'm cleverer than you") Tubridy Show on RTE Radio 1 last Monday where he played the sound of the crowds playing their vuvuzelas: 

"And I hope you're enjoying the World Cup. [Loud buzz] ... Yeah, that's just some footage from the German match last night. [Loud buzz] ... Some footage from the English match last Saturday. [Loud buzz] ... Yeah, what's that going through your fingers? Oh, it's the ball, you eejit! [Loud buzz] ...If you can't be there you might as well be bitter. [Loud buzz] ... And a little scene from the Beekeepers Convention of South Africa. [Loud buzz] ...What? Turn it up! [Loud buzz] ... Is the match still on? Huh? Can't hear you. [Loud buzz] ...There's bees on the pitch. They think it's all over. ... [Loud buzz]... It is now!"

Other recent bee-related stories in the news include:  

Last Friday my book group met supposedly to discuss the Bill Bryson book At Home (see last week's blog), but really to mark the three June birthdays and the departure of one our members. Eventually we broke up into smaller conversational units, but I overheard one person referring to bees, honey and beekeeping.  Much as I would like to have interrupted her and her neighbour, and demanded to know what they were saying, I restrained myself.  

The previous day I was out on location (i.e., away from the office at a work-related event) and came across a free postcard featuring a photograph of a bee on apple blossom. The postcard was an advertisement for Irish Seed Savers so I went on to their website and found they are running a course in beekeeping next month in Scariff, Co Clare, just when I'll be away on holiday! Summer Beekeeping Course.

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