Love at first sight, cookery, and other unlikely stuff

I’ve never fallen in love at first sight (although, as soon as I saw my hairy hippy I knew there was something about that man). But…

This last month I’ve been preoccupied with publishing my friend Irena’s Hungarian cookbook, which is an amazing work of love and detail.  I met Irena when I was giving one of my talks on how the elderly can get around without a car (part of last year’s job) and this very old, short, foreign lady piped up from the back of the room ‘I wonder if you could help me with..’.  Well, I gave her a lift home, and promised to visit her with some bus timetables, and the next thing you know, she was telling me about how she met her two husbands.

‘Back in those days’, says Irena, ‘you had to be a virgin, you weren’t allowed to do anything before marriage! So, well, I wanted to have sex, there was nothing to do but get married.  But I didn’t love him.”

I thought only men did that!

But later, I was working in a cafe in Sydney – I didn’t know how to make coffee or anything but I was very pretty in those days so the owner didn’t mind – and this Englishman came walking in with his hat and his umbrella, and I thought, this is the man I want to have my child with!”

“But why?” says I.  “I think I dreamed of him,” says she, “when I was lying alone in bed at night, my husband out cheating with other women, I dreamed of a man just like this, gentle, kind, tall.  And then he came.”

And one thing led to another and they got married, and now I’m trying to format Irena’s cookbook so she can hand it out at our local multicultural festival in three weeks’ time. When I was in kindy I was the worst in the class at making my exercise book look pretty, so – but I’m doing my best, anyway.  Besides, when me and Ms M went to Europe a year or so back, we were absolutely wowed by Hungarian food – the best I have ever tasted anywhere, and we didn’t even eat the meaty bits, being vegetarian. So I will be snapping up this cookbook as soon as it’s in book form, crappy formatting and all!

Love,though.  Aint it funny? River God believes you haven’t lived until you’ve had a ‘great love’ (I’m pleased to say that I am apparently his).  Do you believe in LAFS?

Here’s one of Irena’s recipes!


Almás palacsinta

1 cup flour

Pinch salt


1 cup milk

2 medium tart apples

1/4 cup soda-water

2 teaspoons melted butter

3 tablespoons caster sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. Make a pancake batter with the flour, salt, eggs and milk.
  2. Wash and peel the apples, then using the grater with the largest teeth, grate the apples around the core. It’s best to grate them straight into the pancake batter as apples brown very quickly when cut.
  3. Blend the grated apple into the batter, then adjust the consistency with the addition of soda water. If the apples are very juicy you can omit the soda-water, as long as you achieve a thick, pouring texture.
  4. Ladle 1/4 cup portions into the preheated and buttered fry-pan, and cook untill lightly browned on both sides.
  5. In the meantime mix the caster sugar with the cinnamon and generously sprinkle each pancake as it comes out of the fry-pan.
  6. Fold the pancakes in halves and serve while still warm.

Yields 8-10 small pancakes.


    1. My mum made nice stuff too – specially biscuits. She never taught me though. Irena’s mum was a pain in the arse, in terms of hanging around the kitchen handing out unwanted advice – but without her I guess this cookery book would never have got written!

  1. I don’t really believe in LAFS unless the L stands for Lust. Then I believe it. But unlike lust, love takes time to bloom and hopefully will last long after the lust has dimmed.

    Speaking of love (and lust), I love apple pancakes. That recipe looks wonderful. Yum, yum, yum!

      1. I made them and they were good. A nice difference in the regular pancake making. I added a little cinnamon to the pancake batter. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

  2. I think you can be freakily compatible with people but I dont buy lafs at all. I’d bet it’s related to the intimidating eternal vows thing of yesteryear. If you felt something equally intense but negative all of a sudden you’d question it.

    1. That’s an interesting idea – instant hatred! I’ve def met people who I don’t like on first sight – and not much afterwards either. But I can’t see how you can love someone without knowing them at all. Still, I know people who’ve done it, and not just with pretty people either – I know someone who fell in love at first sight with a very plain woman, and still is I believe – but then of course if they’d got to know her and she was a cow, they’d have had to fall out again, you would think.

      1. I dunno maybe it hasnt. I suppose this lady youre talking about was pretty irreverant about it all even back in the day. I gotta think these things through!

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