Svestkova Alej

My dad didn't learn to speak Czech, but he did sometimes sing this song, particularly when we were feasting on plum dumplings:

The Prune Song: A Tale of Plums

Back of our village, on the main highway
Bosensky grows plums--oh yes!
Ann and I watched the plums
We ate the, it was so nice.
Always we sat beside each other.
Upon the stars, we gazed at the haeavens.
And now I, I do everything alone.
I think about wanting to be near you.

Chorus: On that avenue
Plums are rolling
I, today, am not watching.
I, today, am not watching.
My eyes are burning.

Back of our village, on the main highway
Plums are large as a fist--oh yes!
Ann said nothing and ran from me.
I have no desire for happiness.
Ann watches plums with another
Now our plum jam she will not see.
Earlier here stars saw little things
Of which one does not talk.


Back of our village, on the main highway
Plums are gathered--oh yes!
Clothing I have in the wardrobe
And I met with the parson, we have it signed.
Surely after I'm married I'll forget--
Then you, Ann, will remember what you did,
That you deceived me.
Plums now have no value.


(I will copy the rest of the background info & mail it upon request)

This is the recipe for Plum Dumplings (or Cherry Dumplings).
My grandma's recipes are always short on the details.

The recipe is for twelve dumplings, to feed two people. I have a contradictory note saying to make a half recipe for a family.

3 eggs well-beaten
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp baking powder sifted into
3 c. flour (plus 1/2 c. for rolling out)
Mix and turn out on a board and knead until smooth.
Roll out into a sheet about 1/2 inch thick and cut into twelve 4" squares.
Add plum and a little sugar to each square and fold and seal, being careful not to let sugar touch edge of dough. For cherry dumplings put about eight cherries into each square.
Drop in large kettle of boiling water (a little salt in the water) and boil, covered for twenty minutes.
Remove from water and open each dumpling and add 2 tsp. of sugar and a tbsp. of browned butter. Then rinse the butter skillet with about one cup of the water from the dumplings and pour it over dumplings and mix gently.

Scoop dumplings into bowls. Serve as the entree. Make orgasmic moans while eating and don't think about carbs or calories. Fan yourself.

United in Marriage

Two of Pierce's popular young people, Miss Halma Burkhead, and Adolph J. Mastalir were united in the holy bonds of matrimony last evening, December 5. The marriage took place at Sioux City at the home of the bride's sister, Mrs. H. J. Palmer [my Auntie Myrtle], at 8 o'clock p.m., Rev. E. H. Gaynor of the St. Paul's Episcopal church officiating. On Friday or Saturday the newly married couple will return to Pierce and go to housekeeping in the Tawney hoiuse, recently vacated by the L. P. Tonner family.

Both of the contracting parties are well know to Pierce people. The bride is one of the estimable young ladies of Pierce. Up until this year she taught in the public schools of Pierce and previous to that she taught in the rural districts. She is blessed with a sweet and happy disposition and will prove a useful helpmate for the man she has chosen as a life partner. The groom is one of Pierce's popular young men. He is intelligent, moral and a gentlemen in every sense of the word. Five years ago he came to Pierce and started in as bookkeeper in the Pierce County bank, and he has made good, and now holds the position of assistant cashier. He is popular and has the good-will of everybody.

It is a pleasure indeed for the Leader to join with the many friends of this worthy, young couple in wishing them a long, prosperous and happy wedded life.

I have a wonderful photo of the happy newlyweds joking together at the lot where their home was being constructed. They look very relaxed, and are horsing around for the camera. Adolph did not serve in WWI. He was married with a young son, and responsible for his widowed mother and two sisters. During the Depression he argued against the bank's foreclosure of farmers devastated by the drought, and lost his job. He died at age fifty. Halma managed to support their three children working as the night telephone operator and taking in boarders. Later she became the librarian at Pierce's Carnegie library. And she was an incredible cook. She could effortlessly "whomp up" an impromptu midnight snack for a dozen people that might include chicken tamales, cukes and onions, prune and apricot kolaches, or ginger creme and sugar cookies.

Eat more prunes!

1 comment:

A. said...

Thank you for this translation! My mother's a Texas Czech and she'd often refer to the song about "rolling plums", though she also never learned the language, other than a few words. For some reason it's stayed with me all these years...good to see someone else giving it its due!


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