Christmas Day, 2013, we were invited to the Stake President’s home, with eight junior missionaries and the Mission President and the Office Couple. I suspected we were invited because we love and interact their daughter, who is 18 and a potential YSA member. (She will be in High School until she is 20, as she is taking a concentrated course of German, English, Russian and Biology… She is also involved in a sport and music training. I think the brighter kids here graduate from High School with like an Associate’s Degree.)
Anyway, with all of us there, it was a houseful! We all brought food to share – I brought “funeral potatoes” – and they thought that was a hysterical name for a food. It was explained that in Utah, this kind of creamy, cheesy potato dish was often brought for the traditional after-the-funeral dinner and that is how the dish got its name.
This area is on the other side of the Buda Hills and is nearby to Perbal. It is quite a rural area and we understand one of the more wealthy suburbs in Hungary. It appears that individual homes are normal in this town and most who live here have a car to commute.
We arrived about 10:30 AM and we immediately went to a neighbor’s home to sing Christmas carols. We all crowded into their lovely home and they listened attentively.
We returned to the Stake President’s home and before we ate, they had each of us receive a present! (Ours was yummy Belgian chocolate)…. I was happy that we brought a hostess gift!
Then we ate a FEAST! The family had made some yummy traditional foods. I do not know the names, but I will describe them. They started out with your choice of two traditional soups: fish soup and goulash. I took fish and Felsted Elder took goulash and we shared a taste of each others. Then there were some unusual meat dishes. One was turkey meat stuffed with a dried plum mixture and wrapped in bacon and baked. Another was chicken stuffed with a chestnut mixture and covered in sesame seeds and baked. These seemed pretty work-intensive dishes! The two mothers – of the Stake President and his wife – helped cook these dishes and the wife’s mother was there and ate with us. Of course, there were the potato dish, a Chinese chicken salad made by Sister Smith, carrots, and the other missionaries brought food, too! We tried to have a taste everything but we filled up quickly!
Then desserts! Here are some that were made by the family – or brought by the missionaries.
The 18 year old daughter made these candies and her siblings were very excited to eat them. They are made of —- crushed Oreo cookies, formed into a ball, and then dipped in white and dark chocolate. Ron and I shared one! VERY RICH (and yummy). I have not seen any Oreo cookies here but they said they are available at some stores. American influence…. perhaps a recipe from a former missionary?
Afterwards, we took a long walk and went to some of their friends and acquaintances to do some more caroling… Ron thought it was like 3 miles of walking but I am not sure. I was glad I had good walking shoes on. He would have worn his walking shoes, if he had of known. I took lots of pictures of darling homes all along the way. I will include them at the end of the post…
After we were through singing at this house, we went to another. They also had us sing to them in their backyard and then invited us inside and gave us some warm fruit tea, which is very popular here. It is not green or black tea. We noticed that they had interesting 3-D puzzles of the Hungarian Parliament and St. Mattias’ Church in their bookshelves.
We were not the Mormon Tabernacle Choir but at least I don’t think we were like the cartoon below – no one had dogs that howled!! (compliments of LDS cartoonist Arie Van De Graaff).
And that is some of what we did Christmas Day, December 25, 2013. When we arrived home, we Skyped some of our children! (Some were not available on Christmas day.)