Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Austrian-Hungarian Border

At one time in history, crossing the border from Austria into Hungary and vice versa wasn’t easy and at times it wasn’t even possible. I can remember our first visit in 1977, our relatives took us to the border, close enough to see the armed guards in the tower, but we still maintained a safe distance away.

On my last few visits, I’ve had the opportunity to visit several different border crossing points. On this visit, Mrs. Szigethy’s daughter took us to see the border at Hegyko.

The border is in a farm field. Fences with barbed wire and mine fields were used to keep the Hungarian people from crossing the border into Austria.

Anyone who was successful crossing the border, had to still make their way across the farm field.

Another border crossing point was made famous by James Michener in the book “The Bridge at Andau”. We’ve visited this site on previous trips, but it was still moving to see it again. (I forgot to take a picture of the actual bridge!). Looking at the canal to the west, you can see that the sun is starting to set.

This site will always be preserved as a reminder to a dark time in history.

Another tower, however, this one is used to view the beautiful landscape of Burgenland.

We think that our ancestors who immigrated to Minnesota did so because the landscape is vey similar. Do you agree?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Hegyko, Part Two

This particular form of Hungarian embroidery originated in Hövej, Hungary. Our Austrian cousins introduced it to us on one of our visits in the late 1990’s. It became of particular interest to me because 1) I am a needleworker, and 2) my great - grandfather (my mother’s paternal grandfather) was born in Hövej.

Hövej Csipke or Hövej Lace Embroidery is very similar to other types of lace embroidery. What is unique about it is that the holes that are created are filled with different patterns. The technique used is needle lace.

Mrs. Szigethy was born in Hövej and learned how to do make this lace embroidery when she was ten years old. Patterns are handed down from family and friends; there is no formal training or pattern book. You can tell that these handmade patterns have been used many times over the years.

The pattern is then traced on the organza or cotton fabric.

The Gingher was a gift from me a few year’s back!

In the old days, a heavy iron was warmed on the fire and then used to press the embroideries.

More beautiful lace!

Have more to share! Come back tomorrow!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Hegyko, Hungary

One of the goals of the trip was to visit Mrs. Szigethy’s new lace exhibit and to introduce the Mad Tatter to Mrs. Szigethy. Goal achieved!

On Wednesday last week we traveled to Hegyko. It’s about a 20 minute drive from where we were staying in Tadten.

This is a new location for Mrs. Szigethy’s display. They purchased an old home in this village and completely renovated it. It’s located right next to the church in Hegyko.

When you enter the house, the first room on the left is set up as a bedroom.

We passed through a room that was once the kitchen in this old home. The next room included more information about the lace and how it is made. The bottom photo in this section talks about the different filling stitches used to fill the round circles of the doily.

The room in the back of the house is filled with a lifetime’s worth of needlework. It’s really quite amazing to see! Each piece is exquisitely made! One more beautiful than the next.

We’ll continue our visit tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

This Morning’s Breakfast ...

... isn’t quite the same.

I’ll be back in a day or two withe the rest of our trip report.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Sankt Andrä am Zicksee

Today we were in Sankt Andrä visiting with more family members. The two girls in this family were both in the U.S. last year and spent some time with us in Minnesota. We will spend more time with this family tomorrow.

On our way to dinner we stopped at a home in Sankt Andrä where some monks are establishing an Eastern Orthodox Monastery. They hope to build a permanent monastery within the next year or so. The monk that we met with was very kind and told us a little bit about the Eastern Orthodox religion. These two pictures are from their chapel.

Tonight’s dinner was at a Heuriger (kind of like a tavern) and we had a typical Burgenländische evening meal. Bread, cheese, assorted meats, some vegetables. Und Schmalz mit Grammeln (lard with crispy bits).

We have really enjoyed some delicious food on this trip!

Essen und Trinken

Each day we are busier and busier so I have had less time to post to this blog. Will have to write some “catch up”posts when we get home. Look next week for more on our visits to Hegyko and Sopron and the party with all the relatives.

Today, I thought I would share some food pictures with you.

One night for supper we had Eier Nockerln. These are like spätzeles with scrambled eggs.

At the Zwickl Gasthaus in Tadten we had Wienerschnitzel mit Kartoffel Salat, Cabbage Salat, und Pommes Frittes. The Wienerschnitzel schmeckt sehr gut!

Wutzzi Nudeln - my mother remembers her mother making these. These are noodles that are browned with bread crumbs.

Krapferl - my mother and her sisters used to make these for every wedding shower in our family. My wedding shower was probably the last time they made them. The dough is dropped in oil and then you sprinkle powdered sugar on them.

Gesottene Strudel (boiled strudel). - the dough is filled with a dried cottage cheese. The sauce is made with sour cream and peas, although it’s usually served with a bean sauce or tomato sauce.

Gulaschsuppe in Sopron

Mohnstrudel - poppyseed kuchen, purchased at the local grocery store!

Today we had Balasen, like an apple fritter.

And always lots of wine!

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Zwei Alte Damen

Yesterday, will be one of the most memorable days of our trip. We traveled to Hungary to visit with Mrs. Szigethy and her daughter. I had not seen Mrs. Szigethy’s new lace exhibit in Hegyko and my mother had never met Mrs. Szigethy.

I will post more about the exhibit when I return home (lots of pictures), but let me share a couple photos with you now. We spent approximately 1.5 hours with Mrs. Szigethy in her home. It was so good to see her again. Despite the language barrier we were able to communicate via our mutual love of needle arts.

My mother showed Mrs. Szigethy how to tat...

And Mrs. Szigethy showed my mother how the Hövej lace is made.

Each has worked on her respective craft her entire life. Mrs. Szigethy learned how to make the lace when she was 10 years old; my mother learned how to tat when she was 13.

It was a great day. Today is going to be another great day!