If you were to ask what her secret was to her phenomenal cooking, her response would inevitably be::
“I cook each and every thing with Love.”
Babička Eva grew up in the beautiful agrarian town of Opočno, in Moravia, near to the Polish border. Her parents built the very house she lived in with her husband, Stanislav.
As the wife of a former decorated army general, and the director over all of the spa towns throughout the Czech Republic, Babička Eva was well known for her talent in hospitality.
But her talents certainly did not end there.
Babička Eva was a phenomenal Opera singer. In fact, if it weren’t for the time and place in history in which she lived, I believe she could have been quite famous. And she certainly mesmerized everyone for whom she sang. She sang for foreign dignitaries. She sang for royalty. She was asked to sing at many a wedding and funeral. She knew every opera by heart. Her voice was so beautiful that it brought me to tears every time she sang. It was as if listening to an angel.
Every time we have gone to the Czech Republic, the highlight has been to go to the grandparents in Opočno. Both grandparents greet us on the street as our car approaches.
Shaded under one of the many garden trees and flowering bushes, is a Czech embroidered and laced tablecloth atop a table bedecked with coffee and homemade sweets baked by Babička herself. Some of these delectables took days in the making. My daughters and I are never allowed to go unpack or freshen up until we have sat down to eat and drink in the garden.
It is mandatory to relax.
It is mandatory to stop and smell the flowers.
I will forever be indebted to my husband for marrying me and allowing me 18 years to be an instantaneous beloved member of this family, thanks to Babička Eva.
I will forever be indebted to her for what she has taught me.
She taught me to slow down.
She taught me that music, good food, and nature are the perfect remedy for any ailment.
She taught me the importance of conversation, of family, taking the time to sit around the table, listen and share our life’s stories. The kinds of conversations that take hours and hours, contain no awkward yet often pauses, and that require more than one pot of tea and certainly more than one homemade palate pleaser.