Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Kolacky (Slovak Nut Roll)

Kolacky (co-lach-key) is a Slovak nut roll. My Czechoslovakian grandmother, Babbi, used to make Kolacky all by herself once a year for all her girls and their families. As she got older, my mother started to give her a hand, and it quickly became a tradition for my mother and Babbi to make Kolacky together. Eventually, I was also included. One year my mother showed up at Babbi's to help make Kolacky, and Babbi had already been working for hours just grinding the nuts...by hand! My mother saw that after an hour Babbi only had about 1/2 cup done. She recommended they continue cooking at my mother's house where she pulled out the food processor and ground all the walnuts in a matter of 15 minutes (obviously my Babbi was amazed). After that, making Kolacky was always done at my mother's house.

Babbi passed away 3 years ago and in those years no one in our family has attempted to make these, until now. Sadly my grandfather, Papa, Babbi's husband, passed on December 5th, and I felt the desire to make these Kolacky in honor of both Papa and Babbi since everyone in our family love these rolls, especially Papa. I was fortunate to get to watch Babbi make Kolacky a couple times (Babbi liked to do it mostly by herself). Those special experiences and handwritten notes from Babbi herself on how to make them allowed me to complete this traditional dish. I thought it would be a taste of memories and it would pay homage to my lovely grandparents. I miss them both very much and traditions like these are how I feel I am able to continue to pass on their love.
Babbi with her Kolacky in PA
Dancing at my wedding
Papa was my biggest fan :) Here he is testing my Cake Balls