In college I got to be a part of the International Folk Dance Ensemble at Brigham Young University. It was a big step outside of my comfort zone. I had always been an athlete and rarely a performer (I do play the flute) so trying out for a dance team was terrifying. I tried out once and did not make it and was pretty devastated but I decided to take a lot of dance classes and try out again later. The second time I tried out not only did I make it but I made the #3 team! I was so pumped. Now I was definitely not an amazing dancer but it was an incredible experience that I am so grateful for. It gave me a lot of self confidence that I could do something new and do it well.
That same year I ended up meeting my husband and eventually dating and getting engaged. Right before the wedding (like 2 weeks!) however I went to Europe with my sister’s choir group and my family for 10 days. We went to Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary! I was seriously excited. I had not only learned dances from all of those countries but lots about their culture and language. It was such a blast to be able to tour some of each country and I loved the food!
(My sister, me, my mom, and my brother in the Czech Republic)
One dish we had over and over and over again- which I loved although I think I was one of the only ones- was goulash. A rich sauce with meat and potato dumplings and bread. Oh man was I in heaven. I did not mind eating it over and over again. Being able to make it at home is always exciting and takes me right back to those beautiful countries.
Slow Cooker Hungarian Goulash
- 1 lb beef stew meat
- 1 large onion sliced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper sauce
- 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dry mustard
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Place onions then meat in slow cooker.
- Combine the roasted red pepper sauce, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, salt, paprika, mustard, and 1 cup water. Pour over meat.
- Cook on low for 5-6 hours.
- Mix together 1/4 cup flour and 1/4 cup COLD water. Slowly add flour mixture to sauce, stirring as you add to hopefully prevent any lumps.
- Cook on high for 10 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
- Serve over egg noodles, potatoes, or rice.
Slightly adapted from Fix-It and Forget-It Lightly by Phyllis Pellman Good