I talked about my life changing trip to Hungary on my great grandmother’s 100th birthday in another post, and I was reminded of that time by Facebook, because it has been 5 years, almost to the day since then! Both my grandmother’s and my great grandmother’s “name days” were also recently, so I thought it would be interesting to write about this Hungarian tradition. Hungarians not only have a birthday, but a “name day” as well. Birthdays are usually celebrated just by your immediate family. Name days, however, are widely known and celebrated. Common first names are assigned to one or more days of the calendar, based on religious traditions, historical events, the birthday of a famous person who had the same first name, or on other facts. Name days are celebrated in work places, among friends and in the family. People usually gift flowers, desserts (like CHIMNEY CAKES!) or other small gifts. Sometimes there are even parties thrown to celebrate. On a day with a popular name, you will see people with flowers all over the place. One of my name days actually falls on my birthday, but my parents said it was just a coincidence! Different countries can celebrate the same name on different days. When is yours?
Since we are on the subject of names, another interesting tradition is that, the first name is the last and the last is the first. So for example, I was Papp Viviane, and that is what people would actually call me, not just like here when your write your name “Papp, Viviane”. Once I got married, I could do the “modern” Hungarian name change, which is the same as here, and become Moravick Viviane. Or I could have picked the traditional Hungarian custom. To do this, I would have taken the entire name of my groom with “-ne” suffix at the end. (“Ne” is the equivalent of “Mrs.” in Hungarian). So I would have been Moravick Ryanne! Even though people who knew me would call me by my previous first name, Viviane, you wouldn’t know my “real” name from my legal name! And vice versa!
Funny story about this- about 5 years ago, my aunt in Hungary asked me my grandmother’s name and I had absolutely no idea what it was. I only knew her legal name, (which was my step grandfather’s name) from seeing it written on mail, and since I just called her “grandma”, I never learned her first name, even though she is probably the closest I am to any relative. And now that name is the business namesake! My aunt found this totally hilarious and we still hysterically laugh about it every time I go visit.
This weekend we hosted a friends and family tasting to test our process and get feedback about our product. The response was amazing and overwhelming. We created a FB event for our friends and family to come by and sample our chimney cones, and got about 60 RSVPs and 25 maybes. So Ryan and I got up in the morning and made 80 cones, based on RSVPs, in preparation for the day. This way they were still fresh, but cool enough to put ice cream into them without immediately melting it. People starting coming around noon, and by about 1, we were already almost out of cones. Shout out to the people who got thirds and even left and came back later for more!!! (Disclaimer: we do not have insulin on hand!)
We had planned to do the event from 12-6 and we were already out of cones within the first hour!! Ryan had to take over customer service, ice cream, filling and toppings, the grill AND taking orders, while I made more dough and rolled them onto the spits. It was pure insanity in the most awesome way. Ryan handled it all amazingly, especially for our first run through.
Meanwhile, I could only make one batch of dough at a time, because we learned that fresh yeast is VERY sensitive to heat, and since we are in North Carolina in the dead of summer, it is hot and humid outside. If I made two batches, by the time I rolled the first one onto the spits, the second batch would be over-proofed, making the dough difficult/impossible to work with, not to mention it would make a less “springy” and delicious final product. By the time I finished rolling all the dough that I had made onto the spits, we were almost out and I would start from the beginning with the dough again. Ryan was grilling and pulling them off almost to order!!
Thank you so much for all who came, made suggestions and passed along great ideas. Keep em coming! We learned so much from this experience and everyone there. We had opened a box of 250 count containers and when the day was over, we only had one left in the box. Over 200 chimney cakes made and served in 6 hours. It was such a fun day and we can’t wait to do it again!
Last time I wrote, I was headed to NYC to pick up my equipment to start the business. Boy was it an exciting adventure. Ryan (my husband) wasn’t able to get time off work, and it had to be picked up this particular weekend, so I went alone. Obviously I set aside some time to eat all the instagram famous foods I’ve been watching for months. Starting off the trip, the flight into Newark was delayed about 4 hours due to thunderstorms, so they put me on another flight into Laguardia. During this switch, somehow my luggage got lost. Not a great start, since I only had one day, now half a day, in NYC to explore and eat all my things. Many people who know me, know I keep lists for each city of things I want to do. Below is my list for NYC. Insanity:
Fronuts from Donut Project
Frozen Smores from Dominique Ansel
Milk & Cream Cereal Bar
Soft Swerve Ice Cream
The Doughnut Plant
Russ & Daughters
375 Thrice Cooked Fries
Union Fare Gastrohall
Gotham West Market
Ample Hills Creamery
Yes, I ate at every.single.place in half a day. My top picks are Ample Hills Snap Mallow Pop, Milk & Cream soft serve, DunWell, Gotham West Market, and not listed above, the Bagel Train in Mahwah! On a previous trip I also visited Smorgasburg in Brooklyn, which was a top contender also. I am a big fan of the food halls, as you can hit multiple vendors without walking for hours. You can check out all my photos of the foods on the Mag_Dough instagram page.
Now onto the more relevant stuff. After this food filled day, I finally received my luggage at 2am, just in time to leave at 6am to catch a bus up to Suffern to meet the guys selling me the equipment. They picked me up from the bus station, took me to get a U-Haul and then we went back to their place, where they taught me how to assemble, clean and use all the equipment I was buying. Not to mention tons of other trade secret business tips they were kind enough to share. This was an opportunity I could not pass up. We even started from scratch, making the dough and the ice cream base. I learned so much in one day, it probably would have taken weeks or months to figure all of this out on our own. I even improved my Kurtos making skills in just a couple hours under their watchful eye! Check out the first batch vs the second batch in the photos below. They even took me to the amazing bagel place in town (mentioned above) and for real NY pizza after we baked and loaded the U-Haul. Not that I needed to be eating more food after my previous night on the town. I stayed the night up there and then drove the 8 hours, which turned into 11 with DC traffic (ON A SUNDAY), in the morning, all the way to NC.
I had SUCH a fun time learning, I can’t wait to get even more creative with the recipes and ideas and bring this deliciousness to the southeast! Now I just have to teach my husband and family how to bake so they can help with the hard labor!!
On another note, my health inspection is coming up tomorrow afternoon, so things are moving in the right direction. If you made it this far, thanks for reading my novel!!