Friday, February 3, 2012

Christmas in the Czech Republic.

The second part of our trip was spent in Czech Republic.  We first hung out with Jakub's family for a few days which consisted of eating duck, dumplings, sour kraut and washing this down with copious amounts of beer.  We had a huge (15 person) gathering and since there were 3 ducks involved from each family, we decided to have a duck tasting contest.  We even had our regional flags at the table (Grenoble, Kanice, Mesto-Brno, Svinosice)!




The  winner of the duck contest was Jakub's aunt, teta Ira, and so she received a certificate and a kiss from Jakub.

Duck and Dumplings for the taste test.

Teta Ira, the winner of the duck competition.


Tommy and Anna got to hang out with their cousins and grandparents...


Cousins Hanging Out.

Grandpa Ruda.
Regardless of all the eating and drinking, this was a time to socialize.  We also went out to Brno one eve without the kids to enjoy some beers and mead.  We spent half the evening in two very distinct pubs.  The first pub was a very smokey, bare bones pub, purely aimed at drinking alcohol because the waiter said they will have tea in January, he doesn't understand why we need to eat, and kept serving us beers before we have even half finished them.  Obviously they had some tea and food but it was just not routine there.  You could also get a good idea about the pub by observing the individuals that went there....   The second pub was more of a tourist "themed" pub called the medieval tavern.  I  do recommend the pub to anyone visiting Brno (despite the bad tripadvisor reviews) as they have really good food and also excellent dark beer as well as lovely and potent mead.  We had ribs, bramborak {deep fried potato patty} and ┼íkvarky {basically fried pork lard}.  The latter was worked off by Jakub as there is an option on the menu to get a free meal if you work for it.  You are not told what the meal or the task is and once you agree, you are committed.  They had a leak in the wall as this is a cellar pub, so Jakub had to mop it up every 10 minutes a few times in exchange for a bowl of lard goodness :)

I forgot to mention that we also ate all of those great traditional Czech Christmas pastries including the well known gingerbread, so here is a little photo of the gingerbread house that Jakub's mom made for the kiddies.  Looking at the cotton ball "snow" just reminded me that Jakub's mom also had a nice wooden nativity set in the midst of cotton fluff, and when she went to light the candle, a spark from the match ignited the cotton and the whole thing was in flames. Some of the burning cotton fell on the ground, so Jakub ended up pouring a decent amount of soapy water on everything to get the fire out.  Jesus survidved it; the only casualty was the gamekeeper with his charred rifle.



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