Prague Day 3-The Best Day of All

November15

On this day Sister #3 stayed back at the apartment and Sister #2 and I headed out for another wander around beautiful Prague.

We noticed an increased Police presence and a crowd accumulating in the square. Students systematically took turns voicing their issues while others, mostly tourists I would imagine, politely listened and supported them with clapping and chanting.

A couple of hours later we came upon the gathering, marching through the streets in an organized and respectful manner. When I thought about the trucker protests back in Canada last winter, I was very impressed by the Czech protest and equally embarrassed about the disorderly protests back home. But this was not the highlight of our day.

If you recognize these unusual photos of life size porcelain livestock affixed to the ceiling, you will know that we could only be one place in Prague-Vinohradsky Parlament Restaurant!

The successful local restaurant was designed with a perfect mix of tradition and modern design. In the large main hall, pigs and cattle look out from the ceiling. In the back rooms there is a greenhouse for herbs and salad. The additional success of the restaurant is its partnership with a local brewery. The open kitchen is both modern and traditional. As I read on their website: “No frothy food to be added, but pleasant portions at a fair price”.

Once we settled in with refreshing beers, we carefully perused the menu. After all, this was likely our one visit to this lovely restaurant. Game and beef dominated the selections but there were a number of vegetarian choices as well.

This dish was beer battered cauliflower which seemed like a resourceful menu item when you were connected to a brewery. It was said to be light and crispy and was enough for a couple of lighter eaters to share.

The chicken and pea risotto was my selection. I have sometimes made easy risotto recipes at home using Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver or Gordon Ramsay’s recipes. I like the latter’s concoction the best. In this case though, the peas themselves became the “rice” which made it even heartier and more nutritious. The skin-on chicken breast was a lovely treat as I typically remove the skin, but not in this case! It was crispy and fragrant with herbs and spices.

Sister #3 chose the Venison Goulash where the Vinohradsky Chef also made this version his own. Even though goulash is typically a stew of meat and vegetables, the venison went solo in this case and floated in a paprika gravy. Alongside were sliced bread dumplings which served the purpose of soaking up the deep and delicious gravy.

Sister #2 who is a somewhat less adventurous eater (we didn’t know this until we travelled with her) selected beef in gravy. She too was well pleased.

You might guess that the piece de resistance were the plum dumplings that were singled out for dessert. They certainly brought back a flood of memories of my Polish/Czech Grandma Felicia who made prune dumplings in her little farmhouse in rural Saskatchewan. One of these was a potato dumpling with poppy seeds and the other was a more traditional bread dumpling. Both were satisfying and so delicious.

I must admit though, that by this time I wasn’t really focused on the food anymore. To make a hundred-year story short, we were dining with Czech relatives that we didn’t even know we had until Sister #3 tracked them down on Facebook!

The handsome elderly gentleman really reminded of us of our Poppa and his grandson who was our find on Facebook, resembles our nephews and my own son! If the mannerisms and physical appearance had not been enough to associate them with our Dad’s family, the fact that they were from the precise area in Moravia where he was from, cinched it! We shared gifts, embraces and instantaneous love! That is why this dinner and evening will be forever etched in our most cherished memories.

Kath’s quote: “So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains our measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it.”-Haniel Long

Love-that is all.


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