Amazing sausage, barbecue beef and barbecue chicken. And kolaches! One of my favorite picnics to attend and one of the first of the season. Frydek is less than an hour from Houston on I-10. Featuring a lovely church, cemetery and a grotto dedicated to Mary.
‘Show him the spiced plums, mother. Americans don’t have those,’ said one of the older boys. ‘Mother uses them to make kolaches,’ he added. Leo, in a low voice, tossed off some scornful remark in Bohemian. I turned to him. ‘You think I don’t know what kolaches are, eh? You’re mistaken, young man. I’ve eaten your mother’s kolaches long before that Easter Day when you were born.’
– Willa Cather’s novel My Antonia (1918), about Bohemian immigrants in Nebraska in the 1880s
Sometimes there is a fine line between cakes, breads, and pastries. The Czech koláč (koláče plural) –- the hacek mark over the letter “c” makes it a guttural “ch” -— consists of a large sweet yeast dough round topped with pools of a sweet mixture (or several types), while its diminutive koláček (koláčky plural) denotes smaller individual versions. In America, the names were anglicized, depending on the part of the country, as kolache or kolacky (typically used for both large and small cakes as well as both plural and singular).
The plate consists of barbecued chicken and beef, German potatoes, green beans and sausage. The ladies of the church begin making the kolaches from scratch on the last Saturday of April. On the same day, the men trim, grind, season, stuff and smoke the sausage for the Sunday event.