Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Primary activity

As you can tell, we're having so much fun as missionaries helping people to enjoy the gospel. This month the primary activity was to go to the movies together. We saw the animated Rio. It was great. (Mom and I called it our Hungarian lesson for the day.) Afterwards we treated everyone to ice cream sundaes at McDonalds.

Returns on investments

My mission president in Germany taught us "invest in people, not in things." That's what we've been doing here. One of our investments has been to encourage the members to plant gardens. We gave many of them seeds, small tomato plants we started on our balcony, and bulbs of various flowers. These beautiful gladiolus are an example of the return we have gotten from our investment.

Villa Row

On one of our walks we came upon a hidden street called Villa sor or Villa Row, filled with huge single family homes, many built probably 100 years ago. Most big houses like this now have two or three families living in them. These are still single family homes. Here is the back of the chapel that served the residents. This is a reconstruction but the original was built in the 1700s.

The following are a selection of the homes. Notice the different roof and window styles. That's what we like about Hungary. The first one is for sale. Anyone want to come join our branch in Hungary?

Dope fiends?

This past month there were fields of poppies everywhere. You might wonder if opium is a major agricultural product here.

Actually, poppyseeds, which are sold by the package, are a basic food here.

As you can see, they are a basic ingredient of rétes, or strudel, as the Austrians call it.

These rolls are stuffed with them too.

I think Hungarians would have a hard time passing a drug test in the USA.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Picnic in the woods

We're in the foothills of the alps and the forests are magical and perfect for hikes.

You certainly would expect to see fairies and elves.

When the branch stopped for their picnic, it was a bit nippy for a late June day so we built a fire.

The wood was wet from the early morning rain so the fire was more smoke than fire if it burned at all.

All our events begin with a reading from our branch poet Marika.

The planners preferred vegetarian fare so these are the cream cheese, tomato and pepper sandwiches we had rather than pig fat dripping from bacon on bread.

I think the vegetarians were a bit too adventuresome in gathering mushrooms in the woods. Would you like to try one?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sound of Music?

Have we been transported back in time to when everyone in Hungary wore fancy clothes instead of looking like Americans?

Nope1 These are just performers in the Sopron Folk Festival, sort of like the folk festival at the end of Sound of Music when the von Trapp family makes their escape from the Nazis. The first act we saw were these drummers. They were great with lots of showmanship, just what Thompsons are trained to look for. Notice that their drums are garbage cans, washboards, and various industrial containers--

Next up was this band playing Hungarian folk music. Here is a snippet.

They were followed by these horn players. Do you feel like the von Trapp family should be coming up soon?

There were lots of slap dancers for the rest of the evening.

The following is about as close as we got to hearing "auf wiedersehen--good night" sung to us. This last group sang and the little kids entertained us with their jig.

I guess we'll have to wait until we get home for our grandkids to sing to us. But I'm sure they'll all enjoy learning some slap dancing. Get ready to follow grandpa's lead.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New man cave?

You might remember that this was our guest room/computer room that Debbie, Eric, and Kim stayed in when they visited.

Our landlady needed the bed for another room in her guest house so she gave us a "French" bed. I've heard of French fries and French toast but never a French bed. Any way, with the new French bed our guest room has been transformed into a man cave. Do I look more manly in my man cave?

We'll test out sleeping on the French bed so we can give our recommendations to future visitors.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What did he do?

This is the only 17th century pillory in a public square left standing in Hungary. It's in nearby Fertörakos where my branch clerk lives. According to one source, adulterers, thieves, and other petty criminals were stripped naked and tied to this post and passersby could lash them with canes or slap them. (So you can see that my demonstration is not quite authentic as I am fully clothed!)

As I was posing for the picture, an old lady passed by and asked what I was caught doing!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Can she bake a cherry pie?

We showed you earlier this spring all the fruit trees in blossom. Now the cherry crop is coming on and we have TONS of cherries coming our way. You can see Caroly busy pitting cherries to make cherry pies.

Yum, yum!

We ran out of pie plates before we ran out of cherries so here is our deep dish version made in a spring-form cake pan served by your favorite Hungarians.

Here we are at our friend Tom's place picking some more--the last of the crop!

Of course Tom got a pie too as a thank you.

Mom's getting pretty good at this.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Before and after

All that walking does a person good. How do you like the new me?


Better with bacon!

At a Hungarian "grill parti" you need lots of bacon. Here Erika is cutting the last nice thick pieces that we need.

We have bacon on the chicken wings...

on the chicken breasts...

and around the hotdogs. There are even extras to munch on with bread. Erika says the bacon adds good flavor and keeps the meat moist.

Here we are doing one last check on the chicken wings. The bacon was already cooked so it was on the table ready to eat.

Of course, what is a grill parti without waffles? I asked where the bacon was and the hostess laughed.

Peter and Timi seem to be enjoying the food.

It looks like the hostess is happy with the results too--though Caroly says we gained five pounds. But it was worth every delicious pound.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Bloom where you are planted!

If you know the Florida Thompsons, you know that our family motto is "Bloom where you are planted." Here is the Hungarian version that we gave to the branch members today in honor of the great job they did with the men's chorus and attendance at district conference.