Apricot Kolaches


My grandmother's parents migrated from Hungary, making her a first-generation American. My grandmother grew up in a traditional Hungarian household that just happened to be located in America. They went to Church every night, made the same meals from back home, and even spoke Hungarian in the house. As my grandmother, Ilona, grew older, she explored the country, learning American culture and embracing various lifestyle changes that came with it gracefully. The grandmother I knew loved to knit and watch soap operas and daytime television, going outside every hour to smoke a Marlboro 100. Despite Ilona's new American way of living, her Hungarian heart shined through the food she crafted in the kitchen. Goulash, Paprikash, and stuffed cabbage were frequent meals, with their smells floating all the way to my room on the third floor. The one thing I've always cherished have been her Apricot Kolaches. These were only made for special occasions, as they took hours to prep, perfect, and bake. No one was allowed in the kitchen during this time, as not to throw off her focus on the perfection she was creating. I would sneak in the kitchen while she ran out for a cigarette and would steal two of the cookies off of the cooling rack. After running up the stairs, cookies in hand, I would blow on them to cool until they were cool enough to bite into their flaky crust. The sweetness of the jam center and the creaminess from the center of the cookie, mixed with the light outer crust, would send a warm tingle all over, that is until grandma found out.  

– JW

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more