The Latvian and Modern KitchenFischbach D.P. Camp, Germany, 1949

A Manual of Latvian Cooking

This well-worn book is another from the D.P. camp years. It's "Latviska un Moderna Virtuve — Padomi Nama Matem Ka Pareizi Sagatovot Uzturi" (The Latvian and Modern Kitchen — Advice for Mistresses of the House on How to Properly Prepare Sustenance), published by the "Fisbachas latviesu komitejas literaturas apgade", that is, the publishing arm of the Fisbach Latvian Committee, and authored by H. Birzina and A. Svagers-Viksne. The front-piece, inscribed in the owner's handwriting, reads: "L. Aunina" (Silvija's maternal grandmother, Lina) "Antverp-Flensburg, 22.VII.49".

Of course, having a recipe to follow isn't the only ingredient for success. Once, Silvija asked her other (paternal) grandmother, why her food came out so wonderful while Silvija's own, while quite good, and using the exact same ingredients and following the exact same steps, would somehow wind up missing that je ne sais quoi. Her answer? "You have to cook with love, not just speed!"

Our favorite part of the book? If you really want to peek into the culture of Latvia a half a century ago, all you have to do is read the rather lengthy and pedagogical section on the proper method of entertaining guests!

Silvija read through the whole book to pick out her favorites, well over a dozen in all! It will take a while to translate, if not also cook, them all. Meanwhile we've got a couple of favorites, including the Latvian dish, piragi, that helped bring us together (it's a long story!)

...Timeline...Skalbe's Collected WorksSkalbe — Kopoti Raksti (Collected Works), Pirmais Sējums (Volume One), Kārlis Skalbe. Auseklis, Stuttgart. 1947. Authorized by UNRRA. Excerpted and translated poetry. Exiles' Calendar 1947Latviesu Trimdinieka Kalendars 1947 (The Latvian Exile's Calendar 1947). Complete facsimile (Latvian) and poetry translations; published in the D.P. camps, 1947 Fischbach Song FestivalDziesmu Diena Fišbachā (Fischbach Song Festival), Kārlis Puriņš. Viktors Puriņš. 1948. Latvians in the Displaced Persons camps of Fischbach and Märzfeld in Nuremberg and environs gather to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the First Latvian Song Festival. Album of 24 pictures, with foreword by composer and Fischbach DP camp elder Jēkabs Poruks. European Unification and LatviaEiropas apvienošanās kustība un mēs (The European unification movement and us), Modris Gulbis, 1948. The necessity of a European Union to the welfare of the European continent and to Latvia Anna Dārziņa Post Card SetLatvian folk costumes, Anna Dāŗziņa. Esslingen DP Camp, Jānis Liepiņš, ca. 1949. Artist Anna Dāŗziņa's illustrations of Latvian folk costumes. Set of 18 postcards. Pīrāgi & GalertsLatviska un Moderna Virtuve (The Latvian and Modern Kitchen), Fischbach D.P. Camp, Germany, 1949. Traditional Latvian recipes, excerpts and translations The Story of LatviaThe Story of Latvia—A Historical Survey. Arveds Švābe. Latvian National Foundation, Stockholm. 1949. Švābe's concise history of Latvia, from the Balts inhabiting what is today western Russia through the continuation of Soviet occupation into the post-WWII era. First USA Song FestivalThe First Latvian Song Festival in America, various, Chicago, 1953. Mixed choir participants' music. 21 songs, complete Festival of Lithuanian Art and MusicFestival of Lithuanian Art and Music, Washington, D.C., 1953. Lithuanian exile community celebrates the anniversary of Lithuania's original founding with art, a concert, and banquet in Washington, D.C. Festival program. Müürisepp's Soviet EstoniaEstonia, Wonderful Present—Marvellous Future, Aleksei Müürisepp. Soviet Booklets, London. 1959. Career apparatchik and then soon-to-be Estonian SSR Supreme Soviet Chairman Алексей Александрович Мюрисеп waxes eloquently of life under the U.S.S.R., one of a series of propaganda booklets produced about each of the fifteen Soviet Republics. Lācis' Soviet LatviaLatvia—Our Dream is Coming True, Vilis Lācis. Soviet Booklets, London. 1959. Popular author during Latvia's independence and Soviet sympathizer signing deportation orders sending families to frosty death, Vilis Lācis, writes of the materialization of Latvian dreams under the U.S.S.R., one of a series of booklets produced about each of the fifteen Soviet Republics.

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