The Twisted Cake - my communist dessert

I grew up in a family of 5, with a very hardworking mom and a difficult father.. When I was a child, during the mid-eighties, the times were very hard in Eastern Europe. We were still under communism and I remember how scarce the food was, especially meat, sweets or coffee etc... My mom would wake up at 5 in the morning to stay in line for milk or eggs .

The supermarket would only sell 15 eggs per person and I remember how parents would wake their kids up at five to bring them along in order to purchase more eggs. The bread was rationalized, we had the right to 2 and half loaves of bread a day (half a bread per person), the same situation was with the oil, the sugar, the flour and the rice.

For the first 15 years of my life, I only remember eating butter and oranges only once...and that was a happy coincidence.
Because of all these cruel restrictions, my mom was trying really hard to compensate the lack of proper food and especially the desserts. So, when we'd ask her, most ardently, for something sweet, she'd turn the house upside down, procure some flour, borrow some sugar from a neighbor and with the walnuts from my grandma's old tree, she'd bake the most delicious cake...the twisted cake. It's made of layers of dough with grounded walnuts and sugar in between, then rolled and twisted so hard til they almost brake. The result is astonishing. I also used heated honey at the end to poor it over the hot cake, it softens the crust :). That would be the only sweet side of my communism memories.

22 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Petronela:
Whilst we can appreciate all the difficulties which went into the making of this cake by your mother in the past, it really does look and sound delicious. Indeed, waiting to go out to dinner tonight at around 9.00pm, we could very easily eat a slice right now!!

Living in Hungary we do have some understanding of what times were like for you as, indeed, they were here. Even today there are, from time to time, National shortages and the State still controls the price of essential foodstuffs.

We very much hope that you are having an enjoyable weekend.

Alida said...

I love this roll. Looks very soft and well risen. I'd love that for breakfast! It must have been hard living during the communism. At least that is over now!

Petula Wright said...

I am always amazed and touched when I hear of the lives people have lived in other parts of the world. Things I have no knowledge of. We all have difficulties and experiences in different ways and can empathize, but true understanding comes in the openness and sharing, listening and loving of others. I appreciate you sharing that part of your life.

My that cake does look divinely good! I really wish you lived down the street so I could bring my cup of coffee by and have a nice big piece with you. :-) I've learned, as a mother to four, that we will do whatever we can to add a little happiness and memories to our children's lives. Yummy!

The Furries of Whisppy said...

Your Mother sure was resourceful. That cake does look very yummy. I grew up reading and watching the hardships (on documentaries - which can be hard to watch) that our friends who lived during the communism period went through. I'm so glad that's now over. :)

Amandaines said...

Looks really delicious - you were lucky to have a great mother that taught you so much.

The Elephant's Child said...

The story of your mother's drive and ingenuity has touched my heart. And in more affluent times that cake would still be a great delicacy. Thank you for this beautiful post.

Judith said...

Wish I had a slice of your twisted cake in front of me. I love pastries, and it looks wonderful. I'm thankful we never had to ration, but my grandma did during the Depression. My mom told us lots of stories about standing in line for flour and lard or going to bed hungry. I hope those days never return.

Janet Gardner said...

I'm so sorry to hear of what you and your family had to endure, I just can't imagine it. I think more than one sweet thing came out of those times, your story show's your Mother's sweetness to give her children what she could. Your childhood stories are so deep with pain, but also endearment. Thank you for sharing them with all of us.
Love ya,
Janet :)

Suzanne Bean said...

I do love hearing all your stories. I'm happy to hear that you had some sweet memories even when times were so very hard. Thanks for sharing!!
Hugs!!!

Catherine said...

Dear Petronela, I am grateful that you shared these memories and that you are no longer living this harsh life.
This twisted bread looks very delicious. Blessings dear friend. Catherine xoxo

Lost in Space said...

I can't imagine living like that. But I do have to say you all did very well making those very yummy looking cakes when you could.

Goddess said...

That looks really tasty! Could you share the recipe?

Joy said...

You are so blessed to have a very sweet mother who tried to ease in her little way the situation you were in before.
It is a good thing that communism no longer rule your country. It must have been very difficult back then.
Thanks for sharing this experience to us.
And that cake looks delicious.

lettersfromlaunna said...

Thanks for sharing your memories, no one should ever forget where they came from and what they have gone through but always move on from it:)

Inner Personal Advice and Product Reviews! said...

Mmmm that looks so good! :)

klahanie said...

Hi Petronela,
Sorry I've not been around lately. What with all my multitasking :)
And through such cooking difficulties and how much your mother tried to make the most of available ingredients, the posting has such a sweet ending.
Hugs, Gary :)

Kelly said...

It sounds as though you had a hard childhood, when it comes to how your food was rationed out to the public. I can't believe how your family survived these conditions.

Most of us, in America, are too spoiled to understand that type of food rationing. Except the poor and the homeless among us. They would understand all too well. still, it seems like you made the best of an earlier dire situation and kept a positive outlook.

I loved your recipe for the Souffléed Banana Pancake. Sounds yummy. Take care, Petronela.

Btw, I've put up a link of this post to my Facebook wall. I'm really enjoying my visits to your blog. They interesting, inspiring and much more than I can describe.

tfwalsh said...

Oh yum... this looks so good. If you lived close, I'd be paying you a visit:)

Tammy said...

Petronela, You are such a strong woman. To have endured all that you have and still be such a kind and beautiful spirit is beyond inspiring to me. I prayer that all the Lord's blessings share down you and your family.
Your mother's bread looks and sounds delicious. Perfect with a cup of tea! I would love if you shared the recipe. Maybe I can make it for my family.

Thank you for visiting my blog. I'll try to update it as often as I can. :)

Toodles,
Tammy<3

Sissym said...

Dear Petronela,

This dessert looks delicious. Their memories may be sad to think about the hardness of the communist years, but also that with these difficulties have learned to give much value to the feelings and the people you love most.

I know what you speak, my mother lived in Germany after the war and lacked everything.

Kisses

A Mom said...

wow, really looks yummy!

Shaharoh said...

Such a touching post that warms my heart. Your mom is a superhero. I love how food and recipes invoke memories of history. Twisted cake looks so delicious and the appreciation you have for your mom is beautiful. xoxo!

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