2022 Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge
January 2, 2022

Since 2018, we have hosted the Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge. Each year we have added new elements so participants can make a deeper connection with heritage foods each month. We would love to have you join us this year!

Each month I give an assigned dish to make — it might be sweet and it might be savory. I will supply a recipe, but you are not bound to that recipe. The goal is to cook the dish and see what you think. If you have access to a family recipe that you love or have never even tried, fantastic! Use that one! Or use the recipe from a family friend or your favorite cookbook. You do not have to follow the exact recipe I give you.  If you need to adapt the recipe a bit due to allergies or strong food preferences, that is fine. The hope is that you will find some recipes that can work in your life. You might not love everything you make and that is ok, too.

Complete the dish of the month each month. Invite someone to cook it with you or eat it with you or drop off a little “care package” of the finished product to someone you know will enjoy it. If you can involve older or younger generations in this process, that is even better. If you are a grandmother or grandfather who lives near their grandchildren and can have a Hungarian cooking day, how fun is that? Or you and a cousin may decide to cook something together once a month – it’s a great family bonding opportunity! Maybe you have a non-Hungarian friend who loves to experiment with recipes – that sounds like one of the ingredients for a perfect afternoon! In these times of social distancing, maybe you have a video chat with an elder family member and discuss the recipe — find a way to make it work!

To participate, you need to email [email protected] and say you want to participate in the Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge. Then you need to sign up for our e-newsletter. We offer 4 options of the e-newsletter and they are all fun and interesting, but the 3rd week is the one that will always have the recipe! Sign up for the newsletter HERE.

1st week – Hungarian Events, News, & Organizations
2nd week – Hungarian Language, Genealogy, & Travel
3rd week – Hungarian Recipes, Foods, & Traditions
4th week – Hungarian History, Inventions, & Creative Inspiration

The recipe of the month (and other cooking resources) will always appear in the 3rd week of the Hungarian Living e-newsletter. I will start the year with emailing everyone the January recipe, but, after that, each month the recipe for the following month will be in week 3 of the Hungarian Living e-newsletter.

Optional cooking and baking classes. CLICK HERE to see our upcoming classes — there will be some classes that line up with the Let’s Cook Challenge, but the classes are entirely optional.

A couple things we have learned over the last four years of doing the Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge:

You guys have great food stories to share! We have enjoyed reading all of them. Each month brought another opportunity for meaningful feedback from you and, hopefully, meaningful conversations within the family. We also learned that the participants enjoyed interacting with another via the Facebook group, especially as the last several years have played out. Our Facebook group allows for the sharing of tips and tricks and ideas as well as troubleshooting and success. If you are on Facebook, request to join our group Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge. It is so much more fun to cook in community!

In previous years, we have offered an apron for the U.S. participants who completed all 12 months of the challenge within the allotted time. And we have found that for some, trying to earn the apron became a distraction over the goal of cooking more Hungarian food. Sometimes participants would miss a month and, since they knew they wouldn’t qualify for the apron, they stopped participating altogether. Our goal is for there to be more Hungarian food in your life, period. And we want people to participate at whatever level works for them, especially during these crazy times. The big change for this year is that we will not be offering a free apron to those who make all 12 of the dishes. That takes pressure off of you — no more having to remember to email me each month with photos and all that jazz. It also helps participants relax and enjoy the process and celebrate the cooking and the conversation. Let’s shoot for the goal of 12 Hungarian food experiences this year and if we fall short, it’s ok. Life is crazy these days.

We recently received a note from a participant in the 2021 Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge. Here is a snippet:

“On a side note, thank you so much for this challenge. I really enjoyed it! It helped me connect with my culture regularly. It gave me recipes for dishes I love but have never made, new dishes, and confidence to finally try things. Having the deadline to do it made me get it done, too….the best experience was when I shared a giant batch of the pörkölt [meat stew] after a family move, and when my mom and her brothers stepped into the kitchen they all exclaimed “oh! It smells like Hungary in here!” It was such a compliment. Thank you for providing us the vehicle to come together as a family over our food!” ~ Ann J. (Massachusetts)

Here are the details for the 2022 Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge. Grab a cousin, sibling, parent, or friend and invite them do the challenge with you! If you don’t have anyone who will join you, don’t worry, do it for yourself! Find the level that works for you, follow all the steps, and let’s get started!

Level One

Participate in the Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge

Choose level one if:

  • You want to be inspired to cook more Hungarian food.
  • You like knowing others are on this journey with you.
  • You enjoy the challenge of having a recipe assigned to you each month.

Step One: Send me an email to [email protected] and tell me you want to participate in the 2022 Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge.

Step Two: If you don’t already receive at least the 3rd week of the Hungarian Living e-newsletter you need to sign up for that HERE.

Step Three: An optional but a fun addition — if you are on Facebook, request to join our group Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge

Cost: $0

____________________

Level Two

Participate in the Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge
+ Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages

Choose level two if:

  • You want to be inspired to cook more Hungarian food.
  • You like knowing others are on this journey with you.
  • You enjoy the challenge of having a recipe assigned to you each month.
  • You are excited about making a regular and thoughtful connection with your Hungarian food history with our monthly Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages.

Step One: Send me an email to [email protected] and tell me you want to participate in the 2022 Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge.

Step Two: If you don’t already receive at least the 3rd week of the Hungarian Living e-newsletter you need to sign up for that HERE.

Step Three: An optional but a fun addition — if you are on Facebook, request to join our group Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge

Step Four: Purchase the Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages (details below).

Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages
Each month for 12 months you will receive a pdf via email that can be downloaded and printed each month. The purpose of these pages is to encourage you to document your monthly cooking experience and jog your memory with a variety of questions each month. We hope these questions will ignite some additional interesting conversations with your friends and family. If you are don’t have a printer, grab a notebook dedicated to this project and answer the questions each month. Your purchase of these monthly questions can be used with your immediate family: parents, grandparents, spouse, children. If you want to involve a wider range of family members or friends, please purchase access to additional journal pages. Be sure to let us know what email to send the extra journal pages to. This can be a wonderful family activity.

Cost: $25 (about $2 per month) — 2022 Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages

Click this link to purchase! Be sure to choose the $25 level.

___________________

Level Three

Participate in the Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge + Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages
+ Apron

Choose level three if:

  • You want to be inspired to cook more Hungarian food.
  • You like knowing others are on this journey with you.
  • You enjoy the challenge of having a recipe assigned to you each month.
  • You are excited about making a regular and thoughtful connection with your Hungarian food history through our monthly Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages.
  • You want to purchase an apron for yourself or someone else.

Step One: Send me an email to [email protected] and tell me you want to participate in the 2022 Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge.

Step Two: If you don’t already receive at least the 3rd week of the Hungarian Living e-newsletter you need to sign up for that HERE.

Step Three: An optional but a fun addition — if you are on Facebook, request to join our group Let’s Cook Hungarian Challenge

Step Four: Purchase the Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages + Apron (details below).

Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages + Apron
Each month for 12 months you will receive a pdf via email that can be downloaded and printed each month. The purpose of these pages is to encourage you to document your monthly cooking experience and jog your memory with a variety of questions each month. We hope these questions will ignite some additional interesting conversations with your friends and family. If you are don’t have a printer, grab a notebook dedicated to this project and answer the questions each month. You can also choose to audio or video record your answers. Your purchase of these monthly questions can be used with your immediate family: parents, grandparents, spouse, children. If you want to involve a wider range of family members or friends, please purchase access to additional journal pages. Be sure to let us know what email to send the extra journal pages to. This can be a fun and informative family activity.

Purchase an apron so you can use it as you cook all year long! Or, if you already have one of our aprons, send one to a friend or family member to encourage them to cook more Hungarian food! Choose from our Hungarian Chef Apron (red, blue, or green) or our Folk-Art Apron (red only). Mention your choice in the comment section when you check out.

Cost: $50 — 2022 Hungarian Food Memories Journal Pages + Apron

Click this link to purchase! Be sure to choose the $50 level.

Some additional thoughts from this project:

“Hello! I finished January’s challenge and had a lot of fun!  I invited a couple relatives to join the challenge and it’s been fun to share stories and photos with them too!! I made your “Agi’s Pogácsa” recipe and it turned out very good.  My family loved them! I really appreciate this cooking challenge.  My mother is Hungarian and grew up with some of the traditions on their farm.  Her grandparents came to America in the early 1900’s.  As I was growing up we did not eat too many Hungarian dishes although I remember some of them and liked them a lot.  (tarhonya, chicken and dumplings, kifli, sauerkraut & “dumplings”, and Hungarian drop noodles.) I ordered some Hungarian foods from you for Christmas and shared them with my family.  I am hoping to try more Hungarian food this year and bring back some old recipes from my past.  Perhaps I can pass on some of this to my children.” ~ Michele

“Thank you for starting this challenge!  I love the idea that I will learn more Hungarian recipes even though my grandmother and great-grandmother are no longer here to teach me.  While I was making the pogácsa today, I was reminded of some of their cooking habits and tricks, and ended up with many fond memories of these beautiful grandmas in their kitchens.  My hand mixer was acting up, so I cut-in the butter with the flour to pea size with a fork.  I also didn’t have a small round cookie cutter, so ended up using a small juice glass, as we often do to cut the moon shapes (overlapping circles) in our family’s Hungarian Moon Cake recipe.” ~ Laura

“I want to thank you for doing this cooking challenge. This is giving my brother and I something to do together even though we live in separate states. Also, it’s finally the chance to learn more about Hungary. “ ~ Gary

Recent Cooking Posts

Cabbage and Noodles

Cabbage and Noodles

Cabbage and Noodles or Káposztás Tészta is a lovely vegetarian dish that can be made sweet or savory. It can be a snack, a first course, or even...

We offer a variety of books, foods, and gifts for all ages with a unique focus on Hungarian heritage.