Cooking with Babička: opantance, an old dish for the future

Once common in Slovakia, most people have forgotten what millet is, but as a heat and drought resistant crop it's worth learning old recipes for the future.

Opantance, millet with šúľok (gnocchi). Opantance, millet with šúľok (gnocchi). (Source: Naomi Hužovičová)

Pani (Mrs.) Slobodová is the kind of grandma every small town has - I think she knows everyone in the village, who their ancestors and descendants are, and who married into what family when.

In fact, when I was in the midst of a desperate house search, we drove around the town with her in case there was an available house we had missed. She knew whether an empty house was tied up in the court process, whether siblings agreed on selling their deceased parents' home (invariably one wanted to sell and one didn't), or whether the house was wet and mouldy and a health hazard.

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Five years ago I met with her, her daughter, and her granddaughter to learn how to make pulled strudel. In between, she showed us how to make opantance.

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