Pálenec (Roasted Sprouted Green Peas)
from Eighty-fourers (Osmačtyřicátníci, 1924) by Jindřich Šimon Baar
Thus arrived the fourth Sunday of Lent, called Laetare Sunday, and since time immemorial, this means the end of all traditional linen-spinning gatherings. The goodwives brought any linen that hadn’t been spun out to the dry weather under the sky along with the distaffs, cones, spindles and spinning wheels. The spun and nicely ironed garters, arranged in piles, were taken to the weavers. However, they were not taken to the cottages, but to Trhanov and Postřekov so as not to anger the peasants, who might assume they were having an affair with the fabric craftsmen and drapers behind their back.
“So we will start on Sunday?” Králová asked Bartoška when she finished spinning the last coil and was leaving from her visit.
“Yes, we will. She has already bought the peas,” laughed the innkeeper, “just bring the lads with you.”
“We will, no worries,” promised all the spinners, mostly married women who went to the linen spinning gatherings themselves, but their husbands had to go to the “spouštědlo” (traditional festivity) with them and pay for their beer and liqueur as they had before marriage.
On Saturday evening, Bartošová had already soaked a large pot of peas (the so-called PUČÁLKA) and she cooked the Pálenec on Sunday morning. She perfectly greased the baking tray, poured in the swollen peas, salted them, peppered them thoroughly for the men, and put plenty of sugar on for the women. Finally, she quick-roasted them in a sharp oven. Soon they were nicely roasted until red, and the roasted grains crumbled, crunched and tasted better than any candy.
Jindřich Šimon Baar (1869–1925) was a Czech writer who emphasised the traditional moral values of the countryside. Born into a peasant family, he was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1892.