04 November 2010

4 November - South Taurids; Saint Emeric of Hungary

Astronomy: The South Taurid Meteor Shower.  Best viewing is after midnight tonight and tomorrow, when Taurus sits highest in the southern sky.  Not a whole bunch of meteors, but as EarthSky website says, "... the Taurids can surprise you with a flamboyant fireball or two!"  No moon in the sky will make it easier to see them.

Memorial of Saint Emeric, son of Saint Stephen, King of Hungary.  Not much known in the western hemisphere, except in places with a concentration of Hungarians, but I found the following to be of interest:

Found on The Chamber's 1869 Book of Days:
"On this day was honoured St. Emeric, the pious son of the pious St. Stephen, king of Hungary in the eleventh century. Emeric was a very promising man, both as a prince and an apostle of Christianity; and he might have attained greater eminence if he had not been carried off by death in the lifetime of his father. As it is, this somewhat obscure Hungarian saint has been a person of some consequence in the world, for from his name has come that of one of the great divisions of the earth. Through his celebrity, his name became a popular one: it was conferred, in the fifteenth century, in the Italian form of Amerigo, upon an Italian surnamed Vespucci. Vespucci did the world some service in extending the knowledge of the continent which Columbus had discovered; and by a strange current of circumstances, this continent came to be recognised by the name America, in honour of Signor Vespucci. When St. Stephen was choosing a name for his first-born son, how little could he have imagined that the one he chose was to be the parent of the noted word America!

In an article on surnames derived from Christian names, which appeared in the Gentleman's Magazine for July 1772, Amory and Emery are set down as derived from Emeric."


Tonight would be a good night for a Hungarian dish such as GOULASH.  Since it is made with beef, it honors the Taurids as well.

Cut up 2 pounds of lean beef chuck into 1-1/2 inch pieces and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.  Slice 2 - 3 onions.

In a heavy saucepan, heat 1/2 cup of lard or butter.  Add onions and cook until golden.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of sweet Hungarian paprika; then add beef and mix well so that the beef is coated.

Cook over low heat, stirring, until pan juices have been absorbed.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of flour and cook for 1 minute.  Add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and enough hot water or dry white wine (or a mixture of both) to the pan to cover the meat; simmer, covered, over low heat for about 1 to 1-1/2 hours, until meat is tender.

Check occasionally for liquid; if necessary, add a little more.  When meat is done, either stir in 2 cups of sour cream and heat through, or add a dollop of sour cream to each serving.  Serve over buttered noodles sprinkled with caraway or poppy seeds.