Cherry is my personal favorite. And it has been since I was a little girl and was first introduced to kolace, usually at the home of my great-grandmother, Olive (Moravek) Rashleigh. She was Czechoslovakian and whenever we got together for family gatherings at her house, my mom would take homemade kolace with fillings like cherry, apricot, prune and poppyseed.

When Steve and I saw the “open” sign in the window of the normally closed bakery in Wilber last weekend at the Czech Festival (read more about that here), we couldn’t resist the temptation of the buttery, fruit-filled pastries. When we got inside,  we saw hundreds of postcardjar.comkolace that filled the cases of small bakery and took our place in the back of a long line of other kolace lovers. As we waited, I looked around the old bakery a bit, noticing the large wooden paddles on the wall which were once used to slide the tasty treats in and out of the oven. Behind the counter, where the owners struggled to keep pace with the demand for their sweet pastries, I saw a large kitchen with racks and racks of kolace baked special for the annual festival.

The owner asked if I’d like to see the old oven, and of course, I said yes. In between filling orders, she showed me around the kitchen and back to the old Middleby-Marshall oven that, for decades, has baked kolace and rye bread on six revolving shelves.

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The owner told me the oven came from a bakery in Syracuse, Neb., and can bake 630 kolace at one time. Considering the entire process of making kolace takes about six hours, that’s a good thing. He said they made more than 1,200 kolace for the Czech Festival this year and from the looks of the lines at the bakery, they were easily going to sell out. He said cherry is, by far, the top seller and accounts for about one-third of their sales. The Wilber Bakery also carried raspberry, poppyseed, apricot, and cream cheese kolace.

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When we returned from Wilber last weekend, I took my mom a half dozen of her favorite flavor – poppyseed. I remembered her making kolace as well when I was a kid, and asked if she had great-grandma’s recipe for me to share on our blog. She said she hadn’t used great-grandma’s recipe in a very long time, as she had gotten another from a local Czech woman and she says it’s even better. If you have the time, see for yourself.

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Have you had kolace? What is your favorite filling? Let us know in the comment section. We’d love to hear from you. 

 

  • We've been having the best time in the Florida Keys visiting Steve's mom and dad this week. Today, it was cold for Floridians, but we loved the sunshine (and were thankful for awesome neighbors who were likely shoveling the snow from our driveway back home).⁣
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We are so thankful for a flexible schedule and opportunities like this one to share time with family. Life seems to pass us by so quickly the older we get and we're fortunate to be able to travel and share experiences with the people we love most. ⁣
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Feeling especially blessed tonight, in the beautiful Florida Keys.
  • We enjoyed a delicious dinner tonight at Hideaway Cafe on Grassy Key with Steve's mom and dad. We went early at 5 p.m. for the sunset dinner menu which has smaller portions and the most beautiful views of the sunset. ⁣
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The food was fresh and made-to-order and served by gracious and professional staff who made us feel right at home. ⁣
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Hideaway is a great restaurant choice for dinner if you're in the Florida Keys. Get a reservation ahead of time, as it fills up quickly, even at 5 p.m.
  • Need some inspiration for staying healthy while traveling? Good news! We are taking over the @noom Instagram stories this afternoon and hope you’ll all follow along as we share tips on how to make healthy living choices while on a cruise ship. We’ll take you inside the beautiful @celebritycruises Edge and show you how we stayed on track with our Noom goals while still enjoying a fantastic cruise vacation. Be sure to follow @noom! Our takeover has just begun. 😁
  • The Rooftop Garden is a unique space on the top deck of the @celebrityedge. There’s no water slide on this ship, no go-carts, and the’s no rock wall for climbing. Instead the Rooftop Garden provides a “living urban playscape inspired by childhood playgrounds and designed to waken the inner child in all of us,” according to the Celebrity Cruises website. There are live plants, comfortable outdoor seating, and unique art installations that set the space apart from anything else at sea. @cruisecelebrity
  • Blu is a restaurant on the Celebrity Edge that is dedicated to guests in Aqua Class.  It serves “clean, crisp flavors and inventive cuisine” in a gorgeous blue venue. To give you an example of the types of entrees served, for dinner tonight Blu is offering seared duck breast with wilted chard, farro risotto, and black cherry jus; a cracked pepper corn-crusted tuna salad, watercress, and dijon vinaigrette; and pumpkin gnocchi with sautéed arugula, sundries tomatoes, marinated artichokes, goat cheese and basil pesto. What would you order?
  • Yes, cruise ships are huge, but if you do a little exploring, you’ll find that the designers have included many small spots perfect for intimate conversation and watching the world go by. We found this nook in Eden, on deck 5 of the Celebrity Edge, near the stern.
  • Last Sunday we began the second half of our very first back-to-back cruise on the Celebrity Edge. We’ve had the best cruise vacation and have enjoyed every single minute of our vacation. The Edge  been an ideal place to relax, recharge, and prepare for a new year. We’ve also used this time to try new things and focus on a healthy lifestyle. Thank you all for coming along on our journey and sharing your sweet comments with us along the way. We are grateful for each of you.
  • We just love these guys!! These two characters were the bartenders on the Retreat Sundeck for our cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge. Johannes and Vince created a light, fun atmosphere and made you want to go to the pool every day. Their personalities helped make the Retreat a welcoming place with professional service. We shouldn’t be surprised, though. We found similar cheerfulness in crew around every corner of the Edge, under the command of @captainkatemccue.

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