Budapest is one of the loveliest cities that I have been — rich history, beautiful architecture, delicious cuisine and friendly people — what more could one ask for? I have been doing costume fitting and script read-through in the past few days, but Audrey and I have also been exploring the city when I have free time, mostly on foot. We walked so much that one of her wedge sandals broke today just when we arrived at the Four Season’s Hotel for lunch. The top of the sandal separated almost completely from the sole and Audrey had to hop into the swanky lobby dragging a broken shoe. It was quite hilarious and embarrassing at the same time.
We sat down in the restaurant and asked the waiter for duct tape, but he didn’t understand what we were saying and thought it was a food item that was not on the menu. Thank goodness for Google Translate that we found duct tape in Hungarian: szövetbetétes ragasztószalag. Audrey taped the sandal to her foot and kept the rest of the tape in her purse, just in case.
For lunch, we ordered the special of the day — pork knuckle with pearl onion and baby potatoes. It was absolutely delicious. Budapest is a city of carnivores, where vegetarian choices are somewhat limited. Audrey has eschewed her vegetarianism since we arrived and is now eating meat with a vengeance.
In the market near our hotel, we saw fresh pork bones and decided to make bone broth for a lentil soup for dinner. Next to the lentil bean packages, I saw something that looked like oat bran or wheat bran and bought one to cook breakfast porridge. After I made a big pot of bone broth and sautéd some chopped onion and carrots, I poured the vegetable and the lentil in. And then, at a whim, I added about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of what I thought was oat bran or wheat bran to the soup. Much to my surprise, the soup turned into a gloppy elastic consistency and texture that would roll off the utensil. I quickly googled the words on the package: utifu maghej, and it turned out to be Psyllium husk, a plant seed husk that is used as a laxative in this part of the world. Good thing I checked.