The Empress’s Handmaiden



Audrey and I got up at 4:15 this morning to get ready for our 4:45 pick up to go to the set, which is an hour away from the hotel.  Audrey had her first taste of Hollywood glamor by standing in the sweltering heat all day in layers of costumes, holding a copper teapot.  This might just cure her affliction of wanting to be an actress.  I thought it ironic that she was playing one of Empress Chabi’s handmaidens in the show because in real life I’d been her handmaiden ever since she was born. Don’t get me wrong.  Being my kids’ handmaiden is something I enjoy doing tremendously — one of the worthier jobs that I’ve had.  Of course there were times I was fed up by the never ending chore of cleaning after them, but I wouldn’t change it for anything else.



Exhausted, Audrey skipped lunch and took a nap.

As I promised yesterday, here is the recipe for the pickled radishes.


12 small red radishes, trimmed, unpeeled, quartered

1/4 onion, sliced (the onions in Budapest are tiny and I estimated it to be about 1/4 of a large onion)

5 garlic cloves, sliced

1 small carrot, sliced

2 paprika pepper, sliced

1 poblano pepper, sliced

2 cups cider vinegar (I don’t have a measuring cup and estimated enough to cover the vegetables)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (I approximated with a real teaspoon)

3 to 4 teaspoon sugar (I used 4 sugar packs from the coffee tray)

1/4 cup water (I filled an espresso cup about 2/3 full)


Combine vinegar, sugar, salt and 1/4 cup of water in a small pot and bring to boiling.  Add thinly sliced onion, turn off stove and close the lid for 3 minutes.  Add the rest of the vegetables and mix.  Pour content into a glass jar.  Make sure the vegetables are fuller immersed in the vinegar mixture.  Cool and leave in the fridge for 1 hour to 1 week.

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