Poland did not make it to the World Cup so I chose Slovakia to blog about because Poland shares a border with her. My heritage is Polish - all Polish, so Slovakia was an easy choice.
When I began my reasearch and gathering data, little did I know that I would learn so much that was fascinating! Isn't it amazing how, when you least expect it, you learn something? Slovakia has a rich history with remarkable archaeological finds discovered within its borders.
Radiocarbon dating puts the oldest surviving archaeological artifacts from Slovakia – found near Nové Mesto nad Váhom – at 270,000 BC, in the Early Paleolithic era.
These ancient tools, made by the Clactonian technique, bear witness to the ancient habitation of Slovakia.
Other stone tools from the Middle Paleolithic era (200,000 – 80,000 BC) come from the Prévôt cave near Bojnice and from other nearby sites. The most important discovery from that era is a Neanderthal cranium (c. 200,000 BC), discovered near Gánovce, a village in northern Slovakia.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack and then coarsely chop.
Peel, core, and coarsely chop the apples. Toss with 1 - 2 tablespoons of lemon juice.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, ground cinnamon, and salt. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat until fully incorporated. Fold in the chopped nuts, raisins, and chopped apples. If the batter is thick, stir in the milk.
Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake in preheated oven for about 35 - 45 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
While the cake is still warm, prepare the glaze. Place the apricot jam or preserves in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat until liquid. Remove from heat and strain the jam through a fine strainer to remove any fruit lumps. Alternatively, place the apricot jam or preserves in a small bowl and heat in the microwave. Using a pastry brush, spread the warmed preserves over the apple cake.
Serve with softly whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Cover and refrigerate leftovers. Reheat before serving.
I didn't think that I would have any luck at all locating dog breeds native to Slovakia. I found a few that I had never heard of and never seen before. You learn something every day, don't you?☺ After reading about these breeds, it appears that the dogs native to Slovakia are primarily working dogs - nothing with a little bow in its hair with a rhinestone collar! They have a job and they are expected to do that job!
(Slovak Wolfdog) (Czech Wolfdog) (Ceskoslovensky Vlcak)