Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Slovakia, rich in history and heritage: a dog blog Unity in Diversity celebration

I'm sure most of you remember Maxdog of South Africa - our valiant Golden Retriever who is now waiting for his Maxmom at the Bridge. Living Life to the Max is Maxmom's blog that continues on without her precious Maxdog. Filled with great photos of South Africa and pooches Tammy, King Toffee and Tommy, Maxmom is sponsoring a month-long event for those us who would like to get into the South African-World Cup Spirit, UNITY in DIVERSITY. Hit the button on my sidebar to travel to South Africa and Maxmom's blog. There you will find out all about UNITY in DIVERSITY! ALL the cool dogs and cats will be there - you snooze, you loose!

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.

Roman inscription at the castle hill of Trenčín 178–179 AD
The Kingdom of Vannius, a barbarian kingdom founded by the Germanic Suebian tribes of Quadi and Marcomanni, as well as several small Germanic and Celtic tribes, including the Osi and Cotini, existed in Western and Central Slovakia from 8–6 BC to 179 AD.

View of the mountains Vysoké Tatry

Slovakia (Slovak Republic) has common borders with the Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Hungary and Austria. It has no access to the sea, but its mountains, plains and rivers make it a place well worth the visit.

Flag of Slovakia

Slovakian Apple Cake

3/4 cup (75 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans
1 pound (454 grams) apples
1-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cup (195 grams) all purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons (85 grams) unsalted butter, melted
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1/3 cup (50 grams) raisins

Glaze: (optional)
1/3 cup (85 grams) apricot preserves or jam

Apple Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Butter or spray with a non stick cooking spray, an 8 inch (20 cm) square baking pan and then line with parchment paper or wax paper.

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!

  Cesky Fousek
(Bohemian Wirehaired Pointing Griffon) (Czech Coarsehaired Pointer) 
(Slovakian Wirehaired Pointer) (Rough-coated Bohemian Pointer)
The Cesky Fousek, is very energetic, smart and willing to please. Cheerful and friendly, he likes children.  Loyal and protective, he loves all family members equally, especially if they are carrying the leash, car key, gun or Frisbee. They are very people-oriented, and not happy if isolated from the family. 

 Czechoslovakian Wolfdog
(Slovak Wolfdog) (Czech Wolfdog) (Ceskoslovensky Vlcak)
The Czech Dog is a unique breed which intensely bonds to one person, and may ignore everyone else. Towards it's owner, the Czech is devoted, affectionate, and intensely loyal, but may be timid or reserved around strangers. For this reason the Czech is not recommended for boisterous families. These dogs do not respond well to unmannered children, and exhibit no tolerance towards teasing or rough play. Puppies will nip, and not think twice about it. This dog still retains many of it's wild cousin's instincts. Its not a fluffy cuddle toy, but a dog with an edge.

Slovakian Kopov 
The Slovenský kopov was s developed and is used as a hunting dog, not a pet or showdog. It is bred for hunting large game, especially wild boar. Although extremely common in its area of origin, it is rarely seen in other countries.[2] The Slovenský kopov is similar to other east European scenthounds in appearance and hunting style.

 Slovakian folk dress
National Canine Cancer Foundation


Khyra And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Thanks fur sharing all those interesting fakhts!

Of khourse, woo know which pikh is my favourite!


houndstooth said...

Wow! That wolfdog is really stunning! Actually, they all are! Now we need to go find some apple cake, excuse us!


MAXMOM said...

Another superb post! You are really teaching us so much! What interesting dog breeds too. Thank you for all your hard work and research...you really are flying your own flag (USA) high!
..AND...you obviously LOVE apples! :)
Sending lotsaluv

ocmist said...

This is a really interesting post with a lot of neat information. I always love learning about new animal breeds, the recipe sounds delicious, and I love the folk dress, too! Grammy from Corgi Country

Teddy Bear said...

So many fun facts. We loved reading about Slovakia. That wolf dog is very cool.:)

Teddy Bear

The Life of Riley said...

Thanks for the information about Slovakia. I didn't know much about them, and my country, New Zealand, play Slovakia in 4 1/2 hours time!

Maggie Mae said...

Most interesting indeed! Thanks for sharing all this most wonderful information on the country of Slovakia.

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

Priscilla said...

Thanks so much for sharing the info, it's really interesting and I almost can't catch up with the recipes now.

Kira The BeaWootiful said...

Wooos! Thank woo for all of those interesting thinks about Slovakia. We really did not know all that. This has been such an interesting time reading about all of these countries. That wolfdog looks like me, do not you think?
~husky kisses~
-Kira The BeaWootiful

Sue said...

What a great post. It's amazing what I'm learning this week from these posts. I will most definitely make that cake, it sounds delicious.

The Wirehaired Pointing Griffon is one of my favorite breeds. I've only seen pictures, but I love the faces.

The Wolf Dog certainly does resemble a wolf.

I'm really enjoying taking part in this event.

Mrs. JP said...

I like the Cesky Fousak dog, I just loved that face! You are doing a great job on your research. That photo of the mountains and the stream is lovely.

brooke said...

Interesting stuff! I never knew there was Slovakian dogs!

♥I am Holly♥ said...

Thanks for sharing all of the information! There is so much to still learn. We love the Wolf dog! Lots of love, Debbie and Holly

Madi and Mom said...

Great information and such pretty pictures. Mom works with several people from Slovakia and the Czech Republic and her boss is Polish...
That lovely picture of food made us hungry.
Madi and Mom

Jake of Florida said...

If we had known, we (our Flat Selves) would have checked out some of those artifacts at the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver. Loved all those interesting details plus dogs plus food -- what could be better??

Mom;'s ancestry is from the Ukraine -- not too far from yours.

Wirey love,

Jake and Just Harry

Cloud the Wonder Dog said...

What a wonderful post, we learned so much! :-)


Asta said...

Scout and Fweya,

thank you fow anothew wondewful post about divewsity and a bootiful countwy.

My Mommi's Mommi was bown in Bwatislava when it was still pawt of hungawy, then when she was a teenagew it tuwned into Czechoslovakia and she moved to budapest wif hew family.
I especially like leawning about all the gowgeous doggies you awe finding in youw seawches
smoochie kisses

Shelley said...

A history lesson, great recipe for apple cake and lots of pretty dogs - loved this!!!
Berner Bumps from Scout

P.S. Good choice in music too!

Sagira said...

That applecake sure does look yummy.

That wolfdog is so beautiful to.

the booker man said...

mr. scout and miss freyja,
yes, i was just getting my world cup spirit on! my mama is a total dweeb sometimes!
thanks for another grrreat informational. me and asa and mama learned lots of cool facts about slovakia! that apple cake looks super delicious. i told mama she needed to make it once fall comes and all the apples will be especially tasty like. my favorite doggie was the cesky fousek!
the booker man

Ms. ~K said...

Being half Polish, I found this very interesting too.
Thanks fpr the info.