Banat | Village Coordinator: Nick Tullius


Schwowische Dialect of Alexanderhausen Article by Nick Tullius

Die beschti Quitt, wu ich im Lewe verkoscht han
[Banater Post, Jul 05, 2016]

    Jedesmol wann ich Obst inkaaf denk ich an die Obstbeen vun drhemm, vun unsrem Garte. Mir han eigentlich zwaa Garte ghat: ‘S Gärtl vore an dr Gass un de Garte wu hinner dr Scheier angfang hat. Im Gärtl ware villerlei Blumme, awwr aach a Bierebaam, zwaa Aprikosebeem un ganz am End, schun bald in dr Scheier, hat e Nussbaam gstann. Ganz am Gassezaun war e Majerreeslebaam, un dem ganze Nochberschhaus entlang ware villi Himbeeresteck.

   De Garte war greeßer un hat uns dorch die schlechte Zeite gholf, wu jo sunscht net vill zu esse do war. Mer hat also alles im Garte ghat, was mer dorchs Johr in dr Kich gebraucht hat. Do ware Zwiwwle un Knowl, Zalat un Spinat, Bohne un Erbse, Grienzeich, Gelriewe, Paschkenat, vrschiedene Sorte Paprika un Paradeis, Kochkukruz un Patschkukruz, Kraut, Kolrawe, villeicht Karfiol, Kreiter wie Bohnektreitl, Phefferminz, un was sunscht noch. Kapper is vun selwer gewachst, de hat mer net anbaue brauche.

   Dorch de mitte Garte war e Garteweech, der hat de Garte in zwaa geteelt. Newer dem Garteweech ware Erdbeeresteck. Die sin vun selwer gwachst un han immer scheeni Erdbeere getraa. Wann mer ‘s Gartetierl uff gmacht hat un uff de Garteweech kumm is, dann war links a Majäpplbaam. Die Äppl sin frieh zeitich gin, awwr ehrlich gsaat, ich han angfang se zu esse wie se noch grien ware. Die zeitiche Äppl sin runner gfall, awwr dann han se mer net mehr gschmeckt. In manche Johre war der Baam so voll mit Äppl, dass mer hat Stitze unner die Äschter stelle misse, sunscht wäre se abgebroch.

   Uff dr rechti Seit war e Quetschebaam, zimmlich groß un zimmlich alt. Der hat gute awwr meischtens net ville Quetsche ghat. Uff dr linksi Seit geger em Nochber sei Garte han drei Prunjebeem gstann. Die Quetsche han feschtes Fleisch ghat, wu net am Keere gstoch hat. Die Prunje han wajcheres Fleisch ghat, un es is net leicht vum Keere losskumm. Die  Quetsche han mer besser gschmeckt un ware aach besser zum inleje for de Winter. Die meischte Prunje han mer ingemaascht for Rakibrenne.

   Am anre End vum Garte han a Äpplbaam, a Kerschebaam, un noch a Quetschebaam gstan. De Äpplbaam hat ganz kleene Äppl getraa, wu gegr de Herbscht zeitich ware. Die han net vum beschte gschmeckt, han sich awwr gut for de Winter uffghob. De Kerschebaam war zimmlich hoch, hat awwr e nidriche Zwacke ghat, wu ich gere dringsitzt han. De Quetschebaam hat meischtens net vill Quetsche getraa; die han ich fascht so schnell g‘gess wie se zeitich sin gin.

   Uff dr rechti Seit vum Garte han unser beschti Obstbeem gstan: drei Saurkerschebeem. Die ware net groß, mer hat die Kersche ohne Leeter erreiche kenne. Die Saurkersche sin zimmlich spot zeitich gin, awwr do ware genuch for esse, Kerschekuche backe, un inleje. Sogar Kerschesooß is gemacht gin, un oft sin noch Sauerkersche ins Maasch kumm, for Rakibrenne.

   Leidr han mer ke Quittebaam ghat, awwr beim Nochber am Garteend hat e junge Quittebaam gstan. In eem Johr hat der so siwe odr acht Quitte getraa. An ‘me scheene Herbschtowed sin ich dorch unser Garte gang, un die Quitte han wie Lichter im dunkle geglanzt. Ich sin also hin gang un han mer eeni abgebroch. Des war die beschti Quitt wu ich im Lewe vrkoscht han, awwr so ganz gut han ich mich drbei doch net gfiehlt. Ich kann mich beim beschte Wille net erinnre, ob ich des beim beichte erwähnt han.


The best quince that I've tasted in my life
Translated by Nick Tullius

   Every time I buy some fruit, I find myself thinking about the fruit trees that grew in our garden, way back home. We actually had two gardens: the little garden fronting the street and the actual garden, which was located behind the barnyard. In the little garden there were many flowers, but also a pear tree, two apricot trees and a walnut tree that stood at the very end, almost in the barnyard. Next to the street fence stood a lilac tree, and along to the whole length of the neighbour's house there were raspberry bushes.

   The big garden was large enough to help us through the bad times, when otherwise there was not much food available. We had to grow everything in the garden that was needed year around in the kitchen. There were onions and garlic, lettuce and spinach, beans and peas, parsley, carrots, parsnip, different varieties of peppers and tomatoes, corn for cooking and popcorn, cabbage, kohlrabi, and herbs like oregano and mint, then maybe cauliflower, and a few other plants. Dill grew every year by itself without a need to sow it.

   A garden path led through the middle of the garden, dividing the garden into two halves. On both sides of the garden path grew strawberry plants. These kept growing by themselves and always produced beautiful strawberries. Stepping on the garden path through the garden door, the first tree to the left was a May-apple tree. Its apples ripened early, but honestly, I started eating them when they were still green. The ripe apples dropped to the soil, but by then I did not like their taste any more. There were years when the tree was so full of apples, that we had to place wooden supports under its branches, otherwise they would have broken down.

   A quite large and also rather old plum tree stood on the right side. It produced good plums, but never too many of them. On the left side, toward the neighbour's garden, there were three "prunje" trees. The regular plums had fairly solid meat, which did not stick to the stone. The "prunje" had softer meat which did not easily detach from the stone. The regular plums tasted better and made better preserves for the winter. Most "prunje" were added to the fermenting mash for making "quetsche raki", as the plum brandy what called.

   At the other end of the garden stood an apple tree, a cherry tree, and another plum tree. This apple tree bore tiny apples which ripened toward the fall. These were not the best tasting apples, but they were easy to store for the winter. The cherry tree was quite high, but it had a low bifurcation, in which I liked to sit. The plum tree usually did not produce many plums; I managed to eat most of them almost as soon as they ripened.

   On the right side of the garden stood probably our best fruit trees: three sour cherry trees. These trees were not tall at all, you could pick the cherries without using a ladder. The sour cherries ripened late, but there were enough of them to eat, bake cherry pies, and preserve some for the winter. Even cherry sauce was made, and often there were still sour cherries left over for the fermenting mash used to make "raki", which was then becoming a mixed-fruit brandy.

   Unfortunately, we did not have a quince tree in our garden, but in the neighbour’s garden immediately adjacent to the end of our garden stood a young quince tree. That year, the tree carried seven or eight quinces. On a beautiful fall evening while walking through our garden, those quinces shone like lights in the dark. So I just walked over, broke one off, and ate it. Despite a little tinge of conscience while eating it, that was the best quince that I've tasted in my whole life. Try as I may, I just cannot remember whether I mentioned that quince at confession.



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