Sixty-eight members of the Hornok family met in Courtland, VA, on August 2-4, 2013, for their first reunion since 2004. The family is descended from Andrew Joseph and Helen Roncsek Hornok, who immigrated to America from Hungary at the beginning of the Twentieth Century. None of their eleven children are living, but three daughters-in-law, all in their nineties, are still alive. Two of them were even able to attend the reunion.
No Hornok reunion is complete without a pig roast, and this was held on Saturday. Before the dinner, Ken Hornok, a pastor from Salt Lake City, pointed out a few verses from Psalm 90, which is a prayer of Moses at the end of his life. Like him, we can ask God to teach us to number our days so we will acquire a heart for wisdom (v. 12). The prayer ends by requesting, “Let Your work appear to Your servants and Your glory to their children. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands” (vv. 16-17).
Sunday’s get-together at “the farm”—on the land where Andrew raised peanuts and his children—featured Hungarian recipes. See the list for these mouth-watering creations.
Every family event naturally includes controversy. In the Hornok family, it involves how to pronounce the name. Only one branch of the family, descended from son John, pronounces it “Hor-nock.” All the rest call themselves “Hor-noke.” Of course, Andrew and Helen, who never did master English, pronounced it “Hhorrrrrrr-nuk.” So what’s the controversy? Of the five Hornok sons, Andy, Steve, John, Joe, and Mike, only John had sons, who have had sons and grandsons (seven so far). All these descendants call themselves “Hor-nocks,” so in future generations that pronunciation will no doubt predominate.
No matter how you say it, the Hornoks had a great time at their family reunion and look forward to the next time, but most of them have a few pounds to lose first!
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Pirohi is a dumpling stuffed with cheese, finely diced vegetables, sausage or other ground meat, or a combination of the above. Put a dollop of sour cream on top and enjoy.
Toltott Kaposzta (Stuffed Cabbage)
For Toltott Kaposzta, immerse a whole head of cabbage in boiling water until the outside leaves soften. Peel them off individually and roll them up around a meatloaf mixture. Add tomatoes and spices and simmer until done.
Haluska (Sweet Cabbage and Noodles)
Sweet Cabbage Haluska simply means combining cooked pasta noodles (bowtie was used here) with grated cabbage and chopped onion. Saute together in butter until done.
Marhahus Gulyas (Beef Goulash)
Marhahus Gulyas (Beef Goulash) with dumplings in a delicious tomato sauce with onions and potatoes. Don’t forget the paprika—lots of it.
Paradicsomsalata (Tomato Salad)
Paradicsomsalata (Tomato Salad). Chop tomatoes, diced peppers, onions, chives, parsley, and anything else you find in the garden. Toss together with olive oil, garlic, and other spices to taste.
Hornock or Hornoke?
These are the surviving second generation Hornok males: Steve, Billy, and Ken. Ken’s late father, John, had five sons, and those sons produced eleven grandsons and (so far) seven great grandsons.
Andy John Kume and Bill Turner worked all day, starting before dawn, to roast a pig to perfection for the Hornok Family Reunion. The even was held at the Indian Town Hunt club near Franklin, Virginia.
The Hornok Farm
Andrew Hornok worked the coal mines until he saved enough money to bring his wife Helen and two preschool daughters from Hungary to America in 1903. Eventually they bought this farm in Virginia and had nine more children.