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Old 07-05-2011, 01:48 AM   #1
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Serbian Bread and Biscuits

We stayed for the first 16 days in the family compound (five houses owned by my wifes Aunts) the 4 Aunts are all widows in their late 70s.Living with them are some of their children and their wives and their children.
They take it in turns to make the bread and a fantastic cornmeal scone or biscuit called Proja made from a mix of what you call grits, flour, eggs, oil,milk baking powderClick image for larger version

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ID:	11364 these are they, the photo was taken in a restaurant, because they dont use recipes I am going to try to recreate them this afternoon.
My day would begin at about 7am, one of about 20 adults would walk up to our terrace with Turkish coffee and a bottle of 40% home made Rakija flavored with health giving herbs then another would bring the burek hot out of the oven, the bread and kajmak would arrive from another house, the plum and wild strawberry jam from someone else,home made yogurt made from raw milk to drink would appear other relative who lived outside the compound and were going to work or shopping would stop and bring us a small gift then invite us to their house for dinner.
Aunty Zorica who we stayed with is a chef in a restaurant the city, her mums chickens tasted like the chickens we ate as children, her mum was a 76 yrs old widow who lives on her own on a small farm nearby, she got rid of her cow and pigs last year and concentrates on the chickens, her veg garden and flower garden is as big as mine, she grows corn for her chickens so the egg yolks are the color of the sun, she then kills and preps them 10 at a time and freezes them, you just visit and take what you need she got angry if she found out one of the family had bought one from the supermarket.
I have never been amongst people like this who regard the family as their life, they fight over who should look after the children and the one baby in the compound would be carried about with pride by its uncles aunts and grandma's from the minute it woke up.Lubee a tough ex boxer would put the baby in the pram and we would walk about a mile for a coffee and cake at a cafe he liked.
This trip was filled with so much of what has been lost by our culture I was at times overwhelmed by my feeling of dismay.


I was married by a judge, I should have asked for a jury.
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Old 07-05-2011, 02:21 AM   #2
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It sounds like a great experience, and even if our culture has lost this, you can still keep it alive in your own household. Oh, the bread and muffins look really tasty.

Just because something has a duck bill doesn't mean it's a platypus. It might just be a duck.
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Old 07-05-2011, 03:59 AM   #3
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I agree with your comments, it is nice to know that these values still exist in the world.

Did they think you were a bit "off" when they saw you taking pictures of the food for the folks around the world?
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Old 07-05-2011, 05:59 AM   #4
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I can picture everything you're saying. Please, I want to hear more, even things that you might consider mundane.
"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
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Old 07-05-2011, 07:41 AM   #5
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What a beautiful basket of bread.
Give us this day our daily bacon.
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Old 07-05-2011, 10:32 AM   #6
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Bolas it sounds like you had a wonderful time and the bread looks and sounds awesome!
"Variety is not just the spice of life, it is the key to life" - Chef Michael Smith

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Old 07-05-2011, 12:28 PM   #7
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Do they bake the bread in a stone oven?
I've got OCD--Obsessive Chicken Disorder!
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
I can picture everything you're saying. Please, I want to hear more, even things that you might consider mundane.
Selkie mate, All Souls Day was the first Saturday we were there as an non believer I had no idear what was going to happen. I was asked if I wanted to visit the graves of my wife's 4 uncles with the various families, I did not want to be hypocritical and there was no pressure to make the visit.
I asked Una Milea who had lost her husband last September if it was okay she just replied her husband would have liked me to attend.
I woke up on Saturday morning at 06.00am to the smell of cooking from all the houses, a massive picnic of all the dead peoples favorite food and drink was being prepared, it was then packed into the cars with their best tableware and of we all went.
They layed a table cloth on each double grave then layed the place settings including the dead person, tears flowed to start with, I did not know any of the dead uncles but to see these proud dignified women who had spent the previous days welcoming us and hiding their grief set made me shed a tear, Zokko our host and the youngest of the widows gave me a big shot of her husbands home made Rakija and layed my plate next to his, her picture and her birth date is already eched on the double head stone waiting.
60 family members were present, I cannot describe the atmosphere, it was not black it appeared to celibrate the dead peoples life and loves,to say I was humbled is very easy but honest.
We left after about an hour of hugging, eating and drinking, I was hugged, kissed and asked to eat and drink by complete strangers who were all over the grave yard doing the same thing, Lubee said they had been talking about our visit for month and these people said they were proud to have me there.I was proud to be there.
More cooking was done when we arrived home and the rest of the day was spent visiting each house to talk about and look at pictures of the dead uncles.
My wife who new and loved each of them was a tower of strength and did not stop moving amongst her Aunts consoling them.
There was a legendary Grandma they called BaBa Vulka (wolf mother) who was very loving and a fierce defender of her family who died about 20 yrs ago. They started calling my wife BaBa Vulka.
I was married by a judge, I should have asked for a jury.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:35 PM   #9
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It's good to see you back at DC Bolas........what an extraordinary trip. !!

You have a wonderful way with words and thanks so much for making your trip come alive for us. For me, nothing is more fascinating than being shown the essence of another culture, from someone we "know". Well done!!
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but rather by the moments that take our breath away.

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Old 07-12-2011, 06:14 AM   #10
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Thank you Kay it was not a holiday it was a fantastic experience, we intend to repeat it next year.

I was married by a judge, I should have asked for a jury.
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