Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Јади, Јади, Јади, Земи, Земи, Земи

Јади: to eat
Земи: to take

All of the food (Храна) here has been absolutely amazing. I have been in Macedonia for three weeks now and I have only eaten a few things I didn't like. The first was паштета. If you decide to come visit me, I may ask you to bring some canned cat food with for comparison. Although my guess is that it will, without a doubt, be better than the canned meat known as паштета. I knew I wouldn't like it just by looking at it, smelling it, and knowing what exactly it was. However, my philosophy here is try everything I am offered. If I don't like it, I don't eat it, but try. When my host mother opened a can of it one of my first days in Lozovo, the smell was astounding. I could feel my taste buds running for shelter as I started to breath a little faster in anticipation of what was to come. She was very "nice" and gave me 1/4 of the can (lucky me!). I slowly picked up my fork and very delicately scraped a dime-sized piece onto my fork. Taking a deep breath, I put it into my mouth and even without a mirror, I know I made a horrific face. Let's just say, I am pretty sure that face guaranteed that I will never be offered that again!

Паштета: Avoid if at all possible!
A lot of the meat I am hesitant about, but I will usually eat a bite or two of it, since we have been told that the families normally don't eat a lot of meat since it is expensive, but they are doing it just for us. This morning I passed on the supposed salami, that was a pale pink and looked somewhat spreadable. I also just barely touched the sausage from the other night that had lots of hard chunks in it. Oh and I can't forget the American style hotdogs. They look like uncooked, extra soft, Fun Dogs. I try to avoid these, but sometimes it isn't possible, so I just take a deep breath, go to a happy place, and eat quickly, but not too quickly or I will get served more. (*I should mention thought that I have had some very delicious meat here as well. Not all of it is as sketchy as the types I have mentioned.*)

On a more delicious note, I have had some AMAZING meals here. I wish I had grabbed my camera every meal so I could take a picture of how delicious most of the food is. My host mother and sister do most of the cooking and it is одлично (wonderful)! The food is very fresh and almost everything is homemade as many fruits and vegetables grow right in my frontyard or backyard. My mother makes homemade plum jam and both she and my баба (grandma) make a dessert called слатко, which literally means sweet. My mother makes a plum version and my баба makes it using figs (смокви). Figs aren't super common in Minnesota, but they are a fruit I have learned to enjoy here and are plentiful. I discovered a few days ago that my family has a pomegranate tree and in one month, we will have многу (many) pomegranates. I am looking forward to this.

Pomegranate tree in my frontyard 
One of my favourite meals that I am served fairly regularly, usually for dinner (which tends to be served around 9:00 or 10:00pm) is eggs and peppers. The dish is usually about 75% peppers with some scrambled egg. So delicious (especially considering I didn't really eat eggs in the States). Another delicious meal is called мусака. It reminded me of a classic, hearty, Minnesotan hotdish. It was potatoes, a ground meat combination (that tasted amazing despite how sketchy it sounds), egg, and peppers. And of course I have to mention ајвар. Ајвар is a homemade пиперки (pepper) spread. За појадок јас сакам да јадам леб со ајбар (For breakfast, I like to eat bread with ајвар). I have not had the opportunity to help my family make ајвар, but I have certainly helped them eat it!

Another delicious item that is often served with a meal is tomatos, cucumber, and onion, either all together or the tomatoes alone. I wasn't a huge tomato fan previously, but I have had some mighty delicious tomatoes here. They also make really good cabbage and cucumber salad with a little oil and salt.

My host sister makes fabulous homemade cookies and I have asked her to teach me how to make them. My host mother made палачинки (they call them pancakes, but they are actually crepes) the other night and let me practice flipping them. I did pretty well if I do say so myself, and I learned how to make them, so I can make them on my own. It is a very basic egg, water, flour recipe, but I am very excited to experiment with that basic idea when I get to site. I might even try making an apple cinnamon version for my family here, since I am missing apple season back home.

Summary: No need to worry. I am eating quite well.

1 comment:

  1. Sara,
    I'm finally catching up on your adventures. It's always interesting when folk wisdom and science collide in a culture (wet hair, sitting on the floor). There are people in the U.S. who have similar misconceptions with ideas that are passed down through generations. I love reading about your discussions through Google translator!