When I was a litle girl, I used to spend my days in the kitchen, quite literally. A round wooden table by the big kitchen windows was our home’s centerpiece. My mother cooked everyday and I would stay by her side, at the table, doing school homework or simply observing her, while the onions would brown in the pan and the coffee would steam from the small dzezva pot on the stove. The memories of my childhood are deeply rooted in food.
When we would visit my grandparents’ their table was never empty. There, the meals were like rituals. My grandfather always prepared zganci for breakfast, a cream and milk polenta meal of the old days. He would let me stir the bubbling yellow liquid and then pour the milk on the hot blobs of cooked polenta. Before noon it was time for marenda, an elevenses of sorts. I can still see my grandfather cutting a slice of bread into small small pieces on the wooden board and then topping the pieces with his favourite sausage before throwing them in hs mouth with pleasure.
To open the fridge there was like opening a chest of secrets, you never knew what was inside, but it was sure it’s delicious: big chunks of grandmas fresh puina cheese, white paper packages with homemade speck, or big casseroles with dark red potato goulash. I would always secretly hope to find a small craft bag filled with cvarci, handmade pork crisps my grandfather would bring from his family in the North. Every autumn he would bring homemade cider he would made in his cellar and freshly picked forest chestnuts. We would receive packages of food from grandmothers family in the coast with pomegranates popping out from the carton boxes.
In my mid twenties, I moved to Paris for doctoral studies. There, my deep connections with food materialised and become a way of life. Cooking is a form of expression, it is art, a neverending experiment and deep connection with my roots.
The recipes and stories on this blog are a part of my heritage. Recipes I’ve known since I was a child, the ones I always go back to and new recipes that I’ve discovered later, all of them which reflect my love for food, storytelling and simplicity. A neverending nostalgia of flavours.