February 6, 2011

Slovenian-Flavored Super Bowl Sunday

Nothing very important going on at the moment, I just felt like writing down some of my thoughts on this cloudy Sunday, before the beginning of the Super Bowl game that I know many of you are excited about. So, if you take time to read this, my today’s post – for a few moments – might make you feel like you would feel in Slovenia on Sunday. Imagine the radio, playing traditional Slovenian “narodno-zabavna” music – and around noon – delicious Sunday lunch, beginning with from-scratch home made soup.

After I’ve been away for more than a decade, I don’t really know in how many Slovenian homes Sundays still look like this and I haven’t cooked a complete Sunday lunch for many years. But there’s one Slovenian tradition that I kept, no matter where I lived. I’m still baking my own bread.

I’ve learned how to make the traditional Slovenian bread around 1990, I think – from a lady that was a true master of bread-baking. Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t invent my own way afterwards so I’m now using different kinds of flour and never stop experimenting with adding different kinds of herbs and spices, sometimes walnuts and cranberries – or anything else that I’m inspired to use that day.

This writing was actually triggered by the video below. It’s a beautiful Slovenian waltz “Morska pravljica” (“Fairy Tale at Sea” would be a decent translation, I think) by the popular “Ansambel Petra Finka” (Peter Fink Ensemble).  The beginning of the video shows how bread was traditionally made in Slovenia.

These days I don’t kneed the bread dough with my hands any more. Instead, I let a powerful stand mixer to mix all the ingredients for me. At the same time, there are a couple of secrets to a good bread that cannot be changed – and those I’m cherishing. But the excitement when I take a newly baked loaf out of the oven has never changed – no matter how many times I baked bread to date. I love it when my whole house smells of fresh bread and I can’t wait to have that first, crunchy, still hot, first end-piece…

I’d like to draw your attention to one more thing before I wrap this up. A while ago I wrote an article for Prosveta, about the Slovenian lady from Bradenton, Florida:

90th birthday party sparks an introduction

But only after I added the article to this website I realized how much my writing meant to her, her friends and relatives. If you scroll down, you can see what kind of comments they left. I just can’t help myself! It always makes my day when I find out that something I’ve done – and enjoyed it – made someone else happy…

Anyway, enjoy your Super Bowl Sunday, no matter which NFL team you’re rooting for, Pittsburgh Steelers or Green Bay Packers, and no matter which team wins. Life is supposed to be fun and Sunday is – at least for most of us – a perfect day to get away from reality and to flavor our life in any way we like it.

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Daria is a SunFlower by nature, on a mission to shine the light of beauty and happiness on this world in the same way that the Sun spreads its warmth.

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