Monday, November 21, 2005

God may hate me but life is still good...

I have bad karma or God hates me. You decide...

I pride myself on being fairly smooth--not a klutz am I. So what happens? I slice a finger on my left hand while wrestling with a bag of frozen shrimp, and, a week later, I cut a finger on my right hand with a razor that was in my purse. (We went to Korcula, Croatia, and I threw some overnight stuff in my bag, including razor. Stupid). Stu was just in agony. Seems like it should be the other way 'round, eh? I suppose the one funny thing with the second finger incident was that it happend at the Burger King on Camp Butmir. I totally grossed out some German EU military folk. I was bleeding all over the table. The resilient Bosnian women workers came to the rescue with towels and antiseptic. Funny that it's the same the world over. Men are babies.

Lacerations aside, so much is exciting and so much has happend! I should patiently write it all down, but I should also be doing my Bosnian homework before my teacher comes. I may not be a klutz, but I am a confirmed procrastinator.

1) No Burger King outside of Camp, but there is a "Hamby King." Oh my, that's funny.
2) I did a very bad thing. I fell in love with one of the one-eyed street cats in our alley. I just couldn't help myself...I spirited him into our basement. I thought I could hide him from Stu for a few days, but wouldn't you know it? The one day I want to be sneeky, Stu decides to come home for lunch. There I was, one-eyed cat in one hand and a litter box in the other. Oh dear. What's worse (and anyone who knows my addiction to street cats can imagine) I slept with Button in the basement for two nights. On the third night, Stu couldn't take it any longer and accused me of wanting to sleep with a cat rather than sleep with him. This, of course, should illustrate my earlier point: men are babies. Can you believe he was jealous of a one-eyed street cat? Tisk, tisk, tisk. As I write, Button is being seen to by the local (and possibly only) vet in Sarajevo. Fingers crossed. I may have to put that sweet kitty down.

Oh, I had a list of things I wanted to say, but I need to run home and get the house together for my lesson. Bosnian women keep their houses very clean, and, in that, I fall quite short. Cheers!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005


My language teacher is also giving me lessons in traditional Bosnian cooking. Like cevapi (pronounced chevapi), burek is a fastfood found almost everywhere in Bosnia. Instead of McDonald's or Burger King, you would step into your local Buregdzinica and order a pita filled with your choice of meat, cheese, potato, or spinach. While the cheese is my personal favorite, the grandaddy of them all is the burek.

Filo pastry
1/2 lb to 1 lb ground meat
lotsa pepper
1 medium sized onion, minced
casserole pan (biggie)
vegetable oil
oven 350 degrees

Optional Cream Sauce
sour cream
plain yogurt

This is really guess work, depending on how much you want to make, but we used 1 lb of ground meat. Add the minced onion and pepper. Lots of pepper. I have no idea how much, but when you taste the meat (yes, the raw meat), it should definately have a strong peppery taste. At this point, your filo should be thawed. Put vegetable oil at the bottom of the casserole pan. Roll out one sheet and cut it in half, lengthwise. Take the meat paste and smear it on the filo. Don't glop . You just need to dab here and there over the entire filo. When finished, roll the pastry into a loose tube shape and then shape it into the form of a cinnamon bun. Nice and loose, let it breathe. Put it into the casserole pan and continue until the pan is full. Put vegetable oil on the top of the pastry. Don't be stingy. The oil is what keeps the filo from burning. Now, I'm guessing 350 is the temp. we used. Our oven is in Celsius, I think, so you got me. I belive the pastry was in for 20-30 minutes. Just keep your eye on it. It shouldn't get too crispy on top. When the burek is finished, remove it from the oven and cover it with a towel or another casserole dish. This is to keep the heat in and to further soften the pastry. And there you have it! If you want to add the cream sauce (very yummy), the dish becomes buredzik. You just have to put this together by sight and according to how much burek you made. Say, 1/2 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, and 1 clove garlic. If you like garlic, add some more. Spread on the burek about five minutes before you take it from the oven. Voila!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


I cannot edit previous posts to include pics. and it takes so darn long to upload them that, once again, ya'll are just gonna get a volley of photos from the past few weeks. Love, Me

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Indeed and finally! It takes forever and a day to upload these images, so, unfortunately, no captions for now.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Day Trips

Stu and I have now hit most of the "suggested itineraries" according to our Bradt travel guide. I would make a terrible food/travel critic because I love/d almost all the food and hotspots we've visited. I think Stu would have something else to say about the food...I love the heavy, starchy foods of the region, but, Stu...not so much. Here's a rundown. Of course, pictures will be added when possible!
1) Bjelasnica/Igman Mountains. Like the ski resorts in the Jahorina Mountains (#2), this mountain range/ ski resort is incredibly close to Sarajevo. A straight shot by the airport, follow the mountain road up and away, and you're there. I had a fantastic cheese pie, i.e, sirnica, at one of the restaurants recommended in our travel guide. This is my all-time favorite Bosnian food. It has all the qualities I love, cheese and flaky pastry/bread. Yum. Bjelasnica/Igman was home to some of the ski competitions during the 1984 Olympic Games and has some eerie relics of the era. Eerie, because of Serb bombing. There are mine warnings scattered here and there, which only adds to the mood. Stu and I explored the ruins of the ski jump and the old press box/UN post (quite safe/no mines). Then, we hopped back in the car and explored the highland villages. We (I) especially wanted to find Lukomir, a village that still prctices the "old ways." Unfortunately, the rocky and mountainous terrain proved too much for our little Volkswagon. Sigh. Beautiful scenery, though. I am determined to get to this place before the snow hits--can't reach it between mid-November and May.
2) Jahorina Mountains. If we thought Bjelasnica/Igman was easy to get to, Jahorina is a walk in the park. A straight road from our house, through the town of Pale, up through the mountains (again), and we were there. Much bigger than Bjelasnica in terms of the ski area and in better condition. Less war damage. We had a great meal at the Hotel Termag. I had veal. It's true! I feel much less guilty eating veal in Bosnia as they don't cage the little things up before slaughter. It's all natural slaughter here. Anyway. Followed by a very scrummy meal of veal, smoked salmon, prsut, and I forget what Stu had, we enjoyed the most delicious cherry pie we/I've ever had. Even at a fancy pants hotel like this, with two beers, tea, appetizers, a hearty meal, and dessert, we only payed, roughly, $25. Amazing. We went for a great hike and drove to the tippy top of the mountain. Great opps. for pics, which we did take. Let's not dwell too long on that as I don't have the goods to back it up...yet. As Stu is quite the old man (tee-hee), I continued to hike up one of the mountains while Stu stayed below and snapped pictures. We think we'll come back here to ski--I'll learn and Stu will enjoy the more advanced slopes. Fantastic to think it's only a half hour away from our house.
3 and 4) Ilidza and Skakavac Waterfall. Running out of time here, so I'll combine these. Illidza, hmm, how to describe? It's a suburb of Sarajevo and has Roman ruins, Austro-Hungarian ruins, Ottoman ruins, war ruins, you name it. It also has "great natural beauty" according to the guidebooks. This is true. It has a spring that just pops up out of the middle of nowhere, as springs do, I suppose, and is surrounded by a lovely park. In this "lovely park" are restaurants, hotels, and horse-drawm carriages! Stu and I took a horse-drawn carriage ride down the center of the park and had a chance to see all the stately homes and the ruins of stately homes dotting the countryside. The only thing that marred our journey was the "Danger! Mines!" signs you pass every so often. You don't expect to see such things in such a setting. It gives you a wallup. Now to Skakavac. This was an unexpectedly long hike. About three hours, which, for us, is long. Bosnia is short on clear signs to its natural wonders, so we parked miles away. It was about 4pm, and quite dusky, when we actually reached the falls. We needed walking sticks to go down/up the mountains. Oh! And before I forget, I had the most amazing benets (sp?) with mladi sir (literally, young cheese) at the (as in "only") restaurant in the Nahorevo Valley. Fantastic!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

What's more scary....

...the fact that I watched an hour of The Simpsons in a language I didn't understand (German) or the fact that I knew exactly what was going on, having memorized every episode? Spooky....