Preparing Winter Food in the Village.
Since I first decided to sort of settle here in Bosnia and Herzegovina all those years ago, one of the things that hit me most about rural life, wasn’t the fact that the infrastrture wasn’t as I was used to, rather the total lack of waste by people.
I am still, and most probably will remain till I die, a boy from Beaumont Crescent, just off the North End Road in London.
A city boy.
One who has always been fascinated by rural life, but never felt like adopting it 100%.
By that, l mean wanting to throw myself headlong into learning the plethora of skills required to live a totally rural lifestyle.
There’s so much that goes on at various times of the year here. To be honest life is rather regimented and totally compliant to the weather and calendar.
Like now for example.
It’s now the start of Autumn and the end of the growing season and yet there are still literally kilos and kilos of bell peppers, squash, cucumbers, apples, grapes, cabbages and tomatoes etc still left to harvest from the garden.
It’s time to preserve all these for the coming Winter.
The bell peppers will being turned into picked salads, the cabbages into the Balkan equivalent of Sauer kraut, and the apples into our style of chutney.
Cabbages have the rough and damaged outer leaves removed, are cored and the resulting hole filled with salt.
The cabbages are then placed in a huge barrel, topped with water and left in the resulting brine till ready to use either as a Sauer kraut type salad or more likely as part of Sarma.
From the Bell Peppers and Tomatoes we have made 20kg of Hunters Salad (Lovački Salata).
Basically, Red peppers, Tomatoes, oil, sugar, salt, and white vinegars which is then boiled and placed in jars.
It’s one of the amazing tastes of this time if year for me.
The kilos and kilos of apples will be distilled into apple brandy, but we took a good few kilos to top up our store of chutney.
This year we have made the following chutneys:
Spicy peach. Apple, Sultana and Date.
Spicy Apple, Sultana and Dried Fig.
Curried Apple, Dried Apricot and Walnut.
It certainly takes time to do all this.
After all, kilos and kilos of vegetables or fruit don’t peel and cut themselves. Do they?
Then there’s the cooking/boiling/roasting etc, that is again time consuming (and where family passed down skills really work).
A City Boy in a Village.