Wednesday, December 12, 2007
These are the BEST cookies. They are from Slavonia, where my father's family is from.
Here is the English translation (the Croatian is to the right).
1.3 cups sugar
1.3 cups butter
3 egg yokes (yellows of eggs)
1 whole egg
4 large tablespoons of honey (use the best quality honey you can acquire as honey has an important influence on the taste of the cookies)
2 grains of clove, ground (use the back of a strong, broad knife to crush it)
2 grains of pepper, ground
1 lemon peel, grated
flour - as needed, so the dough is hard
Mix the sugar and egg until creamy, then add the butter and mix till creamy, then the flower, then the rest of the ingredients. Mix until the dough is very hard.
Roll the dough out with a rolling pin to a width of 0.7cm (as fat as a finger) and press down with the papernjak mold (pictured to the right). Remove the mold and cut out the individual cookies. Put the cookies in the oven to bake on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, at 375 for 10 to 15 minutes. Use the middle rack of the oven. You can roll the cookies on the parchment paper as well, if you find it difficult to transfer them from the counter to the baking sheet (bottom photos is baked papernjaci).
I can't wait to go to my parent's and make these (my mold is there)! Sretan Bozic i sve naj naj!
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
To celebrate the holidays, my friend T. came over last Sunday afternoon and we baked these kiflice.
Ingredients (in USA/UK imperial measures and then in European):
half pound (1 cup) butter, soft = 225 or 230 grams butter
half cup sugar = 95 grams sugar
2 cups flower - sifted, all purpose = 200 grams flower
1 and 1/4 cups walnuts, well ground (mljevenih). Buy them that way or grind them in the blender or food processor. = 105 grams walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla (liquid form of vanilla, .17oz) = 5 ml vanilla
confectioner's sugar (also called powdered sugar) for dusting
225 g puter / maslac
95 g secer
200 g brasno
105 g orah, mljevenih
5 ml vanilje
Tools: I used the lovely Bosch stand mixer you see in the photo, which my parents gave me as an early birthday present (December 23). A hand mixer will also work. Mixing with a wooden spoon would work as well. I guess you would need to use a wisk to cream the butter and sugar, in that case.
Mix the butter and sugar until creamy. Probably use middle speed. Add vanilla. Mix until well integrated. Add the flower, a spoon full at at time, on low speed. Mix until it forms a solid mass. Slowly add the ground walnuts. When the walnuts are all integrated, stop mixing. Take the dough out and make a ball out of it. Wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 3 hours, or put it in the freezer for about 2 hours. It is nice to prepare the dough and refrigerate it overnight. The dough needs to be a solid, hard mass.
Heat the over to 350 Fahrenheit, which is about 175 c, for those of you in Zagreb, Osijek, Vienna, Graz ... Toronto, and Vancouver
Line a cookie baking sheet with parchment paper.
Pinch off some of the dough. Roll it between your hands, specifically palm-side of your knuckles, to make it into a tube shape. When it is ready, it should be about the length of your index finger, thinner than your pinky. Lay it on the parchment paper in the shape of a horse shoe.
Keep all of the kifle the same thickness and length so the batch bakes evenly. I hope the photos are instructive about the size and shape of kiflice.
Bake for about 10 or 15 mintues at 350f, 175c, until slightly brown on the top. My oven took 15 minutes. The ones in the photo are pretty good.
Take them out, let them cool off. When they are cool and you are ready to serve, dust them with the powdered sugar.
Store them in a tin can or in a plastic box - anything with a good seal - in the cupboard. They keep very well in the cupboard (no eggs in the dough). They freeze very well. Children enjoy making them because they role them with their hands and that is cool. It isn't very messy either, maybe put a plate under their hands to catch crumbs when they roll the cookies.
For your convenience, here is a kitchen conversion web site in which you can ask for the conversion of weights and measures of specific ingredients used in the kitchen (convert-me.com).
And we ate a few, drank wine, then later some tea, and laughed quite a bit. Today, we had our first snowfall in Urbana. Very nice. The year will come to an end quite soon. The days are short, and cold, it is the time of lights, we can celebrate living through another year, and hope for what will come the next. Peace on Earth.
Merry Christmas, Sretan Bozic, i Sretna Nova Godina 2008.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
I watched an ad for an on-line dating service last night, I think it is chemistry.com, and it seems to be branding itself as the hipsters dating service. It is the opposite of e-harmony. They suggest e-harmony rejects people - hipsters. It criticizes their questions as long and not relevant to hipsters. The questions are the unique selling proposition of eharmony. They say it matches people on important values. I wonder how chemistry.com matches people - probably on cultural things like what music I like, I guess. I think chemistry.com is more like Bourdieu and interpretive marketing research brought into VALS while eharmony is more like VALS and lifestyle research. Please don't rip off my ideas and write an article on them and get tenure etc. Yes, I am a wounded graduate student, just back from a job interview. Regardless, I am right about these dating services and their connection to marketing research, and I am taking marketing research theories seriously. Hey, maybe if I have to teach Audience Analysis this spring, I will apply dating services as a case study.
I started to write about love and imposing reason on it, and how you can't, even though dating services say you can. Then the connection with Bourdieu came up. So that is why we went down that road.
Please, do not impose reason on love, that is a one way trip to crazy town.
Monday, September 10, 2007
(quotations taken from the daily paper "Vecernji list", Oct. 2nd 1998., journalist Branko Vukcic)
"VL: If a man does something inappropriate, for example is late....if he (un)intentionally hurts a woman, what can he do to make up for what he did? What works with women?
Jelinek: If only men would know how women are easy! We are all alike inside."
"Jelinek: In the morning a man should say a few warm, kind words, and all his problems are solved. If a woman was clever, and the majority is today, she would not reproach him anything, because men today are extremely touchy."
"Jelinek: Four rules how a woman can keep a man are: First, with sex. Second, with a smiling face. Men do not like women who sulk. Third, she must never begrudge him on anything because all men are alergic to reproach. Fourth, if a man is well fed, if he is happy and content at full dining table then a woman can't lose him. He might temporarily go to another woman, but he will come back. Men are different than women and sex is important to them as much as food."
"Jelinek: Every woman must be interested in politics so that she would be able to make conversation with a man at all."http://crowwomen.tripod.com/zuzie.htm
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Friday, August 17, 2007
I miss Otvoreni Radio (it translates into Open Radio and you can listen here through live stream and you can listen here www.otvoreni.hr). They have a mix that floors me. I love it. I feel like I am back in my kitchen on Kaciceva, the third floor, with the balcony on the garden, not street side, dancing while cooking up some lunch, maybe trout, on a Saturday afternoon, listening on the 1960s era Grundig "Yatch Boy" he bought on ebay (his first ebay experience) and mailed me in Zagreb from Germany, cause he knows I think Grundig makes the best radios, my father has them. I even shipped it back with me, and it is in my kitchen right now.
Or sitting in a car in front of my building, he's driven me home after drinks, it's Chaka Kahn's "Ain't Nobody," on Otvoreni, he thumps his palm on the driving wheel, tells me about when he was a DJ at KSET ages ago. It is the first time I listened to Otvoreni, and I kept my dial there since.
I heard this song (Buffalo Stance) on Otvoreni while in my kitchen and was delighted. Nenah Cherry (she's Sweedish, are you also surprised) sings it and this is what she says about it, from her web site: this song "is about sexual survival. It's not a feminist record - none of my songs are. But it's about female strength, female power, female attitude."
Yah, I am back in the USA, in a town in the mid-west.
I just heard the whistle of a train, that reminds me of Zagreb...
Monday, June 25, 2007
Sunday, June 24, 2007
(As she is turning to me and holding the trout in her left hand knife in the right, standing over the chopping block, inside the square of tables with fish)
Do you want to take this now or do you want me to hold on to it until later?
(As I am waiting on the other side of the table, looking at Trout Lady as she's just sliced open the first trout and is pulling out red mushy insides)
Thanks, but no, I'll take it now.
(Lady Trout, looking up, right hand pulling out slimy insides of trout)
I thought you would have a coffee and then come back for it.
(Me, trying to memorize how to clean a fish and happy she always cleans it for me and is willing to hang on to it so I don't have to go to coffee smelling like trout but uncertain about this answer)
Usually, of course, but today it is too hot, it is too hot to sit and have a coffee, I am going home now.
This is important because I went to see Lady Trout last Saturday just as she was about to leave. I was with my girl friend Mare to buy fish for her and for me, to show Mare where I buy cleaned, fresh fish. And Lady Trout was really not happy that we had arrived at five minutes until two and wanted cleaned fish. She said to Mare,
You can't come here at this time and ask for fish, I have been here since 4am. She (nodding at me) comes here all the time. Next time, buy it earlier and then come back for it (referring to what I usually do). We said sorry and Ok. Mare was also shy about it and tolerant of Lady Trout's scolding us (well, and Lady Trout has power, she has cleaned trout). I was a bit ashamed and I think Lady Trout was making up for it Thursday with the offer to hold on to it, or letting me know we are still cool, and she will hold the fish, or thanking me for not coming at the last minute, or reminding me this is an option.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
These Barbies caught my eye. The way they are friends, they shine, they are unclothed. Someone was selling them at Hreljic last Sunday. Passed by them, they were laying on the blanket with many things. Looked like things you would find in your junk closet. Will write more later. In a bit of a rush in the moment.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Let's start with the Wikki entry on Romantic Love. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romantic_love
From their web page:
Properties of romantic love include these:
- It cannot be easily controlled.
- It is not overtly (initially at least) predicated on a desire for sex as a physical act.
- If requited, it may be the basis for lifelong commitment.
It seems to me that here, some men control emotions, some don't, and some are so up to their eyeballs in getting ahead in a tough context you just marvel at how they can have so many emotions and so many jobs at once. Other men, you want to kick them to the curb, they are so vulgar and arrogant. Probably some men see women these ways.
I am not sure if I can agree with Wikki that romantic love is not overtly predicated on a desire for sex as a physical act. I would argue for a desire for sex and small talk, conversation. To fight off boredom. Men here like to conquer, to dominate, the relationship and the sex. Maybe they do in the US, too, but they have to hide it or are frustrated by it. US Feminism says: their domination is oppressive. Popular culture: equality in a relationship. I say: there is no equality between two people, none. Give and take. Let him think what he wants. If he wants to think he conquered me, I can pretend to be surprised and seduced. I'm certainly going to do what I want anyway.
Lifelong commitment. Overall, I should have taken the chance here and have that affair with that married man. Get some myths out of my head.
If you read the whole web page, you will read that romance is something that exists in specific occasions and moments in a relationship. I think that is really true in Champaign Illinois and in Zagreb.
Why am I writing this, I have to write my cover letter for job applications and get ready to move back to the University of Illinois from my sweet home in Zagreb. I can't believe I still haven't been to KSET or Limb, that I worked so much here (you are right, there were some non-work moments - the writing about romance).
Friday, May 25, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Saturday, March 31, 2007
These images are from the Nama katalog, winter 1968-69 (please see post below for the cover).
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I just bought this on Sunday at an antiques market. The catalog is in very good condition and I think it is a good investment. Lots of color photos to use as illustrations in publications and presentations. Oh, and just fun to look at. I always look at fashion from other eras and think, "wow, they thought that was fashionable, hilarious!" Or, sometimes, I like to think of what I would have liked to have worn if I were living in that era.
I'll show some of the contents in later blogs. You can enjoy the game...
Monday, March 05, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Ilica 82, Zagreb. Saša Šekoranja
This florist is in my neighborhood. A crowd formed on the sidewalk, looking at this display. My guide book describes him this way: "Sasa is not so much a florist, but an artist who happens to use flowers as his means of expression. Beautiful, natural and unusual arrangements - very different to what is usually available.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Monday, February 12, 2007
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Monday, January 29, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I took this photo (the second one) Sunday around 1pm. I was walking from the street up to the tram stop on the South side of Savksi Most (The bridge over the Sava that connects Novi Zagreb to older parts of the city), going North. I wanted to take tram 6 because I can ride it directly to my neighborhood, but this one, tram 7, arrived first. I rode it to Autobusni Kolodvor (the bus station), where I switched to tram 6 after a few minutes' wait.
I took this photo (the second) because I had taken a similar one, at the same time of day, of tram 6, in late October. I like this one better because it has better contrast with the light, since this was a sunny day, and the composition is better. For the first photo, the composition came into frame as I was waitng for the tram and talking to a friend. I like them together because I think the old and new trams present life in Zagreb. But there is something different about the old and the new trams, although I am not quite sure what. I guess the old tram is part of the time when all of this concrete was laid, and the new tram more about the present.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Monday, January 08, 2007
Sunday, January 07, 2007
January 6 is the festival of the Three Kings, or the Three Wise Men. These days, I could see from my living room the decorated Christmas tree in the apartment across the street from me. Last night, most people returned from their ski holidays (not much snow here in Central Europe for skiing this year). Some people have asked me about Christmas traditions in Zagreb, and I knew about most of them from my family. For example, decorating the tree on Dec 24, eating fish for dinner, and opening presents that night. One I didn't expect was walking around town yesterday afternoon and today to find many Christmas trees waiting to be picked up by the city.
There is a great pleasure in hunting the benches of Zagreb. I like to take photos of people sitting on benches. I like the photo to ask something about how people share space. Do strangers sit with a specific posture? How intimate can men and women be in the theatre of the park, on the stage of the bench (if they are teenagers, men and women can sit very close). Can you sit alone on a bench in the park? Are you there because you have no where else to go to be alone, or to find company?
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