Monday, August 14, 2006

Picture of the thousand flavors

This bunch of old, yellow, grassy papers is my parents' cookbook collection.

It is said that a picture is worth a thousands words. Well, I don't know about words, but I know that between these shabby pages, all tastes, smells and senses of my childhood are hidden.

And we are not talking about delicate Proust's Madeleine, but about rich, savory domestic food, prepared in domestic traditional way of our grandparents. It is Mediterranean, it is Balkan, it is Dalmatian. So many flavors… so many different cultures and histories... all hidden in the food.

The backbone of the collection is The Bible of Dalmation cuisine called "Dalmatian cookbook" written by Dika Marjanovic - Radica. The book is the equivalent to "Silver Spoon" in Italian cuisine. It's the book that was usually gifted to newly married, to new cooks, young wifes...

If Dika's book is backbone of my parents cookbook collection, my mother's wonderful, handwritten private collection of recipes is the flash. These recipes are collected for almost forty years and they are mostly named after the source of the recipe, so we have Ana's yellow cake, Nardeli's tart, Margi's fritule, Nada's krostule...

The sources are my mothers friends and her clients from her hairstyle saloon that she runs for more than 35 years. And you know there is some serious "recipe traffic" going on in hairstyle salons.

This summer I'll spend with my parents in their wonderful house in my hometown Split
in Dalmatia (coastal part of Croatia). My plan is to explore their recipe collection and to use Internet and blogging to digitalize it, so that I have them at disposal wherever I go and that I can share it with my friends who all like my parents cooking.

I decided to write this blog in English for several reasons. The first one is my "broken English" that desperately craves for some practice. So, feel free to correct my grammar and wrong spelling.

The second one are some of my "international" friends that I keep neglecting, so this seams as a good way of "keeping in touch".

At last, but not least, since I noticed that there is a small number of cookbooks about Dalamtian, and Croatian cuisine in English and I decided to make my humble contribution to change this regardless my "linguistic limitations".

That it's for my first post!

I'll be back!