The main difference between the apple pie I grew up with back in the UK, and these I eat today, is that Balkan Pie is with a variation of Filo pastry where Northern European is with short crust.
It seems that these wonderful recipes for traditional food are seamlessly passed down from mothers to daughters
Sarma is best described as a delightful pickled cabbage roll, stuffed with a spicy meat filling.
Every lady in the region here has her own twist on the recipe, so it's very difficult to point to a specific recipe.
A few years ago, Tamara made a video of how she makes her version.
Please enjoy and maybe try it yourself?
It's time now to look at what's left in the way of produce in our kitchen garden.
Well, there are still tons (OK kilos) of bell peppers, feferonki (chilli peppers) and tomatoes.
Some onions and garlic.
So, everyone here jumps into "Zimnica Mode", in other words Winter Food Preparation.
Drvarski Sir. One of my favourites, from the area around the small town of Drvar. It's tasty and a medium hard cheese.
Great to eat accompanied with rakija.
Normally, we would be planning to take the (normally), many many kilos of apples apples from our garden orchard, to be turned into pure, healthy, apple juice. It's a simple and traditional process, but does take time, and care.
Camembert that's been baked inside bread. Using a machine to take the strain of making the dough, the resulting bread was scrumptious to say the least.
Today I wanted to just write a few more thoughts, to add to why I keep saying that visiting Banja Luka (and Bosnia and Herzegovina) makes for an exciting, adventurous and above all, exceedingly GREAT value holiday experience.
It’s all about costs (or lack thereof). Bear with me.
How We Make Sausages in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Most rural families in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the wider Western Balkans still have, and use, these skills regularly.
Our sausages will be used for "winter food".
Well, we've had a bumper crop of bell peppers this year and we've been looking at a few new ways to preserve them for the winter.
Tamara came up with this.
Do you preserve any foodstuffs for winter?
If so, what are your recipes or traditions?
Nikola Galić from Banja Luka, has turned his hobby of home brewing into what he hopes will become a commercial success.
Nikola tells me about why he started, how he chose the name "Highlander" and what he does to overcome the pervading negativity in the country.
A Kotlić is a regional style of metal bowl, that is suspended by chains, over an open fire.
The meal that was cooked for us comprised of beef and pork with carrots, mushrooms, herbs and spices. The real skill is to know when the meal is cooked ready to eat.
There certainly is a skill, acquired over time, to make a really strong coffee.
Tamara's mother has this and shows us how to prepare Bosnian coffee.
Whatever, the way of making coffee in this traditional way is SO FAR removed from either a spoon of instant or a scoop of ground coffee in a French Press (Cafetiere).