Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Visiting is an integral part of the culture - almost every night someone comes over to visit or we go out to visit. The men go to cafes, and the women visit each other's houses. The other day I thought we were going to Skopje, but instead my family took me with them to visit Suhadet's cousin, who lives out in the country on a farm. Her house was more traditional than the one I live in here in Cherkeze, with no furniture and just cushions around the outside of the room. She had a huge garden and showed me what she's done so far to prepare for winter. Under the eaves upstairs were a large quantity of potatoes, onions and garlic that had been woven into braids, white beans, and dried peppers. Under the stairs were her jars of Ajvar along with some homemade sok - some kind of soda made with cherries. Her hospitality, like that of everyone's here,was wonderful. Mind you, she did have a refrigerator but everything else was fixed on or in her wood stove. First she brought us a glass of some kind of soft drink, which are served everywhere and all the time in Macedonia, along with some candy. This was closely followed by Turkish coffee, which I love, and cookies. After a couple of hours visiting we ate dinner. They brought out the round table she uses for rolling dough and making phyllo which is about 9 inches off the ground. In deference to my stiff Yankee ways, they also brought out a small stool for me to sit out. She had made fresh round loaves of bread, a chopped tomato and onion salad, and white bean soup with some sausage floating in it. The bread is perfect not only for soaking up the soup, but also for dipping in the juices left from the lucious ripe tomatoes. It was all delicious. Then we cleaned up the table and dishes and dessert came out - baked potatoes which we peeled and dipped in salt. It was a lovely dinner and a treat to see a real working Albanian/Macedonian farm. And speaking of that, the town that I live in is all Albanian. It is a source of a great deal of pride for Albanians to say they are from the Country of Macedonian, but they are Albanian. For me, I get to see two cultures at once!
Posted by Candice Wiggum at 5:31 AM