Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving and Slovenian Peacekeeping Cakes

the groaning table at our Thanksgiving party last Saturday

On the heels of the report of my first successful Thanksgiving here in Slovenia,* some New York friends sent along an interesting an article from the New Yorker (abstract here) by a woman who's cooked Thanksgiving in seven different countries. It was a harrowing tale, and one section especially jumped out at me:

"The worst was a dinner I put together in Södertälje, Sweden, in the fall of 1975, for the families of three Yugoslav workers from the local Saab-Scania factory. It wasn't the food that failed. My cranberry (well, lingonberry) sauce was good, and the turkey, fresh from my babysitter's boyfriend's mother's oven, across the street, even better. But my guests, as history soon showed, didn't really think of themselves as Yugoslavs. They though of themselves as Serbs, Slovenes, and Croats, and, while, they had always been agreeable and even effusive when we talked alone, they were not in the habit of breaking bread together. The conversation was, putting it nicely, strained; it flowed with the slivovitz that the men had brought, and each of them brought two bottles. They were close to brawling when the Slovenian's wife opened a box of homemade pastries -- flaky, buttery, mille-feuilles layered with thick whipped cream.** Peace returned to the kitchen table in my borrowed flat and lasted until, flushed with compliments and brandy, she smiled at the Serbs and Croats and said, "Slovenians make the best cakes."

* Super holiday party. 15 people strong. Juicy turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and more!
**kremšnita without a doubt

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lovely London Town

Last week, your fateful narrator took a lovely jaunt to the dreary but sparkling and wonderful London. It was food, friends, family, more food, and fun! Here are some images from my wanderings.

early morning Camden

massive amounts of donuts in Camden Town

(for you dad!) a weimaraner on the counter of a laundrette in Croydon

pieces of the Parthenon at the British Museum

at the Palm Tree jazz bar in Dalston where the cutest little old lady was on piano

something greasy and huge in Camden

the Lord Mayor's Parade - an old and annual tradition

a narrow London street

Camden Lock - the Horse Hospital side

celebrating my birthday at the National Gallery's cafe - two free scoops of ice cream!

a performance at Institute for Contemporary Arts

cupcakes at Old Spitalfield's Market

me under a rainbow in ASDA's car park - Mitcham, Surrey

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RIP Tomaž Humar

Tomaž at Kolovrateater last year (taken by me)

I came home from vacation (more on that later) last night to find that the wonderful Tomaž Humar had died. An intrepid mountainclimber from our region of the world, he had insane drive and never stopped pushing himself, even after nearly dying in the mountains of Pakistan . I was lucky enough to meet him last year at the opening of Kolovrateater when The Captain spotted him and slinked up to get a little fanboy.

Tomaž seemed remarkably laid back considering all he'd been through and accomplished. I thought after the horrors of the Pakistan experience, he'd hung up his gear, but alas that was not the case. He headed back out this year, but despite his best efforts, Tomaž didn't make it through this last climb (in Langtan Lirung in the Himalayas). Really sad, but he'll will be remembered by thousands of fans, family, and friends.

You can read more about him and his final climb here.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Warm Moments

I finally got around to taking these pictures off my camera. The Captain and I got the chance to go down to Piran a few weeks ago. Ahhh, it was so warm at the beginning of October. What a difference a month makes!

a Ijubljana moment

A meditative little moment a few weeks back in the tunnel from Ljubljana's Tivoli Park. The city recently "cleaned up" the graffiti in the tunnel and I'd been complaining that it felt lifeless and dull, but this guy brought a nice warm energy to the place.

The city is coming up aces these days, really growing on me!