From cooking

Slavski kolač, dino style

Damjan’s family celebrates St George as their Slava (Patron Saint Day) on November 16.  This year, Mira taught us how to make Slavski kolač, the special Slava bread with its own Facebook page.

The bread is highly decorated, and in our case, slightly sweet and lemony.

Beginning the Slavski kolač

Mira used her Kitchen Aid to make dough, which we form into balls.

Dough rises

We let the dough rise and it joins into the base of the Slavski kolač. Damjan coats it with egg.

Slavski kolač decorations

Slavski kolač is traditionally decorated with doves, sheaves of wheat, grape bunches, barrels, flowers and religious symbols.

Dinosaur figure for the Slavski kolač

We are keen to add our own embellishments. Damjan is shaping a dinosaur here.

Dinosaur figure for the Slavski kolač

Damjan goes to the effort of giving the dinosaur eyes.

Completed! Slavski kolač

Here is the Slavski kolač, all baked. The decorations are white because they aren’t coated in egg the way the base is. See the large white lump at the bottom of the photo? Unfortunately, our dinosaur slipped into the edge of the baking dish and became unrecognisably fossilised.

Breaking of bread

The traditional way of breaking the bread seems to be a tug-of-war.

 

Okara: waste into food

We bought a soy milk machine some months ago.

Joyoung soy milk maker

Joyoung soy milk maker

In 22 minutes, it pulverises and heats a small cup of soy beans into a litre of soy milk.

Fresh soy milk from the soy milk machine

Fresh soy milk from the soy milk machine

I then add 2 tablespoons of honey or maple syrup to sweeten it. It doesn’t taste like the soy milk you buy from supermarkets, as it doesn’t have malt. It’s more like Asian soy milk but I don’t make it as sweet as that.

Add honey to soy milk

Add honey to soy milk

For a long time, Damjan and I wondered what to do with the leftover soy bean solids. It felt like we were throwing out a lot of it. After some focused Googling, we discovered that soy pulp is called okara. It is in fact highly nutritious with protein and fibre.

The first time we reused it, we made an lemon cake of almond meal and okara.

Lemon, almond and okara cake

Lemon, almond and okara cake

We’ve now added to our okara repertoire vegetarian burger patties, knedle soup (vegetable soup with dumplings made of flour and okara) and bread with okara filling.

Sometimes, though, we can’t keep up with all the okara that I generate with the soy milk machine. So a few weeks ago, we bought a bokashi bin, which is a little composting bin that we can keep in our apartment.

Home composting using the Bokashi system

Home composting using the Bokashi system

We started it off on banana peels, but now it takes three quarters of our waste — egg shells, tissues, fruit and vegetable peels, corn cobs and okara.

The start of our Bokashi bin

The start of our Bokashi bin

We’re halfway through our first binful and, as promised, there are no smells from the bin. We’ve barely had to empty our normal kitchen bin in the past two weeks.

Bokashi bin, halfway full

Bokashi bin, halfway full

If you have a garden and would like some nourishing compost, drop me a line.

Plumbum

From Wikipedia:

‘Lead’s symbol Pb is an abbreviation of its Latin name plumbum for soft metals; the English words “plumbing”, “plumber”, “plumb”, and “plumb-bob” also derive from this Latin root.’

Plumbum

Plumbum

Silverbeet sarma

Sarma is an Ottoman Empire dish where leaves are stuffed with tasty fillings like mince and rice. The version I like best uses pickled cabbage for wrapping. There are all kinds of variations in Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. Wikipedia says:

Minced meat (usually beef, pork, veal, or a combination thereof, but also lamb, goat, sausage and various bird meat such as duck and goose), rice, onions, and various spices, including salt, pepper and various local herbs are mixed together and then rolled into large plant leaves, which may be cabbage (fresh or pickled), chard, sorrel, vine leaf (fresh or pickled) or broadleaf plantain leaves.

Silverbeets have been in season so we decided to try out a vegetarian sarma of fresh silverbeet stuffed with rice, silverbeet, dill, onion, garlic and capsicum. It was tasty, healthy and colourful.

Silverbeet stuffed with rice and peppers

Silverbeet stuffed with rice and peppers


Close up of a 'sarma'

Close up of a 'sarma'