WHAT WE EAT ON SERBIAN CHRISTMAS
In my family, at least
- •A roast suckling pigThis is obviously the most important part of the meal. It's basted in beer and has a walnut in its mouth. If you leave it unattended in the kitchen after taking it out of the oven, the Serbs will steal its ears (because they are crispy and delicious). My dad once Fedexed the head to his friend as a present because he couldn't make it for the dinner itself.
- •Celeriac saladIn thin slices, with oil and vinegar
- •Mashed potatoesIn vast quantities
- •SausagesIn case the pig didn't supply quite enough meat
- •Stuffed cabbageStuffed with what, I could not tell you for certain. Probably more pork.
- •Peas with dillToken vegetable matter
- •Gibanica(Geebaneetza) Phyllo dough, cottage cheese, egg, oil and milk, baked and cut into squares. So incredibly delicious, but dripping with grease. In a good way.
- •Cesnica(Chessneetza) Layers of phyllo pastry, ground walnuts, sultanas and sugar. A coin gets hidden in it and whoever finds it gets good luck for a year. Family legend has it that my Uncle George got it the year he went off to fight in the Pacific in WWII - he drilled a hole through it, wore it on a chain around his neck throughout the war and ultimately came home safe and sound. Definitely all down to the coin.
- •Petrogradska TortaRecipe to follow in a new list
- •And, of course, a round of Slivovitz(Shleevoveetz) Plum brandy without which no Serbian party would be complete