|Sara squeezing grated potatoes|
|Goran calling mum for final guidance|
|Rolling the krompiruša|
As the krompiruša leaves the oven and the stuffed peppers are being dished up, I literally start salivating. We all tuck in and I start to understand Imogen's adoration of krompiruša, looking forward to trying some of the variations of this dish with cheese or meat fillings as well. Though Goran and Sara's mum would make her own filo pastry, with the store bought kind it is still exquisitely flaky, and looks easy enough to make for me to create an approximation at home.
|Ladling up the peppers|
After everyone else has left, to catch their trains or to go and meditate, Goran and I end up chatting further about his background. We touch on the sacrifices his parents made for his and Sara's education, and how much it pleases him that they can now relax in their chosen seaside retirement in Croatia. I am curious to why they would not return to Bosnia. 'It's complicated' covers some of it. Goran explains some of the historical factors, both internal and external, that led to the war in Bosnia, and mentions that the country still seems to be stuck in an impasse, very divided along religious/ethnic lines (the Muslim Bosniaks, Orthodox Christan Serbs, and Catholic Croats). The country is not doing that well politically or economically, and many young people have been leaving as they don't see a future there. However, as a lot of the former Yugoslav countries do share a very similar history, culture and language, Goran explains that much of what his parents might miss from Bosnia, can be found in Croatia too. We touch on some of the aspects he appreciates specifically of his 'dual heritage'. He highlights the British sense of humour which feels like home to him, but also the warmth and generous hospitality he associates with his Bosnian friends and family. He recalls summer visits with outside barbecue parties. For special occasions, an entire spit roast lamb or a piglet would be brought out. As the time comes for me to head home, I promise to invite him over to mine for a return dinner party, thinking the half drunk bottle of bourbon I brought with me as a gift might not quite cover the generous spirit he has just described so evocatively!
|The krompiruša, stuffed pepper and Goran's special 'fuckoff' salad|