Living on your own causes you to kick your culinary skills into high gear, especially if you don’t believe in microwaves-like me. I’ve picked up a few good recipes from boy and Jamie Oliver. But some dishes just don’t taste as good as when Baka (my Grandmother) makes them. She’s really good with those traditional Croatian dishes I grew up with, like cabbage rolls and Baka’s specialty balice, which I can only describe as super delicious, lightly fried meatballs that would put the best Swedish variety to shame.
Now that Baka’s aged quite a bit she not able to make the delicious meals she once had. The last time she was ok to use the stove she forgot about the squash that was cooking in a pot, it burned nice and hard. The pot didn’t make it to another use, it had to be thrown out. This past Christmas, I worked up the courage to ask her for 2 recipes (I thought I’d start off easy), I wanted to learn how to make balice and her secret shortbread dough. She put a shrimp in her mouth, chewed slowly and looked up with this expression:
No words. Just that look. It meant I should know better than to ask for a secret.
I still haven’t given up. I will ask again. And again. And again. She will eventually cave. I think my next plan of attack will be to come over, under the guise of spending time with her and subtly suggesting we cook something for Boy (whom she loves more than me and almost more than my younger brother – first born grandson, go figure). She may not be able to pass up an opportunity to cook with me, for Boy. At least I hope so.