Vladimir, our friend and trusty language instructor, invited us to day two of his family's slava, honoring St. Nikola. The food was fantastic and it was our first chance to really appreciate home made Serbian cooking (his mom did most of the cooking, and she stayed in the kitchen the whole time we were there). My biggest mistake was not realizing how many courses there were going to be, so I loaded up on the first round. We had:
- Pickled peppers, pickles, bread, ajvar, and a salad of tuna, peppers, cabbage, and carrots
- Special Serbian beans, stuffed cabbage (wohoo!), more pickled peppers, pickles, and bread
- Two enormous trays of smoked fish - scrumptious, but I could only eat one piece after I had pigged out on the salad
- Dessert - pastries - yum
Vladimir's role was to act as our waiter for the night - as host of the slava, he's responsible for taking care of all our needs. His friends would routinely give him a hard time if they were out of drink. In fact, it's traditional for the host to stand the entire time, which Vladimir did right up until people started leaving (around 1 AM). It was a fantastic evening, and a unique glimpse into real Serbian life.
Dan heard a story about a German guy who decided he wanted to become Serbian. He converted to the Orthodox Church, was baptised, and then had to pick a slava. When he asked the priest for advice, the priest recommended St. John, because there's a St. John's day every month. Dan told this joke at dinner last night, and everyone cracked up at the idea of picking a slava.
Because it's also holiday time for us, we fly home this Friday. I'll return to blogger-land some time after the new year. Merry Christmas!