ARCHANGEL MICHAEL

Orthodox believers celebrate the great feast Archangel Michael on Tuesday, November 21st.
Archangel Michael is the leader of the heavenly armies and always appeared in the places where the Mother of God appeared, thus representing heavenly strength and protection of the earth.

In Greek, "arch" means chief, first, and "angelos" means messenger, angel. According to the church legends, the angel Michael first battled against the wicked spirits and on behalf of the church interpretations, that signifies "the one who is like God".
There are many folk beliefs about this angel: they say that he visits the sick and if he stops at their feet - it's not good, and if he's at the head - the sick will heal.
It is said that at this time Archangel wanders around the world dressed as a beggar to scoff the unbelievers and help those in distress, so on his day, you should not send away the poor and beggars from your door, because perhaps one of those beggars is Archangel Michael.
Archangel Michael, according to the beliefs, is a "living saint."A popular belief says that according to the weather conditions on this day, it can be determined what the year will be like. It is said: what the weather would be like on the Arangelovden, such will be during the whole winter and spring.

Today's day is a house feast of many Macedonian families.

DJIMIRINKI (CRACKLINGS) - BALKAN PORK SPECIALTY

Have you ever tried djimirinki (cracklings)? Djimirinki (also known as chvarci) are made from finely chopped pieces of pork bacon that melts in a larger fire pot. They are a kind of pork 'crisps', with fat thermally extracted from the lard.
During the preparation, the fat is removed from the bacon, and the pieces of meat are left to fry and dry.
It is recommended to eat them warm combined with red wine.


Ingredients:

  • 5 kg bacon
  • 1 liter water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
Preparation:

  1. Wash the bacon well with water to remove any blood.
  2. Cut bacon into cubes with size 2 x 2 cm. Place the cubes in a deeper pot and add about 1 liter of water so about 3/4 of the pieces of bacon would be immersed.
  3. Put the pot on a strong fire until the water starts to boil and stir occasionally to avoid burning. When water starts to boil, lower the temperature and continue to boil at moderate temperatures again with occasional stirring. During this time the liquid will first become blurry (emulsion from grease and water), and then it will be become clear and it will turn into a fat which you'll later use instead of cooking oil.
  4. After about 2-3 hours when the liquid becomes clear, drain the fat in another pot. Continue to fry the cracklings in the same pot until they get a nice golden-brown color. Remember to stir constantly so they don't burn.
  5. When the cracklings get their color, again remove the fat and continue to fry them for 10 more minutes.
  6. After frying, squeeze them again to drain as much ointment as possible.
  7. Transfer the squeezed djimirinki into a separate dish and add the salt and mix well. Serve them hot.

Enjoy!

GREEN PEAS STEW WITH MINCED MEAT

This is one of the most eaten stews in Macedonia, the green peas stew. The following recipe is a variation of the basic recipe since I added minced meat here and it turned out delicious! I asked myself why haven't I done it this way before! I used frozen beans and the only reason for choosing frozen beans is that I'm just too lazy to buy them fresh and clean each legume one by one (anyone who has cleaned green beans before knows what I'm talking about). The following recipe is enough for 2 adults and 2 children under 8. You can prepare double dosage if needed. Let's see the recipe:
 


Ingredients:

  •     500 g frozen green peas
  •     150 g minced meat
  •     150 ml tomato sauce
  •     1/2 chopped onion
  •     parsley
  •     mixed spices Vegeta, oil, red pepper

Preparation:

  1. Fry onion in a little oil, then add the minced meat. Fry in the pot where you'll prepare the stew and until meat changes color.
  2. Add the peas and stir.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon red pepper and 1 flat tbs Vegeta. Add water to cover the peas and add a little more if you think the stew is too thick. Add the tomato sauce in the end.
  4. Leave to cook at a low temperature for about 1 hour. 
  5. Add parsley in the end and check if the peas are cooked well.
  6. If desired, you can add chopped carrot, potato and pepper. If you add these vegetables, do that in the beginning when you add the peas in the pot. 

Enjoy!

BUCHTELN - BAKED DONUTS WITH JAM

I first heard about this recipe from my aunt who's Macedonian, but lives in Croatia for a long time. She made these baked donuts (as we call them) one morning while everyone was asleep. I was a kid back then. You can't imagine the smell that came out from the kitchen and woke up all of us. Amazing smell of sweet and baked. The pan was gone in 10 minutes.
These are basically donuts filled with jam and are best eaten while warm.


Ingredients:

Yeast preparation:

  • 100 ml warm milk
  • 1/2 fresh yeast
  • 1 large spoon sugar
  • a little flour 
For the dough:
  • 1/2 kg flour 
  • 100 g sugar
  • 100 g *melted butter
  • 150-200 ml warm milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar
  • a little lemon crust
  • a pinch of salt
Preparation:

  1. Add sugar, yeast and flour into the warm milk. Let it rise.
  2. Warm up the milk. Heat the butter to melt slightly. Add beaten egg to the warm milk and stir. 
  3. Place the flour in a larger bowl, add sugar, salt, lemon crust, vanilla sugar, raised yeast, milk with egg and dissolved butter.
  4. Mix with the mixer until you get a ball that separates from the walls of the bowl.
    Cover the dough with a clean cloth and let it rise on a warm place until it doubles the volume.
  5. When it is doubled, knead it a little and form a larger crust. Cut the crust in 16 pieces and add a spoon of jam or nutella in the middle of each piece. Then close it again in a form of a ball and place in the pan (size 32) aligned with baking paper (add a little oil on the baking paper) with the damp part placed at the bottom.
    Leave them to rise again in the heat.
  6. Before baking, coat donuts with melted butter and sprinkle some sugar on top, so they'll turn crusty after baking.
  7. Put the risen donuts in a cold oven that you turn on at 160°C to bake for 30 minutes, depending on your oven or until they get a beautiful golden color.
  8. Sprinkle powdered sugar on top after baking.

SALEP - AN ELIXIR OF LOVE

Salep is a drink that can be rarely found in our cafes. It is a great drink especially when the weather is cold, so I often prepare it at home during winter time.
Salep is a greenish, perennial medicinal herb from the orchid family, which became popular in the Middle Ages with the arrival of the Arabs in Europe.
It contains about 50% mucus, composed of sugar mannose and glucose, 30% starch, 10% sucrose and 10% water. Its main properties are: antitusive, emollient and aphrodisiacal. It is prepared with warm milk or water.
The mucus covers the airways in the form of a film, protects and relieves inflammation and removes cough. It is therefore very effective in bronchitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, tracheitis, colds and flu.


It is recommended as a pleasant drink that can be consumed indefinitely. It is often seasoned with ginger or cinnamon. Relaxes and increases sexual power in both men and women. So other than enjoying the taste, it can also increase your sexual desire.

The old recipe for preparing salep is simple:


  • mix 300 ml of milk
  • with 1 tbsp salep
  • and 2 tablespoons of sugar to prepare two cups of salep and bring to boil with continuous stirring. When the ingredients are thickened, the drink is ready.

It is poured in the cups and sprinkled with Cinnamon. The wonderful enchanting taste with aromatic aromatherapy given from the preparation of the salep only complements the effects.

With its nutritional and curative properties, it is also recommended as an excellent sports drink most often after strenuous bodily activity during winter periods when it efficiently complements the glycogen storage.

Salep is a great choice for our winter menu.

WARM WINE (GREENO VINO) - PERFECT DRINK FOR COLD DAYS

Warm wine is usually made from red wine combined with spices and it's served hot. This traditional beverage is most commonly consumed in winter.
The warm wine (known to us and as boiled wine) is a great drink to warm up and to cheer up in cold autumn and winter days. The aroma that spices give is characteristic and tempting, so you can hardly resist it and not drink another slug.
It is usually prepared from red wine that is spiced with sticks of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, orange and / or lemon, and for even better taste, sugar and honey are added. Some add and a little black pepper. Warm wine is always served warm.
There are many different recipes and methods for preparing warm wine. Some people first heat the wine, then add the spices. Others first put the sugar and spices into a small amount of water and after they have been trampled together for several minutes, they add the wine.
Below is my way of preparing warm wine and you can customize it according your taste. Measures are for 1 person.



Ingredients:
  • 1 cup red wine 200-250 ml (regular wine, you don't need an expensive one)
  • 1/4 orange or 1/2 tangerine
  • a little cinnamon
  • 4 cloves
  • a little grated nutmeg
  • 1 tsp sugar (or more, I don't like it too sweet)
Preparation:
  1. Pour the wine in a pot and put it at low heat.
  2. Add the unpeeled orange or tangerine that was previously stabbed with cloves, add cinnamon and the nutmeg. You can drain a little juice from the remaining orange or tangerine.
  3. When the wine is warmed, add the sugar and stir to melt.
  4. Don't let the wine boil! If white steam appears, lower the temperature and continue to mix.
  5. Wine can be heated for 10 minutes or longer for up to 20-30 minutes at low heat. I don't want to wait and therefore I choose the faster variant.
  6. In the end, drain the wine and it's ready for serving.
  7. Serve hot in glasses or cups previously poured with warm water (glasses are warmed to avoid cracking). Decorate with orange and stick of cinnamon for a stronger aroma or as desired.
Enjoy it with good company :)

RAKIA - CURING PEOPLE

Given the high percentage of alcohol in rakia, one should be careful with its consumption, but a small amount of rakia will quickly cure certain health problems. According to folk beliefs, rakia can help in these conditions.


Pain in the stomach - if you have been eating severe foods that cause you pain in the stomach, half small cup of grape rakia will immediately calm the pain.

Toothache - hold a sip of rakia for about ten seconds on the painful tooth and repeat it several times, it will help reduce the toothache.

Sore throat - if you have sore throat that is caused by a bacterial infection, rakia with a few drops of propolis will successfully disinfect the throat.

Back pain - lightly rub a little bit of brandy on the painful and stiff back and the pain and stiffness disappear.

Stiff neck - just like on the back, the stiff neck can also be treated the same way.

Bad circulation - our grandparents after waking up in the morning, took a glass of rakia for better blood circulation in the body during the day.

An urological problem - parsley rakia is a great ally in the fight against bacterial urinary tract infections.

We strongly advice you to see a doctor if your condition isn't improving. Drinking rakia should be taken seriously and we suggest drinking it only if necessary or in small amounts as a cure.

IN THE COTTON CANDY WORLD - BACK TO CHILDHOOD

Every child and even adults eat candy cotton. Candy cotton can be found in Bitola's city park, or at some fairs and events when the weather is warm.
Do you remember the last time you ate it? For most of us, this sweet pleasure has remained in the distant past, obscured by the many sweet things that brought the new time.
Children worship it because it looks impressive, like a cloud, and adults because they themselves sometimes want to return to the time when they were children.
Return your childhood and those moments when small and simple things were quite enough for happiness. The cotton candy that now comes in all possible colors may be the most common thing you will eat, but at the same time, it is also the funniest way to enjoy the moment.

When I was a kid, cotton candy was available for only one day a year during a local fair. I remember how I dreamt about that day coming. I still remember the orange small house where the candy man was preparing the pink cotton wool. Those were ones of the most happiest moments in my childhood.

Years passed by until I tried a cotton candy again couple of years ago. I felt I was a little girl again. Now I buy it to my kids and I tell them the story about the little orange house and the candy men that was selling candy wool once a year.
Eating candy cotton is usual on the first day of spring at the church on Krkardash
Cotton candy is usually prepared in special machines for this purpose, and recently you can prepare it in your own home thanks to small appliances where you put sugar and food color and prepare it somehow. I personally wouldn't dare to try preparing it at home. I prefer going back to the place my grandma used to buy me a cotton candy, even if I must wait for a whole year to get it :)

3 INGREDIENTS GIANT LAZY BAKED CREPE

This giant crepe has been hit on facebook cooking groups lately and the recipe has been shared rapidly among friends. I found the recipe at my dear friends on the fb group "Macedonian mums in Perth and all over the world". We all shared how our  crepe turned out, and what filling we put inside. Some of us like it salty and combine it with ham, cheese, some like it sweet and combine it with pudding or jam or cocoa creme, with honey, nuts, you name it! I combined it with cocoa cream, banana and crashed nuts, rolled it and put whipped cream on top and chocolate topping. It was gone in 1 minute.
You'll literally need 5 minutes to prepare the mixture and 10-15 minutes to bake it.


Ingredients:
  • 4 eggs
  • 6 tbs flour
  • 300 ml milk
 Preparations:
  1. First, heat the oven at maximum and put inside the largest square pan that usually comes with the oven, previously coated with margarine or oil spreaded everywhere, even on the sides.
  2. Beat eggs well with a wire.
  3. Add the milk.
  4. Add the flour spoon by spoon and mix everything until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture in the heated pan and put to bake at 200 C degrees for about 15 minutes or until it changes color. While baking, it should become swollen as in pictures.
  

10 YEARS FROM THE TRAGIC DEATH OF TOSE PROESKI

OCTOBER 16, 2007 in a terrible car accident at Nova Gradiska, Croatia, died the Macedonian nightingale Toše Proeski. He was 26 years old.
Tose Proeski was a famous Macedonian singer and one of the biggest stars on the Balkan music scene, where he was seen as a trademark of Macedonia. He was a Macedonian multi-genre singer, songwriter and actor. He was popular across the entire Balkan area and was considered as the best act of the local Macedonian music scene. He was called "Elvis Presley of the Balkans".



He made even the unattainable possible. Easy to reach. Everyone bowed before the legend. Numerous performances, awards, Grand Prix, Croatian Radical Festival, Serbia, Bosnia ... Blastically won the top lists, filled the concert halls with ease and, most importantly, reigned in the hearts of thousands of fans. Career unattainable for many! He went to the angels, but not in oblivion!

Even ten years after the tragic deaths, the charismatic musician has not been forgotten, and thousands of people mourn for him as the first day. We will never forget him!


LAHMAJOUN - PIZZA WITH MINCED MEAT

Lahmajoun is a Turkish dish that has been very popular in Macedonia in the recent years. The word "lahmajoun" has Arabic roots and it means "dough with meat". It is consisted of thin dough (as in pizza) topped with minced meat, vegetables and spices.
If you want to try this Turkish specialty, you can easily prepare it at home. Here's the best recipe for lahmajoun:



Ingredients:
 
● For dough:
  • 400 g soft flour
  • ½ fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 100 ml water
  • 100 ml milk
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Salt

● For filling:
  • 400 g minced beef meat
  • 200 g canned tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 2 peppers
  • 20 g cheese
  • 4 tablespoons edible oil
  • Mixed spices, black pepper
Preparation:

  1. Combine milk, water, sugar, yeast, oil and a little salt in a container and then gradually add the flour, kneading all the time until you get a soft and elastic dough. Allow the prepared dough to grow.
  2. Prepare the filling until the dough rises. Chop the onions thoroughly, and cut peppers and the preserved tomatoes into cubes. Grate the cheese on the larger side of the grater.
  3. Put onions and peppers to fry on some oil shortly, and after a short time add the minced meat, canned tomatoes and spices. Dine until all the ingredients soften.
  4. Divide the risen dough into four parts, and manually shape each part in a pizza shape, taking care that the edges are thicker and the center is thinner.
  5. Apply filling over the shaped pies and add grated cheese, then each on a pan coated with  baking paper in the oven to bake until reddened. Bake at 200 C degrees for about 10-15 minutes
  6. Serve with fresh salad or ajran, yogurt or sour milk.
  7. You can roll lahmajoun and eat it as a doner.

CUSTOMS AND BELIEFS BEFORE AND AFTER GIVING BIRTH TO A CHILD IN MACEDONIA

The customs and traditions that come with the birth of the baby are different everywhere, and so in our country. Namely, our country has interesting customs and traditions that some mothers decide to follow, but for some of them, these beliefs are nonsense and of course, they decide to ignore them.

What prompted me to open this topic is the talk that if you're pregnant and you're a Macedonian woman, you are pressured and even forced to stick to some customs in order to have a good and a healthy pregnancy and you'll give a birth to a healthy newborn. It's interesting that even today, in the 21st century, people still believe in things based on superstitions. After a certain research, I'll present you some of these beliefs and it's up to you to decide whether they make sense for you or not.
Me being 8 months pregnant with my firstborn child

When pregnant
  • You shouldn't tell anyone (except your partner and the closest family) about your pregnancy for 3 months. It is believed that if you announce your pregnancy before that, you may experience a miscarriage.
  • You can't go to a cemetery nor at a funeral.
  • Be careful not to steal something or take something without someone sees you. If you take something, you should tell. You shouldn't "steal" even a plum from a yard, because the baby will be born with a body mark with the shape of the stolen object on the first place you touch yourself afterwards (people really, I mean REALLY believe this).
  • It is not allowed to give something to a pregnant woman by throwing it to her.
  • When birth pains begin, the pregnant woman should have a shower and while showering, she should drop an egg from the neck down to break, not turn around to see and clean it and shouldn't tell anyone.
  • The mother of the pregnant woman shouldn't know when her daughter is giving birth, because mothers are always afraid for the daughters and always thought of the worst.
After giving birth
  • Mother in law prepares mekici (type of fried dough) immediately after baby was born. Mekici are combined with sugar, so the child will have a sweet life and are given to close people, relatives, neighbors and in the hospital among the medical stuff where the baby was born.
  • After the baby is born, grandmothers go to church and take a little prayer and baptized water for the baby. Baptized water is poured in the water in which the baby baths and the mother should drink from it. If baptized water remains on the last 40th day, then it is poured in the ground.
  • Mother and the baby are not aloud to leave the home (if not necessary) for 40 days. In general, almost in all cities throughout Macedonia are respected the 40 days when the mother and the baby should not leave home nor should be visited. After 40 days, the mother and baby take a big prayer in the church and after that they visit 3 houses.
  • During these 40 days the mother is considered "unclean", so there must be no intimate relationship with her husband.
  • Also, after the 40th day, the baby can be visited by other people. The reason why they are waiting for 40 days is usually protection against any infections.
  • During the 40 days, the mother must not dry clothes outside after sunset and must not come out after sunset.
  • When it comes to visiting a baby, girls must not have a monthly cycle, so that the baby does not get a rash.
  • Also, guests mustn't come in the evening, only during the day, because if they come when it's dark, then they can bring the child dark and thus magic and spirits. 
  • During the 40 days, the mother must not say "good bye", she mustn't take out anything from the house nor walk someone to the door so to keep her milk.

SHKETO - TRADITIONAL LAMB STEW

Have you ever heard of "shketo"? Shketo is a traditional Macedonian lamb stew, I know it's been prepared in my hometown Bitola for ages. I'm not sure where the word "shketo" is derived from, I know it's a gastronomy term for a dish that is consisted of lots of parsley and a lamb meat, but I couldn't find a proper translation. Nevertheless, it's a tasty and healthy stew that you'll love it!


Ingredients:
  • 500 g lamb meat, cut into larger pieces
  • 1 bulb onion
  • 2-3 pieces spring onions
  • 1-3 ticks parsley
  • 1 tablespoon of flour2 carrots
  • 1 parsnip
  • 1 celery root
  • black pepper in the grain
  • salt
  • red pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
Preparation:
  1. Fry meat in a pot on strongly heated oil on all sides until reddened.
  2. Finely chop the onions and add them to the meat. Fry until the onion is caramelized for about 10 minutes. Add the white parts of the spring onion, fry for another 5 minutes and at the end add the finely chopped green parts.
  3. Add whole carrots, parsley and celery (later, when cooked, remove them. You can blend them and return to the stew later). Fry another 5 minutes.
  4. Chop washed parsley and add to the frying pan.
  5. Add water as much as to cover the meat. Boil on low heat until the meat is cooked (about 45 minutes).
  6. Now prepare roux. Put 2-3 tablespoons of oil in pan, heat the oil and add a spoon of flour. Stir until it gets a beautiful yellow color and a pleasant smell and in the end, add half a tablespoon of red pepper.
  7. Put the pan aside, add 200 ml of warm water, mix well and pour into the pot with the meat.
  8. Add salt, pepper and let it boil until it thickens for about 5 minutes.
  9. Traditionally, this meal is served with hot bread and sheep sour milk.
Enjoy!
"Shketo" has been mentioned in the book "Tunel" from Petre M.Andreevski, which inspired me to share the recipe



TRADITION OF EATING BOILED CORN ON THE COB

I remember eating boiled corn on the cob since I was a kid. We always ate them in the late summer and their smell brings back the memory of my childhood when after a day of spending a day in playing, we would run to the warm "kocani" as we call them. In late summer, you can see people with huge pots selling warm corn, freshly boiled. In my time, there was this old man who would sell warm corn on his bike. He would pushed his bicycle and shout: "Who wants a warm corn". I don't remember where he put all that cobs, but his corn was always tasty and warm.
Corn is also useful for health. In summer, the youngest and the oldest, reach for corn as per dessert. Enjoy the sweet taste either it's boiled or baked, as a snack and as an addition to many dishes. Some even freeze corn for winter.
This corn is super sweet, so they call it "sugar" or "shekerka" - Dutch seed. Although it's sweet, we put some salt on top and eat it that way. What to say, I don't know anyone who can resist warm corn in summer.

Some of us boil corn on cob at home.

Preparation:

  1. First you need to clean every cob from the leaves and silk. Keep some of the leaves, so you can use them to put boiled corn on a leaf and eat it that way.
  2. Bring to boil water in a larger pot and put cleaned cobs in the pot. Leave to boil on a low heat for 2-3 hours, depends on the corn.
  3. Leave to cool a bit and your corn on cob is ready to be eaten. Put 1 peace on a corn leaf, sprinkle some salt and enjoy the taste of freshly boiled corn on cob.

MACEDONIAN LUTENICA

 Lutenica (or ljutenica, lutenka) is other popular relish which is prepared in early autumn and consumed during winter. The word "lutenica" is derived from the word "lut, luto" meaning "chilly". Lutenica is similar to ajvar, except it contains tomatoes and has chilly and spicier taste. Of course, you can make it non-chilly if you're not fond of chilly taste, but then it won't be lutenica right? Alternative ingredients include eggplants, carrots, onion. This a tried recipe which my mother in law prepares it for decades. You can prepare half of this dosage if you think this is too much work for you :)


Ingredients:
  • 10 kg red peppers for ajvar
  • 5 kg tomatoes
  • 1/2 kg red hot chilly peppers or hot capsicums
  • 1 liter cooking oil
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup wine vinegar
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 1 head garlic
 *1 cup is 250 ml cup

Preparation:
  1. First, wash, clean and bake the red peppers. Put baked peppers in a plastic foil so they'll peel better later. After peeling, leave to drain.
  2. Wash and clean tomatoes from the green parts and put to grind in a meat grinding machine.
  3. Put grind tomatoes together with the vinegar and sugar in a larger pot to cook. Leave to simmer together for about 30 minutes.
  4. Then, add the cooking oil and leave to cook together with tomatoes for about 1 hour. 
  5. Add cleaned and chopped chilli peppers and leave to cook for 30 more minutes.
  6. In a meantime, chop the red peppers in desired size and add them in the pot. Add cleaned and chopped garlic and washed and chopped parsley. Everything together should boil on a low heat for 30 more minutes, so the overall time for preparing lutenica is 2,5 hours.
  7. At the very end, add 1 tsp of food preservative sodium benzoate and mix it through the mixture.
  8. Pour hot lutenica in hot jars and close the lids well. Fill jars till the top. 
  9. Enjoy lutenica with some fresh bread and a piece of cheese.

HOMEMADE VEGETA (MIXED SPICES)

Vegeta is one of the most famous products in the area and even worldwide. It is a product made in Croatia and it's the most common supplement of any meal. Vegeta is a condiment mostly consisted of salt and dried vegetables. The one thing that really bothers me in Vegeta is the additive they add called Mononatriumglutaminate, which is used to improve flavor. This additive is considered bad for your health, especially for children, so it's better to avoid it. That's why I use other types of condiments similar to Vegeta which don't contain Mononatriumglutaminate. But the best thing is to prepare homemade mix of spices, right?
How to prepare homemade Vegeta? Just follow the instructions. You can increase or decrease the amount of used ingredients according to your taste.
 

Ingredients:
  • 700 g carrots
  • 350 g parsnip
  • 2 large celery roots
  • 2 larger leeks
  • 2 larger onions
  • 5-6 pieces garlic
  • a handful of parsley
  • 1/2 tbs turmeric
  • 1/2 tbs curry
  • 1/2 tbs black pepper
  • 1-2 tbs corn flour
  • 1-2 tbs sugar
  • Himalayan salt as much as the dried vegetables weight
Preparation:
  1. First wash fresh vegetables, then chop in a blender. First chop carrots, then parsnip and so on. Don't chop vegetables in too small pieces. We'll blend them again in the end after drying.
  2. Put chopped vegetables on a paper or sheets and leave on warm and sunny place to dry. Or you can dry vegetables in an oven with turned fan at 50 C degrees and you'll need several hours for complete drying. Don't forget to stir occasionally. I suggest you to prepare this mixture in summer, so you can use the sun. Vegetables will be dried in one day. 
  3. Well-dried vegetables blend a little in a blender and add spices: turmeric, curry, black pepper, corn flour, sugar and Himalayan salt in the amount of 100% of the total weight of the dried vegetables. You can add less salt depending your taste.
  4. Enjoy this natural homemade Vegeta, I'm sure you'll love it!

KUTLESH STAR (VERGINA SUN) - THE SYMBOL OF MACEDONIANS

The Star of Kutlesh

The Kutlesh star is the name of the symbol of the Macedonians. It is a 16-pointed sun and a century-old symbol of the Macedonian people, country and culture. In 1977, in the village of Kutlesh (Greek name Vergina) in the Aegean part of Macedonia (today in Greece), it was unearthed in an archaeological site and by the name of the village Kutlesh, today it is called the Kutlesh star or Vergina star.


In the grave where the Kutlesh star was discovered, was found a golden plate with engraved sun. Today the found plaque is stored in the museum in Kutlesh, Aegean Macedonia. The star was used during the Kingdom of Macedonia and in the Republic of Macedonia's flag from 1991 to 1995, when the flag was changed violently with the present Macedonian flag. Today's Macedonian national flag is an abbreviated stylized version of the Kutlesh Star, with eight edges instead of sixteen.

Interpretation of the symbol
The significance of the symbol is not completely clarified today. In the archaeological circles, there are several assumptions as to whether the symbol was an official symbol of the Kingdom of Macedonia, whether it was merely a symbol of the military or simply represented an ornamental landmark. It is thought that Macedonian king Phillip II had this symbol on his shield.


Use of the symbol

The symbol has always been used to mark and highlight the Macedonian identity. Over the centuries, the Macedonian people always used the symbol in their daily lives and activities. The significance of the symbol for the Macedonian people is also witnessed by a large number of icons in which 16 stars are drawn or in a more simplified version - an eight-pointed star.

Today's use
Today, the symbol is used by almost all Macedonian associations in the diaspora, the Macedonian municipality of Pustec in Albania, numerous organizations in Macedonia and was the state flag of Macedonia from 1991 to 1995.



On the other hand, Greece artificially embraces it as their symbol by the fact that Belomorsk Macedonia as a province has the same flag, but with a blue background.
"The sun from Kutlesh is not a Greek symbol, except that it is accidentally found in today's Greek territory."

MANCHESTER UNITED VS REAL MADRID TONIGHT IN MACEDONIA

UEFA Super Cup 2017 - Real Madrid vs. Manchester United, Tuesday, 08 August 2017 8:45PM

Today, Macedonia is the center of the world football. Manchester United and Real Madrid will meet today at the National Telekom Arena in Skopje for the Super Cup final. This is one of the greatest sports events that were ever held in Macedonia. The 2 greatest football teams in the world have never met in the Super Cup, they have met 10 times in the European Champion Clubs' Cup/UEFA Champions League; Real Madrid have the advantage in the teams' previous meetings, with four wins, four draws and two losses.

Redeveloped from the old Gradski Stadion, the National Arena Filip II Macedonian was recently renamed in Telekom Arena.
There are 33,460 seats for fans at the stadium, which was redeveloped in 2009.

Five matches in the 2010 European women's Under 19 Championship were played at the stadium, including the final where France beat England 2-1. A group game between Spain and Macedonia in the tournament, which Spain won 6-0, attracted 8,000 people which is still a record attendance for the competition.





MACEDONIAN CAVIAR (WITH EGGPLANTS, TOMATOES AND PEPPERS)

Any true Macedonian will agree that these 6 vegetables - eggplants, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, onions and garlic are the real Macedonian benchmark and are one of the best in the world. That's why we add each one of these (except the cucumbers) in almost every dish we prepare, they give special taste to everything we cook. We use them fresh, baked, fried, preserved, frozen, you name it!
Now I'll present you a recipe that is combined exactly with this vegetables. You can eat this caviar as a spread, as an appetizer, as makalo, combined with cheese and bread or as an addition to the main dish.


Ingredients:

  • 3 eggplants
  • 2 larger tomatoes
  • 5-6 red or green peppers (I prefer red if available)
  • 1 head onions
  • 5-6 cloves garlic
  • salt to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons hot oil
Preparation:
  1. Wash and clean from seeds eggplants and peppers and bake on a hotplate (or in oven at 200 C degrees) until softened. After baking, put in a plastic bag and leave to cool, then peel.
  2. Put tomatoes shortly in a boiling water, then immediately put in cold water and peel.
  3. Clean onions and garlic.
  4. Put eggplants, tomatoes, peppers, onions and garlic in a blender, add salt and blend till you get the desired roughness. I prefer a little rougher structure, so I blend just a bit.
  5. Put mixture in a deep plate or an earthenware and pour over the hot oil.
  6. Leave to cool then serve.

PERFECT MUFFINS WITH SPINACH

I always liked muffins, I love their shape and  their simplicity. To prepare good muffins, you just need a muffin pan which will turn the simplest recipe into beauty. I have to mention that usually it's the same recipe for preparing simple sweet cake, or salty cake, or babka cake as for muffins, the only difference is the shape. Here I'll present you a simple, yet delicious recipe for salty muffins which always turn out great!
muffins


Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 200 ml yogurt
  • 180 ml cooking oil
  • 1 sachet of baking powder (10 g)
  • pinch of salt
  • 18 flat tbs flour
  • hard cheese or cottage cheese (as much as desired)
  • spinach or other greens (as much as desired)
Preparation:
  1. Beat eggs with a mixer and add a pinch of salt. Then, gradually add oil and yogurt and keep on mixing at low speed.
  2. Then add the flour, spoon by spoon and add the baking powder. Keep on mixing at low speed or use a wooden spoon.
  3. In the end, add crushed cheese and chopped spinach. Check if the mixture is salty enough.
  4. Pour mixture into muffin pan filling the holes by 2/3rds, don't fill them till top. Don't forget to previously coat the pan holes with oil or butter or to coat with baking paper. 
  5. Sprinkle sesame seeds or sunflower seeds on top.
  6. Bake at 200 C degrees for 30 minutes.
  7. Leave to cool, then remove from the pan.