Lockdown Culture Trip – Week 4

It’s week 4 of staying put during the time of COVID-19 and we are still thinking of travel – places we have enjoyed and places we dream to explore. So we continue to study fun facts about each new country and learn to prepare a traditional meal. What a gift this time at home is!

Oman

Dates and dhow boats come to mind when I think of Oman. We visited in early 2019 on a day trip from the UAE. For dinner tonight we made Omani Madrouba (beaten rice) seasoned with many spices and the pulp of dried black limes. It was so flavourful and perfect for an autumn night.

Indonesia

We learnt a lot while studying this island nation from the death penalty by firing squad to the world’s shortest men. Diverse wildlife, lush rainforest, temples and coastline – there is much to explore. Today we made Bakwan Jagung (corn fritters), a traditional Indonesian street food. They are different to a southwest style corn fritter with the addition of garlic, kaffir lime leaves and turmeric and served with a sweet chilli sauce, yum!

Bosnia and Herzegovina

We visited Bosnia in 2013 during our month long camper van trip around Europe. What an awesome holiday that was! Today we made Tufahije (apples cooked in a simple syrup and served with whipped cream and stuffed with walnuts.)

Belarus

We visited Minsk for Xmas 2015. The visa was difficult to obtain, the border crossings were so slow (3 hours entering and 5 to exit), grand boulevards, excellent five star restaurants, 100,000 currency notes and friendly, well-spoken locals. We hired a private guide who was bitter and disliked the government – it added to the surreal feeling of visiting this glorious city in the middle of a forested country. This morning we feasted on very traditional Draniki (potato pancakes) with homemade apple sauce and sour cream.

Gibraltar

Tonight we made Calentita which means “warmish”. It is an oven baked pizza made from chick pea flour. We visited Gibraltar many moons ago (2011) with friends and our very young little people. The funicular ride, top of the rock stroll and getting up close with barbary apes made our time there very special.

Iran

Today we made Chelow (Persian rice with a golden crust) and Fesenjen (Persian pomegranate chicken) and omg, so good! Voted best meal of all by each Bolinger.We would love to visit Iran one day having several Iranian friends and many people who have told us how beautiful the country and the people were. If they are serving Fesenjan – we will be there! There were many steps involved to make these dishes. It felt like something you would prepare for a special occasion rather than a weekly meal.

Slovakia

We drove through Slovakia during a Xmas/New Year holiday in 2004-2005. Sadly, we were just passing through, on our way from Budapest to Prague, and didn’t have any time to explore. Today we celebrate Slovakia with Babovka Dvoubarevna (two colour sponge cake) as an afternoon tea. We just learnt how to read tea leaves and practiced our new skills. It looks like we are in for both difficulty and happiness.

 

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