The pre-war recipe of a Serbian housewife

Every Saturday we publish on our website the recipe of our former colleague Ivan Fischer. This is not a novelty, but an electronic reprint of the kitchen corner, published by Primorski dnevnik from late spring 2007 to autumn 2011. Both the originality of the recipes and the thoughts that accompany their publication fully retain their importance and message , and online publishing at the same time enables their fast transfer to electronic archive or home cooking paper.

Good reading!

The pre-war recipe of a Serbian housewife

Some time ago, my uncle gave me some of his cookbooks (in Serbo-Croatian and German, some in Cyrillic and Gothic) and a notebook handwritten by a distant relative, which unfortunately I did not know nothing. In this notebook, which was probably created shortly before World War II, there are many recipes for cooking that I remember from my childhood and that later lost track.

On the back of the notebook, the author glued snippets from pre-war newspapers. The woman probably lived in Belgrade or somewhere else in Serbia, as the newspapers were written in Cyrillic, but I do not know which newspaper she is for. Only two of these cuttings have a date: March 14, 1397 and September 7 of the same year. He contributes it to both cuts. Spasenija Marković his suggestions for the daily menu, certainly with an accurate calculation of how much these meals cost. On the back of an older section, one can read the brief news that 50 Jewish students were expelled from the University of Warsaw in protest against nationalists demanding that special places be ordered for Jewish students.

Anyway: Ms. Spasenija advised for lunch on September 7th chicken stew with carrots boiled in the oven dry out cake-shaped pancakes. Spasenija also lists the prices of ingredients:

1 chicken, 12 din

1 kg fat, 4 din

1 kg root, 2 din

1 kg onion, 1 din

4 eggs, 2 din

3 liters of milk, 1 din

100 gr nuts 2.5 dinars

100 g sugar, 12 din

100 g butter, 3 din

1 vanilla, 1 din

Total 29.5 dinars

We do not know how much was 29.5 dinars in 1937 in relation to the average salary, but obviously even then we had to pay attention to what escaped our pockets.

Salvation recipe for cooking chicken is as follows: Clean and chop a new chicken. Peel a squash, grate it and chop it in half a tablespoon. (It is not said anywhere, but it is probably lard.) When the onions turn yellow, add a little sweet pepper and chopped parsley and only then the meat. Let simmer for a while along with the onions, pour in the water and leave for a while on low heat, the water should evaporate almost all. Meanwhile, sauté the remaining onions and sliced ​​carrots until the carrots are soft. Transfer the stew and carrots to a baking dish, add the cooked cauliflower and toss over the sour cream. Let cook for half an hour, after which the dish is ready.

As we can see, for all its accuracy in quoting prices, Ms. Spasenia forgot about cauliflower and yogurt, not to mention peppers and parsley.

I mentioned the recipe only as an interesting fact, but it is possible that sooner or later I will try to cook chicken …

Ivan Fischer


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