Croatian family recipes by Flora Turner-Vučetić. 152 pages with colour illustrations throughout. 86 2013. ISBN 9781905739646. |
Born in Dalmatia in the late 19th century, Grandmother Flora lived through times which are almost impossible for present generations to understand. In her earliest days, donkeys, mules, horses, carriages, steamboats and trains were the main forms of transport, while the postal service was the means of communication over distance. Luxuries we take for granted, such as running water, cars and telephones, to name but a few, gradually came into being during her lifetime. Social behaviour was strictly regulated. Even betrothed couples were not supposed to spend time alone together, never mind have any form of physical contact. However, love letters from Flora’s fiancé Viktor reveal a very passionate courtship which lasted for some five years, much of which was conducted at a distance.
Food and love are two Dalmatian passions, and Flora expressed her love for Viktor through the delicacies she sent him by post while he was studying and working abroad. Viktor’s appreciative letters reflect the sensuousness of many of her offerings. Flora’s cooking certainly found the way to his heart. Flora’s cookbook and Viktor’s love letters are the basis of this book. Times have changed beyond recognition since their youth, but good food is appreciated as much now as it was then. Flora’s recipes cover everyday dishes, specialities for feasts and myriad succulent sweets. Cooking from scratch is less common than ever nowadays, but it is richly rewarding. Well-prepared dishes can be wonderful to look at as well as good to eat. The inventive cook takes pride in creating balanced meals prepared and served with love. Grandmother Flora’s recipes are timeless, to be enjoyed all the more in these modern times when speed and convenience have eroded such simple pleasures as preparing and eating good food.
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