Days 17-19 Work, Museums, and Cooking

I haven’t posted because we have been busy here on Organic Farm Silbar!  We have been milling, measuring, and  bagging grain.  We have been chasing cows, holding babies, and gathering eggs.  We are really enjoying the hard work and the simplicity of living on a farm…I swear it is almost Zen like at times! One day Gregor tells us that he would like to take us to a museum in a town called Kropa.  Kropa is a centuries old town that used to mine (actually they just picked it up off the ground) and process iron ore.  When we drove into the town, you immediately notice the rushing creek with very old houses and buildings surrounding it.  It looks like a scene straight from a medieval tapestry.  Let me also say that it is pouring down rain when we arrive, so we are not able to really look around the town, but instead head directly into the museum.

The museum was in a 300 year old house, and in the different rooms, models and artifacts explained what life was like in Kropa in the “good old days”…and let me tell you the good old days weren’t so good.  We had a Slovenian tour guide who had bright read hair and a thick accent.  She was such a character!  Not only was she entertaining and informative…she would also give her opinion on politics, the world, and people in general.  “These are my thoughts that I entertain” she would say after her comments.  I actually was fascinated about how awful life was for these people…about 8 families living in house, everyone worked in the factories, they cooked meals on the same stoves they used to work on, babies even had cradles inside these factories.  Let’s just say it makes you feel pretty grateful for what you have got!

After our trip to the museum, we went out to dinner.  Russ and I had seen a billboard for a Mexican restaurant…because honestly who does Mexican food better than Slovenia?  Actually all jokes aside…the food was pretty good!  They had the decor down to the letter…even had a Corona sign at the bar!  Also, the margaritas were great, a bit strong, but who is complaining right?

One of the things that I thought would be nice to do would be to make our hosts a traditional American meal.  They have been feeding us “dinner” and by dinner…I mean it is like dinner, but served at 2:00 p.m.  So, the menu for our meal was the following (and yes you can go on about how simple and boring…but hey I am no gourmet chef) We had: hamburgers, french fries, Grandma Trudy’s Potato Salad, and of course Coke to drink…and then home made apple pie with vanilla ice cream for dessert!

Not too difficult, but the real thing I wanted to nail was the potato salad.  If you have never had a chance to have Grandma Trudy’ famous potato salad…you have not lived!  I am telling you that this is the most mouth watering potato salad…even if you don’t typically like potato salad…you will LOVE this!  I had to get this right!  One of the true key ingredients is sweet pickles…they are a must!  Not only the pickles themselves, but a bit of the juice they are in!  Well, guess what folks?  Guess what not one store that I went to in Slovenia has?  UGHHHHH!  So I quickly look up how to make dill pickles into sweet pickles…and forget about it…if I had an extra couple of days and a long list of spices that I am not even sure they can translate in Slovenian…long story short I was screwed!  But I just had to have potato salad!  Okay and just a disclaimer here…I don’t think I could have even thought about doing any of this without the internet!  I was Googling, translating, and converting the entire time I was making thins! So yes, I Googled American potato salad and ended up having to settle for one without sweet pickles…it came out okay…but it did not hold a candle to Grandma Trudy’s! Okay, strike one…not going to let that get me down!  So next on the list was apple pie…I am going to make the crust and the pie…why you ask…oh that’s right I am an idiot!  So here we go… of course any yummy apple pie I have ever had has brown sugar..well the only brown sugar they have in Slovenia is sugar…that is brown…just regular sugar that happens to be a slightly darker color than it’s traditional counterpart!  Strike two!  But that is okay again…Google my new BFF has a recipe for apple pie without brown sugar..phew!  Back on track!  I am getting ready to head downstairs into what amounts as a professional bakery…and I ask Monika for a pie plate….she has no idea what I am talking about.  Best thing she comes up with is a spring pan…I don’t even know what it is called…the one that opens on the side…try to use your imagination and maybe that will help…anyhoo…so here I am…screwed!  Right…not going to give up…even when I realize I did not buy butter…I bought lard…move forward…even when my crazy crust barely covers the bottom of the pan…keep going…even when the “butter” I am using isn’t crumbling into my crumble top…it’s all good… Next, I call Monika down to help me use the oven that I am sure is smarter than I am…after a few more trips to Google I have converted my cooking temp and figured out the time change for a convection oven…and we are ready!  I do feel a bit of panic when Monika tells me we don’t need to put in a time…that she will put a probe into my pie and the oven will alert us when the pie is cooked.  Now the only thing I have going for me at this point is that the family we are staying with is super religious and I figured perhaps God might help me make a nice meal for them…maybe??

Oh boy!  Fingers crossed we barbeque burgers…put them on buns that really aren’t buns, set up condiments, put out fries, and the dreaded potato salad.  I am nervously thinking… if this is really bad…wil we have to leave tomorrow?  Will they choke through it with frozen smiles?  AGGGHHH!  Well the time comes…and phew!  They are loved it! Of course the kids were obsessed with french fires and Coke (even dipping their fries in their Coke) but all in all dinner was a hit!  Then it was time for flat crust lard pie… I am still in shock over this one…it was a huge hit!  Everyone loved it!  Monika was asking for the recipe!  It went better than I could have hoped for!

I told them in our family we play games at night after dinner…so to end the night we all sat down and played a game…the clean version of the title is “Compost Your Neighbor”  aka Sh#$*t on Your Neighbor.  We had such a great evening!



  1. Ben
    Oct 27, 2014

    The beast is unleashed and on a Slovenian rampage! Sounds like a TON of fun, Wendy! Nice work on the improvisation.

  2. Kay Rich
    Nov 7, 2014

    SUCCESS…what a great idea to share an American Meal…you actually selected a difficult one & it sounds like it turned out well. Congrats! B & K