How to live an amusing ordinary life. Pay attention.

Palačinke: Yugoslavian Pancake

If you’re like my mom, or countless others whom I have associated with recently, you are thinking “Pachink-what?” Palačinke directly translates to “pancakes”.

They’re not pancakes.

You can say they’re like a pancake and a crepe, only because it’s thicker than a crepe and thinner than a pancake.

I made some last week for the first time since coming home. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited! I almost cried when I took my first bite.

I have been dreaming of this deliciousness for months. Months! I had enough when I dreamed I made a palachinke doll.

This is the recipe I looked at while making my own.

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Palachinke  (Serbian Pancakes)

Batter

  • ·1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ·1 large beaten egg
  • ·1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ·1 teaspoon sugar
  • ·1.5 cup whole milk

Sweet Cheese Filling:

  • ·1 pound cottage cheese
  • ·3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ·2 tablespoons tapioca (small pearl)
  • ·1/4 cup sugar
  • ·2 large slightly beaten eggs

·Topping:

  • ·8 ounces sour cream
  • ·1 large beaten egg yolk
  • ·2 tablespoons sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the sweet cheese filling ingredients. Let it rest, covered and refrigerated, for 1 1/2 hours while you make the Palachinke.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the batter ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes so the liquid can be absorbed by the flour.
  3. Use ½ cup measuring cup, portion out batter into a nonstick skillet (10”) that has been coated with oil. Rotate pan and swirl batter until it covers the entire bottom of pan. Cook until lightly brown or spotted brown on the underside. Turn and cook second side until light brown.
  4. Remove from pan to kitchen towel, roll and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.  Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to fill/bake or serve Croatian style. Repeat with remaining batter. At this point, Palachinke can be used immediately or layer between wax paper, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 month.
  5. Place 2 heaping tablespoons filling on one edge of each Palachinke and roll away from yourself.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place filled Palachinke on a buttered or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet (you can also use a 9×13 Pyrex dish).  Combine all topping ingredients, mixing well, and spread on top of filled Palachinke. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with Strawberry Jam and whipped cream.
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It’s okay if you use whole wheat and one side is white and one is brown. And look! The bottom one is smiling! The feeling was mutual.

What actually happened I think describes a lot about my mental state while making this. It also proves how dynamic Serbian recipes are. What actually happened:

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat flour (Because that’s what I found first)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Xylitol (sugar from fruit, because that’s what I have)

Put it in a blender and blend that sucker. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.

Glance at original sweet cheese recipe. Add random measurements of cottage and cream cheese together (making sure to have more cottage cheese than cream cheese), an egg, and sprinkle some Xylitol on it. Mix it in cereal bowl. Cover and place in the fridge.

I used an ice cream scoop to measure out how much batter to put in the pan. It worked out perfectly!

Let me explain that I have never made crepes and I am no good at cooking pancakes. Keep that in mind. Almost every palačinka thing came out perfect. Perfect!

Realizing my filling has eggs in it, there for requiring baking time, I filled my palachinke and stuck them in the microwave. I wish I was kidding. I know this is a major cooking no-no, but if you tested this goodness you would understand. It took every ounce of self control not to eat it all right then and there.

It was divno! Jako jako divno!

I had a lot of filling left over, despite my efforts to make less than was required.

Happy eating!

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Ham and Cheese Pizza

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Folded or Quartered. This is popular style is you’re going to carry it around.

As explained in the original recipe, courtesy my Serbian sister-in-law’s family, Palačinke is normally very simple and can be filled with anything. I always got it with honey. Just honey. It was filled with honey and had honey drizzled on top. My companion always got hers with ice cream. You can roll it or you can fold it. The possibilities are endless.

Where is my mind?

I’m pulling together this group of leadership alumni. One of them notified me he lives in the south east (the No Man’s Land of the wastelands) and that transportation could be an issue.

My thoughts?

Well what about your horse?

 

Where is my mind? Utah is rural, but its more desert than rural. It’s not even that rural. Kids these days.

Shakespeare vs Schweitzer

How is your reading of the Christmas Carol going? That’s what I thought. SInce I know some of you have a busy life and are not reading machines like myself, I’m saving my Charles Dickens post for next week.

This post’s inspiration came curtsey of my brother. Well, one of them. He was telling about his English class, and like everything else that happens to us, we discussed it.

How many of you are familiar with Ophelia? She is Hamlet’s crazy girlfriend who drowned herself.

Do you know why?

Besides the fact that she is crazy.

Peter’s class discussed the Ophelia Complex. Her father talked her down, told her she knew nothing. Whenever she did start to understand something he would make it difficult again so he could regain power over her. Not a very nice dad. Ophelia would take in anything he said and accept it. She took in anything and everything.

Students (in university and life) often take in curriculum, take the test, and move on. We call this “read and regurgitate.” Like Ophelia, we often take in whatever or teachers through at us. We do the assignments, attend the classes, write the papers, and move on. We don’t consider what it is that we are accepting. We don’t process it or evaluate.

Peter and I joke about “being broken” because of our high school Japanese teacher. He taught us from the beginning “mirror theory” (the process of applying what the movie is saying to the perception of society. Aka ‘What is the message?’ or ‘hat is the artist trying to say?’). We had to write a paper on each film we watched in class using mirror theory. And we watched A LOT of movies. Now it’s only natural for Peter and I to analyze movies. We don’t even think about it, it just happens.

So what is the point of all these stories? I’ll tell you one more. Perhaps it will help.

Once upon a time there was a charming debonaire cowboy actor. His name is Hugh O’Brian, but most know him as his character Wyatt Earp. He went to Africa to help an Irish philosopher, Albert Schweitzer. Hugh had a blast! He loved helping the little African kids! All was merry and gay in the land. One night, before heading back to the states, he stayed up talking with the wise old sage, Albert. They had become friends and Hugh was learning so much! He asked wise Albert what he could do to help the world. What is the most important gift he could give? Do you know what Albert said?

“Teach kids not WHAT to think, but HOW to think.”

That’s what all this rambling is leading up to. It is SO important to know how to think. Ophelia did not think, she just learned. I have been taught this principle since I was very very young, and I have been teaching others since I was at least 16.

Schweitzer and Shakespeare sure are smart thinkers. It may take some practice, I am still practicing myself, but thinking is wonderful and it will get you far.

If you have any questions or wish to know more,just leave a comment below and I will get to you.

Until next time!

P.S. How do I know the story of Hugh and Albert? Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership is an organization dedicated to Schweitzer’s philosophy of teaching young minds how to think, not what to think. It’s very service orientated. If you are interested, you can visit the website, HOBY.org or if you have a freshman or sophomore in high school, talk to a counselor. It’s literally life changing. They are always in need of donations, of any kind. (It’s non-profit, so you can get a tax-write off for you or your company.) I’m currently associated with HOBY Utah, if that makes a difference.

Here’s a picture of me (17), Hugh, and my dad. How this picture came to be is a whole other story.

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Writings: Black To Gold

Sometimes I can’t sleep at night because there is something in my mind trying to get out. I’m not an avid poet, but for some reason these things plague my mind and pester me until I get them down and out on paper. Sometimes they bug even after that, asking to be shared. I’ve thought about quieting them, but I’d have to figure out how they’re talking first. It’s not natural for ideas to talk.

This one has been dancing around for weeks. Finally, one night, everything just clicked together. I wrote it down, looked at it the next morning and added what needed to be added.

BLACK AND GOLD

When our black turns to gold,

As fire sparkles the sky,

The night becomes light.

When our black changes into gold,

Will you remember me?

How you would hold me,

and I would fly?

How you could scare off the demons,

And hide the ones inside?

When our black changes into gold,

Your my hero,

And through all this time,

You’re always mine hero.

When our black changes into gold,

If Midas smiles down on our misfortune,

Or Hades sweeps us away,

You can bet I couldn’t do it without you.

I love you anyways,

I love you just the same.

The pain can wait,

Cause I need you to make it better.

And that’s it. For now.

If you’re not familiar with American military traditions, let me explain. When someone is deployed or goes “over seas” to serve their military branch, their family gets a flag to hang in their window. One star means one serviceman, two stars mean two service men, etc. These stars are black. However, when a solider dies while in service, the family gets a new flag. This time flag replaces a black star with a gold star.

I remember being a little girl and having one of these hanging in our window. My grandmas’ neighbor had a fag with two stars. One day, while driving by I noticed one of the stars was now gold. I’m happy to say my star is still black. I am very thankful for our service men and women.
ServiceFlag1ServiceFlag2

Merry Christmas

Just in case you haven’t seen this gem. It’s amazing.

Read it: The Christmas Carol

I’m a nerd. Specifically, a book and music nerd. And art. And photography. And history. And even a science. Mostly books and music. And art. And… never mind.
Anyways, this is just an open invitation to join me in reading The Christmas Carol. I’ll be reading it and taking notes. Please join me in this holiday delight. I’ll also be taking notes and highlighting quotes. I would love to hear what you have to say! I really really do!
So pour yourself a warm steamy cup of tea or hot chocolate. Snuggle in with your comfy blanket. Grab your kindle or you book and read in the glow of the holiday lights.
See you in a couple weeks,
Aubrey
P.S. I got my kindle copy for free from amazon.
P.P.S. If you just want to watch the Muppet Christmas Carol and share your thoughts on based on that, I will accept it. Any thoughts are welcome here!

Why You Should Go Caroling

I love Christmas. I love saying “Merry Christmas” to others. This isn’t another one of those posts about “Merry Christmas” vs “Happy Holidays.”

It’s only about “Merry Christmas.” Thanks for the Happy Thanksgivinkkuhs.

My mom’s birthday was last week (Happy 50th, you whippersnapper!) so we saw The Christmas Carol at the local Hale Center Theater. I have never been so touched by this story before. So many golden nuggets! But that’s a different post as well.

Aside from the performance by actors, the music was the most powerful christmas music my ears have ever heard. And I listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir! The music itself was not unique, it was just Christmas carols. The singers were nothing extraordinary (although they were very talented, don’t get me wrong.) But when they sang, they SANG! It reminded me the original purpose for singing. To express in a way mere words cannot. I cried. Shamelessly. I will never hear those carols the same way ever. Ever!

So that ignited the Christmas Spirit inside me. I wanted to share that experience with everyone! The downside of live theater. I understand now why people practically whisper when they ask if you’ve ever seen that particular performance. It’s special. What is your favorite version of that story? Muppets? Patrick Stewart? Jim Carrey? Nicholson? The book?

My mom is a big fan of those seek-and-find adventure games. She’s also the biggest fan of Christmas I have ever met. So, it’s fitting she has a christmas carol seek-and-find. In this particular game, you have to find things people are missing and return it to them. I didn’t want to give a caroler his hat because he was singing and I was enjoying it. Again, nothing special. Just two voices (a man and a woman) singing silent night. That’s all. It’s just a silly little video game! Da li ražumeš?

This year the big deal is “Sing-Ins”. That’s great and all, you get the enjoyment of caroling. But I think you miss the point. The point of caroling is to share the spirit of the holidays. What would happen if we still caroled, door to door? How many more lonely or alienated souls would feel something more special.

So they’re songs about Christ. How is that offensive? I could talk about the war between “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Holidays” but I won’t. I don’t need to. The spirit of Christ is the spirit of love and peace. The spirit of Christmas is the spirit of love and peace. The spirit of caroling is sharing and spreading that love and peace, to neighbors we don’t know. Because during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving to New Years (excluding Black Friday), we are all friends and neighbors. 

Imagine this. How would you feel? You are thinking of all the things you have to do. The house that needs cleaning. Finals that need acing. Friends that need socializing. Work that needs to be done. How on earth will you get all this done? Then you hear a knock at the door. “Who knocks?” You open it. 9 strangers, some you might recognize as your next door neighbor or the crazy neighborhood driver. They start singing to you. No introduction. No hello. Just singing in harmony. For a moment, time stops. Your worries leave your mind. Perhaps it’s confusion over why people would trek through the cold to sing. Don’t they know it’s bad for their voices? Then just like that, they wish you a merry Christmas and leave. You go back to whatever you were doing.

2 minutes of suspended reality.

What’s a better gift than that?

Merry Christmas.


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