28 November 2012

Yes, another picture of my dog.

When Little Miss Peeper, aka Snuggle Wagon, came into my life, I was assured she would be no bigger than knee-high-to-a-grasshopper and would require just a handful of food each day.  I met her mother several times and her mom was seriously about the size of a 4 slice toaster.  Nobody knew who the daddy was though.  Well, it turns out her daddy must have been something kind of tall, because at just 7 months, Miss Peeper is already 46cm tall at the shoulder.  And she's got another several months of growing to do!

Here's a funny question I get from locals all the time:  does the dog understand Croatian or English?  Well, she certainly doesn't listen to anything I tell her to do in English or Croatian.  So I'm guessing that she speaks the universal language of dogs:  snacks.

And in case you are wondering...yes, she really is this shiny.  

17 November 2012

Čvarci time again and again and again!

If you like to make your own čvarci (like I do) then you'll be interested in a little tip that I figured out over the last couple years.  Pork fat can be frozen!  Nobody told me this piece of information, and I'm guessing because nobody knows it.  You see, every winter, people make sausages out of their pigs, and they take the pork fat, cut it into little squares and heat it up in a big pot and make čvarci.  They cool the remaining hot fat into lard which is used for the next couple months.  But the čvarci is cooked on the spot, and eaten over the next couple weeks.  Sounds okay, except in my experience, there's too much čvarci all at once, and everyone kind of gets sick of it.  And then it is all gone until next year.

I couldn't make myself fry up huge batches of čvarci anymore.  It is a lot of work, and I had way too much on my hands.  So a couple of years ago, against everyone's advice, I took all of the raw pork fat, weighed it out into 2.5kg portions, and then froze those portions in individual vacuum packed bags.  Then, when I felt like having čvarci, I'd defrost the raw fat, and fry up a small portion.  It came out great.  I had čvarci (and the associated cooking lard) in spring, summer, fall, and even now leading up to winter.  It is great!

If you decide to give it a try, I'd love to know how it turns out for you.  Dobar tek!