November 23, 2014

Indonesian food in Svinisce, huh.........yes indeed

(Picture from:

Yes indeed, sometimes we enjoy Indonesian food here in Svinisce.
This may be weird to you, but let me explain.

First of all, I am a Dutchman (oh, but thát explains a lot :-).
No serious, that explains a LOT.

Always, when in history there are connections between some countries, there is exchange of customs, ánd food.
Croatian cuisine for instance has it's cevapcici and soparnik from Ottoman times (yes folks, they are originally Turkish dishes), the Dutch inherited Indonesian food from being colonisers of Indonesia.
(That explains also why Americans have hamburgers, imported by their German ancestors, and the Dalmatians pizza's).

Lucky Dutch, having been connected to Indonesia (and not Germany), as once you've tasted an Indonesian dinner like the one on the picture, you'll understand (and want more).

My mother (100% Amsterdam) was a fine home cook, and from her we all learned and love good food.
Her cooking skills even motivated me to become a professional cook.
And by coincidence there were some other connections to Indonesian dinners, but than this page gets to long.

I was (and still am) cooking every day, and love to create food.
And there we go, as Croatia is extremely rich of excellent ingredients.
Fish, meat, fruits, poultry, vegetables and even a lot of spices are excellent, and crying to be become a great dish.

So they become great dishes, every day something different, always tasty, and always at least an hour or more preparing it, 
as cooking takes time, unless you love micro waves :-(
(Lucky me, hating micro waves, being retired, with plenty of time).

Indonesian food however, especially like in the picture, takes a lót of time, even up to two days, so I only do that for good friends, 
and mid you, not tó often.
IF....however I do, it's always D-licious !

The only (minor) problem is that a lot of ingredients and spices are not available in Croatian supermarkets, so once in a while I make a list of missing stuff, and organise some sort of "transport" from Holland.
(Things are slowly changing however, as Konzum's big supermarket in Split today sells coconut milk, soy sauce, fresh ginger and more of those goodies, and I grow my own lemon grass).

Still, a lot of these dishes can be prepared from available ingredients, and believe me, once you dig in you wish for more and more often.
And that's my only problem, as when I start eating Indonesian food, 
I simply can't stop.

Okay, those two days in the kitchen are another problem, 
but that's all for the good cause.
And hospitality happens to be a shared Dalmatian/Dutch virtue.

Selamat makan, or in other words, dobar tek.

Anywhere on the web you can find recipes, 
for instance of "sate" or "satay", a grilled delicacy.
Having a "rostil" (a charcoal grill every Dalmatian has), good meat (pig, goat or chicken), garlic, ginger, red chilly peppers and soy sauce in any good supermarket, makes a perfect introduction to a great kitchen.
Slice the meat in cubes, marinate it in a mix of it all, 
put it in the fridge for hours or a night.
Than put a couple of cubes on every skewer, 
and grill them for a couple of minutes.
!!! Careful, any sweet (and dark soy sauce is) burns easily !!!
Dip it in a sauce made of peanut butter*), dark soy, lemon juice, garlic and water, and serve with some cucumber, 
bread, rice or french fries.
AND......a nice cold beer of course !

*) Nót the sweet, flavoured, creamy American peanut butter however, 
but genuine Dutch "pindakaas" from Calvé.

November 22, 2014

for those who can't wait

(click to enlarge).

Things are going fast, perfect quality and just as planned.
Hard to explain how very much we like the way the entire process of enlarging our house is going.
From almost "less than nothing"with a serious lack of space, to thé perfect house in ten weeks is  truly amazing.

Sorry for those who want to see what it's like already,
sorry, but our camera ran out of power,
and the charger is "somewhere" covered with plastic.

Should you want to see it as it is already, better come and have a look.
The fire is burning, the beer is cold, and for those who are hungry there is always a sandwich or a handful of peanuts:-)

But trust me, it will be finished Christmas (2014),
ánd it will be thé móst lovely house with thé móst fantastic view.


November 19, 2014

oil from the Adriatic ,don't say you didn't know !

Come one friends, come on and say NO before it's to late.

YOU, I, WE all love the Adriatic, but for how long ?
Those oil drilling plans are UTTERLY STUPID
as they may destroy the móst beautiful coastline in Europe.

Sign that petition NOW:

I can keep on blogging about all natural beauty of Dalmatia,
but what if there ain't no beauty anymore ?

I won't say please, I simply say do it, and do it NOW !

As if we don't say NO, politicians will run for the short term money,
with a high risk of ruining it all it the long term.

Yes yes, they say (bla bla bla), they say they take every possible precaution  to protect the environment, but didn't they say so about those many disasters too.

Do I have to to summarize them ?
No I won't, as Google shows them all to you in a split second.
To make things easy for you (and you politicians),
look here:

Now do go back to the first link, and sign that damned petition.
Do it NOW.

November 18, 2014

if there is no news, any news will do

(A new Olympic sport, man throwing)

Specially for those who have seen it all,
been everywhere, experienced everything (or at least think so).
Until............. you discover Svinisce,
as thán you realise you've seen nothing yet.

What to do when there is nothing to share about our life in Svinisce ?
Become a member of Facebook.

So I did, after long lasting hesitation, objection, dislike.
And must admit, it's fun, until it becomes a time consuming thing.

So DÓN'T try to become friends with me, at least not on Facebook,
as I still have some other hobbies and jobs to like.

Nevertheless, it's fun and finding this picture made me laugh a lot.
To respect the "owner", his rights and/or his temper, here it was:

So, sorry for those who think there is always something interesting happening in our hidden valley.
No, some days are just "another day", where everybody is either
working or resting, dreaming or facing reality.

So I became member of Facebook.
For those who really know me, thát is news !

Till next item than.

November 12, 2014

Budweiser vs. BUD, a good reason to visit Croatia

How does a blog page get born ?
Well, here's how.

Once in a while I have email contact with a Belgian guy called Eddy, who is like us a big fan of Dalmacija.

Recently he wrote me he took a box of Karlovacko beer all the way back home to Belgium.
Nothing wrong with that, as he can sit back, open a bottle, close his eyes and dream back to another great holiday in Dalmatia.

Than I realised I had a beer story in mind, so better put it on "paper".
First of all, there are a couple of big national breweries in Croatia, and they sell a lot of it.
In the middle of building some extra space to our modest house, we see a lot of workers, and most of them have beer when I still have my first, second or third coffee.
Must be their sunny climate, and my Dutch habits :-)

But let's put a couple of the biggest breweries in a row:
Karlovacko (owned by Heineken)
Ozusjko (owned by Inbev)
Kaltenberg ( owned by HRH Prinz Luitpold von Bayern ?)

And than there are a couple others, fighting for a market share:
Jupiler, Heineken, Bavaria and many others.

But (no, I don't mean BUD)......
my absolute favourite is Budweiser !
Ho there........., before you think I drink American beer, hell no.
As American beer is like American coffee, so forget about that.

No, this Budweiser is the original from the Czech Republic, and that's a perfect reason to visit Croatia :-).
Simply said, because that makes a HUGE difference.
For details, see:

As despite many legal fights between those big Americans and "tiny" original Budweiser here in Croatia it's Budweiser and nót Bud.

And thank heaven we've got Budweiser, the original Budweiser, 
the one and only true Budweiser.
And not only the blond version, but also a dark one.
One for summer, one for winter so to say.

Tasty, refreshing, a mild little bitter, and a pleasure to drink.

Cheers, or to say it in Croatian:
Zjivio (if saying cheers to one man)
Zjivila (to a single lady)
Zjivali (to a group of man, women, mixed).

And Eddy, thanks for the inspiration. question remains:
How dare you take Karlovacko to Belgium, to beer drinkers paradise :-)

There is only óne good reason to order a Heineken:
When you have to clean your glass before you fill it with béér).
And I am allowed to say so, coming from Holland.


November 11, 2014

Zadvardje, Tuesday bazaar

Zadvardje's Tuesday Bazaar.
It's worth to put on your bucket list !

Every Tuesday, all year round, but certainly in summer, 
there is a market in Zadvadje.

If staying let's say between Split and Makarska, it's easy to get there.
Between those two cities there is a road going up towards Zadvardje, Sestanovac and the highway, you simply can't miss it.

Get up early, as the earlier the more you'll see.
Here they sell whatever you (may not) need, from donkeys, cows, fruits, vegetables, cheese, and a lot more.
Some even try to sell their mother in law :-)

The bést however, is the grilled lamb or pig, 
as those two are mouth watering !
You tell what part or how much you want, than step back, as they portion the meat with a kitchen axe, so juices are splashing around.
Our personal favourite is the young pig, straight from the grill, and it's crispy skin is worth killing for (which they already did for you).

Like I said, you order and pay, than take your portion to the terrace next to it, find yourself a free table and sit down.
The waitress will give you a dish, bread and spring onions, and cutlery, but those you don't need, as it's perfectly normal to use your hands.
Of course you get a serviette too, don't worry. 

Having such an absolutely delicious early lunch or late breakfast is a thing you won't easily forget !
Accompanied by a glass of local wine (or mineral water) 
your Dalmatian day get's thé perfect start.

Waiting for a new owner.

Don't stand to close.

Tools in every shape and size.

Once a month there is also a big market (bazaar) near Benkovac, but to be honest, our's in Zadvarje is much more pleasant.
And besides, it's not as far as Benkovac.

After visiting the market, you can go for a look into the deepest part of the Cetina Canyon, or return to the coast (with a stunning panorama), and go for a lazy swim.
If so, turn right direction Omis, and after about fifteen minutes you'll see a sign called Brzet on your left.
Turn left here, drive on till you see the restaurant Zvizdan down right.

As you already had an early lunch, ignore the restaurant and head straight for the beach.
It's a perfect place to be lazy, and once you get hungry again, you can sit at the terrace and order whatever you like.

Don't leave to soon, as later in the afternoon/early evening it's a fantastic place, seeing the sun go down over Omis.
And......but no guaranty, you might see some dolphins too.

So again, you know now why we live here :-) 

November 10, 2014

about pigs and REAL dalmatian prsut (smoke/dried/ripened ham).

The pigs still alive and growing,
but in about a month happiness comes to an end.
For the pigs that is, as than the fun starts for us humans.

Ho ho, stop for a moment.
As before the fun starts, and I mean the REAL fun of tasting a slice
(or two) of that unique delicacy I better explain a bit about the
Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut .

The whát ????

Guess I don't have to explain the word Dalmatinski (Dalmatian),
so on to the next two words than:
"Domaci", as that means Home Made, and nothing else.
And this type of Prsut (pronounced as "purshoot"),
is the unique result of a time consuming traditional process. 

This summer I discovered much so called "home made" hams, 
neatly sliced and packed, ready to enjoy the "real" Dalmatian taste.
Well, sorry to say, some of it are just good products, many however are not even copies.
From Italy, Spain, Istria, Slovenia, even Germany or Holland.
Mind you, nót from Dalmacija, and íf they are, not the real thing.
So when wanting to taste real Domaci Prsut, don't rely on fancy names.

As what makes a traditional:
Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut

First of all the pig !
As this pig has been eating dried figs, herbs, clover,
potatoes and a lot more, 
to change in quality and taste, not even growing thát much.

And when the pig stops being pig, it's time for tradition.
As everyone has his own traditional recipe for salt and spices.
Salt to extract water and conserve, spices to add to the flavour.
The hams during that process are pressed to get rid of
as much watery content as possible.
(As in the end, it must become a smoked, dried, ripened ham, right ?).

As after this step, the hams are hanged in what 's called the black kitchen.
Black indeed, from many years of smoke from wood fires.
And even the wood to create the daily amount of smoke drying,
adds a personal touch.

Lucky hams, because they are not alone, as at the same time a variety of bacon, sausages and other delicacies are hanging out,
in mild warm smoke and chilling cold dry air.
Not just a single week or so, no, for weeks and weeks and weeks. 
How long is a matter of experience, enough is never to much.

Than, as I am telling about DOMACI !, the hams keep hanging
for at least half a year.
Only touched by the winter winds, dry and cold.
And even better, the very best are like good wine, the longer they ripen, the more intense colour and flavour become.
Some even are one or two years, and those are the véry best.

In the end, as like in a good film there is a happy end,
the moment comes to slice some of it.
Colour ruby red, tending to reddish brown, and structure and taste a delicate mix of sweetness, saltiness, not even a smoky taste.
In one simple word: D.....LICIOUS !

As soon as processing starts, I'll add a series of pictures to this blog.
No pictures for vegetarians, but the animal dies after a good life,
ánd for the good cause.

Dalmatinski Domaci Prsut

And sorry to say,
but that has a quality you'll néver find in a shop or supermarket.
Better become friends with someone who is willing to share some.

Sorry again, I haven't, but I dó have some good friends :-)