Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Bulgaria - one pot meal

I’m still adjusting to the idea of being forty. My two friends, Kathy and Tracy, sent me flowers with a card that read, “tell people you’re 18 with 22 years experience.” Julia thought this was hilarious. She’s been telling this joke to everyone - the dentist, her piano teacher, the grocery store cashier. Everyone that my daughter has contact with, and who can do simple math, knows how old I am.

Our Bulgarian dinner was a one-pot meal. I made Sirene po Shopski, a dish from Sofia, the capital, one of the oldest cities in Europe. I was supposed to cook the meal in earthenware pots. Instead I used small porcelain dishes. It still turned out well. It was a vegetarian dish made with eggs, chilies, tomatoes, roasted peppers and lots of cheese.

Bulgaria is in the Balkans in south Eastern Europe. It borders Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, Turkey and the Black sea. It’s cuisine is famous for its salads, its many dairy products like the Bulgarian feta cheese, and soups. Many of the popular Bulgarian dishes are common to Turkey and Greece as well, such as moussaka and baklava.

Kevin was at a business dinner but the kids and I were home and happy to eat our one-pot meal. I was exhausted. Kevin and I had been to a rock concert the night before and didn’t get home until one in the morning. I was feeling too old for this lack of sleep.

My friend, Jen, called me and we complained about our blogs and how we just don’t get links and page rank, and what’s this world coming to anyway?

“And then Kevin took me to a Chris Daughtry concert last night,” I ranted, “and we didn’t get home until one in the morning! And the noise at this concert was deafening. Thank God we brought our earplugs! I mean, how do people stand it?”

When we went to the concert I left my purse at home but since it was that time of the month for me Kevin was kind enough to carry a tampon in his coat pocket. I joked with him that if he hadn’t thought of bringing the earplugs I would have stuffed that tampon in my ears.

“And I brought my book,” I told Jen. “I was able to read on the train and in between the band acts.”

That’s right. There I was at a rock concert wearing earplugs and reading a book. And I’m concerned that Julia is telling everyone that I’m forty? Maybe I should be concerned that everyone thinks I’m a big nerd who’d rather spend my evenings cooking cuisines from around the world and making Bulgarian one-pot meals.

I’m forty. I’m not supposed to care what people think anymore.

Sirene po shopski

4 eggs
4 chilies
4 tomatoes, sliced
4 roasted peppers, chopped
a pinch of oregano and parsley
1 lb feta cheese
1/3 lb mozzarella

In 4 small earthenware pots, put in a layer each of cheese, peppers, tomatoes, and more cheese. Close the pots with lids and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until the cheese on top is melted. Break an egg on top of each dish and cook for 5 minutes or until the egg is the way you like it.

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