I am in the middle of making a large batch of decorated shortbread biscuits for Jordan and Venka's 50th anniversary bash. I started early as I will be needing icing for the biscuits and icing sugar here is coarse, so doesn't make icing as we know it so needed time to find a solution. Made a batch of roll-out icing from a recipe with good reviews on the internet, but it hasn't worked due to the sugar. Grrrrrrrrr. What a waste. So off we went to find some more, bought two lots, one branded and one packed into plastic bags by the shop. But the same problem. So it looks as if I am going to have to use the very expensive modelling sugar paste I brought with me and hope it works. I can make royal icing as well, and we have made a load of flowers from some paste left over from Christmas. Pics next time.
On return I was busy weighing out when the door bell went and Baba Danka from across the road was there at the gate. Although she knows I don't speak the language, she gabbled away so I had to call Dave for assistance. The dogs were running around and the door was open, but we were taken over to Baba Danka's house and there was lunch all laid out. Dave had seen Danka a few days ago and for all he knows they might have arranged this, so here we were, the dogs waiting for our return, the woodburner and electric oven happily warming the village via the open door, and Baba Danka chattering away about who knows what. Anyway, the rakia was poured and we tucked in to pickled cauliflower and peppers. Danka carefully explained how they were prepared, but no idea of amounts. Then there was banitsa (cheese and egg pie) a huge piece. Dave was telling Danka how nice the wine she gave us at Christmas was, so then out came a bottle for him to drink with his banitsa. Thinking of the biscuits I declined, and was given some day-glo orange pop instead. Then after the banitsa was a sachet of 3in1 nescafe...more sugary drink. The things we do eh, I detest sweet drinks of any kind. The 'kettle' was a bit alarming. Water was put into a small coffe pan like the ones used in Greece, but then a kettle element with a plug attached was put in and plugged in to the socket! I have said before that a lot of the villagers are very poor by our standards, and the house supported this. But they are so generous and will give you whatever they can. As we left I was presented with a pair of knitted slippers which are the norm here. I had worn a pair of sandals with no socks, so when I shed the sandals on entering the house I was bare foot, only because I had no idea we were going over. I think Dave might have invited Danka over for coffee tomorrow......
The dogs were pleased to see us, the house was full of mud from their feet, and I hope they hadn't been bothering the neighbours as it seems they have had the sheep killed and the bits are decorating the garden. Too much for a dog to ignore! The carcase seems to be chopped up with an axe rather than butchered in the conventional British way.
Dave insisted on doing a bit more work on the chicken house though I argues this was not a good idea with a skin full! We had been out for the wood yesterday, the people there are incredibly helpful and friendly. We bought some good stout timber for the door farame for the new chicken house and a load of batons for tomato stakes. The language can be a bit difficult when it comes to counting and amounts still, but the muck on the side of the car was useful as a 'chalk board'! Much to the timber merchant's amusement.
We had been to the market but were too early and a lot of the stalls had been just setting up, so rather than be too early at the wood yard we called in at the river to see if there was anything interesting there. It was still -4 and misty but we did see heron and what looked like a stork fly over. There was a mad jay amusing himself with acrobatics in a tree. We parked up in our usual spot but apart from the jay following us there was nothing doing....then a madman appeared in the water! I couldn't believe it, it was minus 4. I stayed in the car.
On the way back to the road a great white egret flew over so we stopped for a photo, but only had my little camera and it couldn't cope with the mist and distance. Still we managed a fuzzy shot. On the way home there was a huge flock of fieldfares who of course didn't hang about to have their portraits taken, another fuzzy pic!