Croatian cooking culture
Our blog has taken a few months long hiatus, but it got rekindled today by my attendance of a conference for small family accommodation providers. I had so many business maintenance plans for this winter, and before I knew it, the winter is no more, and my plans didn’t materialize. The flowers started blooming, the gardens need weeding, and our guests are here. I’m being flexible, and going with the flow. Engaging with our guests is our first priority, and keeping our apartments immaculate. The rest happens when it can.
We had our first women’s yoga retreat last week, with Say Yes to You and our dear friend and yoga teacher Labet, with Joe and Roux being the only two males among us. Joe was here to nourish our bodies with his yummy, home-cooked food, gluten free and vegetarian meals were included, and Roux was here to keep our hands busy petting him and sharing a small piece of his couch in our living room, turned into the retreat dining room for cooler and rainy days. As the visit with our newly bonded with sisters’ was coming to an end, we thought we would take it easy this week to clean and prepare for the next round of friends visiting; but the universe had a different plan for us!
We listed Joe’s cooking class on Airbnb experience, with the first available day being April 9, the day after our retreat attendees leave. On that morning, while crying our goodbys at the bus station in Vodice, our first cooking class reservation came through, for two days later. So, off we went, speedy preparing for this next event. Still wiping our noses and teary eyes, our first stop from the bus station was a home store to pick up a few items we needed to get the newly renovated and equipped commercial kitchen ready for the cooking class. Joe spent a day cleaning and organizing his kitchen tools and gadgets, and writing his recipe book, while I spent my day in the laundry room, washing sheets and finding a place for everything that Joe threw out of his kitchen, which has been our junk room until now.
Our first cooking students arrived. Rain all day didn’t phase us or slowed down our pace. Our students and the chef put their aprons on and started to cut a bunch of veggies, to practice their knife skills. In no time, the peka tray was filled with veggies, cut up chicken and herbs, freshly picked from our garden. Outside on the grill, the wood was burning, being sprinkled with rain, but still making hot coals for the peka (Traditional cooking technique - on an open fire under a stainless steel bell). I lingered around the class a bit, snapping some pics and making videos, and then flutered to my next activity for the day - a conference for small family vacation accommodation providers, hosted by our Tourist board and our Small Business Center. In the room filled with about 50 people who do the same thing we do, the message I heard over and over again was that what makes us, family accommodation providers, different from hotels is our hospitality, our presence on the property, and our local knowledge. I put a check mark by each of these three, and stayed tuned for what else I could learn that day. And I did a lot.
The day ended leaving me feeling content, happy and grateful for the richness of experiences it brought into our lives.