One of the trademarks of the Plitvice Lakes area, along with all its natural beauties, are certainly the harsh and cold winters. According to tradition, people from the Lika area start preparing for the long cold winter at the beginning of autumn. As the people from this area were mainly engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, they had to provide their families with a comfortable life even in these cold months.
Already at the end of summer, while the weather on Plitvice was still sunny, in front of each house you could see a pile of logs that the residents diligently stacked in a covered area to have firewood over the winter. The wood stove was mostly located in the kitchen, which was also the central place of every home.
The arrival of the first frost meant 2 things: making of rakia brandy and meat processing and preparation of dry meat products. Each household had a special recipe for the preparation of sausages, dry pork salami, cracklings and bacon, and the process of making it took several days. It was not uncommon to drink rakia with the preparation of meat and vice versa.
At the end of autumn, ripe fruits and vegetables are harvested, which are the result of year-round work of the whole family. Vegetables such as peppers, beets, cucumbers, onions, legumes and more are placed in jars and topped with vinegar and spices to make a delicious salad that can be eaten throughout the winter, i.e. until the vegetables ripen next year. Trust us, we tried it, almost any vegetable can be pickled 😊
In addition to flowers, each house had a garden with herbs. The plants were picked, and finely chopped and dried to have different spices for the whole year. So every day the house smelled of some other plant. One day it would be parsley, basil, rosemary, mint, thyme, sage and many more.
The fruit was mainly used for compotes, jams and jams. In addition, apples were also used to make homemade vinegar. The recipe for vinegar could not be simpler. Apples, sugar and water are needed. Chop the apples, add water and sprinkle with sugar to start the fermentation process. The mixture is covered with gauze and left in a warm place to ferment for a month. The mixture is filtered and poured into glass bottles.
The best recipes are those that originally came from Grandma’s kitchen. What grandmothers can do, no one else can. Although people then mostly lived in poverty, with their hard work, creativity and creativity they created delicacies that we all love today.
At Etno Garden we try to maintain the spirit of tradition. We believe that it is important to preserve old customs, so we try to show all our visitors what life was like on Plitvice in the past, and is there a better way than through delicious snacks and a glass of good brandy.