Bulgaria has been in my every thought this week. I’ve been reflecting on all the blessings this sweet country has already brought to my life. It was the background for the shaping of my faith as an impressionable 18 year old. It was the setting where God revealed great things to me about Himself. It was where I met many life-long friends–Bulgarian, British, and American. Without these friendships, I would be lost. It has also brought friends through adoption–I’ve met dozens of other mamas waiting for their children from Bulgaria, and they are my support and encouragement–true family–as I travel this journey.
And, of course, I await an even greater blessing. A son or daughter. Bulgaria is synonymous in my life with love.
This time of year is when I crave Bulgarian food. I have eggplant, cabbage, cucumbers, zuchinni and tomatoes pouring out of my garden–staples for any Bulgarian dish. And, I always keep a good amount of feta cheese close by too! Yesterday, I decided (without proper planning) that I would throw together something with what I had on hand. A self-declared Bulgarian feast.
Now, this blog post isn’t going to be to show you my cooking skills (or lack thereof). It is simply for all my fellow Bulgarian-adopting mamas who are looking for some yummy recipes to try out before bringing our sweet children home….or to try after they are home!
Shopska Salad: Cucumbers/ Tomatoes/ Feta
This recipe is what I think of first when I think of Bulgarian cuisine. It was served to me for every single meal, every single day that I was in Bulgaria until I was sick of it and thought I never wanted to see cucumbers again. But, what was the first thing I craved when stepping off the plane in the states? You guessed it. Although mine can NEVER be as good as the traditional because there is no comparison to Bulgarian feta, we love it and eat it throughout the summer.
Sarmi: Stuffed Cabbage Leaves
I think there may be a million variations of this dish, but we used what we had on hand, and it was really good. I need to work on my cabbage rolling skills (and add more water) to perfect it though!
Tickvichki Mousaka: Zuchinni and Egg Dish
This one surprised my family the most. I wasn’t sure how keen we would be on an egg side dish for supper. But, man, we woofed it down. Everyone loved it. This was our favorite by far, and Andy asked me to put it on “the rotation” of zuchinni dishes!
Garash Torte: Walnut Torte
Again, probably a lot of variations of this dish. It turned out beautifully, but I think there is room for improvement on taste. Without having the real thing to compare it to, I think I underbaked it quite a bit. It was more of a cheesecake consistency than cake, and was very greasy. I think 10 more minutes in the oven and it would have tasted as good as it looked. My family still swore they loved the flavors, but I’m convinced I didn’t do it justice!
THE END RESULT:
A house without children is like a dish without spices.