As regular readers of this board are aware, I am not known as a willing participant in holiday family gatherings. I made an exception for Easter this year since cousins on my Mother's side of the family were getting together together at their family home. I hadn't seen them together in over twenty years before this past summer at the funeral for their father, (my Mother's older brother), and was intersted in visiting with them under more pleasant circumstances.My cousin Dr Mike, who took over my Uncle's medical practice, maintains the family home. The house itself is right out of the pages of an early 1950's Better Homes and Gardens, complete with what has to be one of the first in-home central work stations and a collection of vintage cook books. It's situated on a spectacular lakefront site. The building and furishings, cutting edge architecture and technology for their day, are remarkably intact. The home deserves a post of it's own, which I'll try and provice later.Mikes's brother, my cousin Greg, came from Berkley, and their sister Steph flew in from Holland, where she's lived for twenty-five years. Her husband Pietr was already in this country on business, and they had all planned to meet here to finalize some matters concerning my Uncle's estate and the family foundation he established to fund medical school scholarships and assist local communities with public health related projects. Since these are my Serbian relatives, all of whom love to cook and eat, gathering for an Easter Dinner seemed destined. Since the only other guests would be my parents, my Brother, and my Sister w/ SO I figured it was a crowd I could handle.The dinner, served as a rather informal sit or walk around brunch, featured both a traditional ham and, traditional for Serbians, a beautiful leg of lamb. (Dr Mike, being a surgeon, carved them expertly.) There were lots of sides and breads, and a nice salad of mixed baby greens with citrus, strawberries and goat cheese which I personally enjoyed very much. Dessert, prepared by my Sister proved to be the highlight of the meal. Policinkas were one of my late GrandMother's specialties from the Old Country. They are like a very thin crepe with either a fruit or cheese filling, tightly wrapped and then baked until, (if executed properly), the wrap and filling meld. My Mother's are pretty good, but my own attempts have resulted in nothing more special than filled crepes, which are fine, but they're not policinkas. My Sister's were as good as I've eaten since my Grandmother died some twenty-five years ago. I will try and get a recipe from her. The fruit-filled ones featured a homemade blackberry jam, and those with the cottage cheese filling were just sweet enough to compliment the fruit. In her Iron Chef guise, she also experimented with a Nutella filled policinka which needs a little further development work texturewise. Many bottles of champagne were consumed, and conversations ranged from old family stories to word processing technology, European politics, American cars, and of course food and cooking. (I also introduced the concept of Jousting Peeps, which Dr Mike enjoyed immensely!) In deference to my parent's sensiblities I waited until they left before telling stories about some of some of my more exciting adventures, All in all, a pretty good time. We hope to all get together again this Summer when perhaps our only other surviving relative, our cousin Paula, will be able to join us.SB (full)(with left-overs in the fridge)
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