There are big plans afoot. Secrets and excitement. We know something is happening tonight but are not sure what. One thing is for sure it will involve food. There is no gathering of any sort without food and in Croatia it is planned with the utmost attention to detail. Everything is prepared to give us the best of what Croatia has to offer. Examples of what our Grandfather would have eaten.
On our return we are dripping with sweat from our walk and race up to have showers and change. The table is set and very quickly Rina is up and yelling at us, (in a non confrontational way) haha! to jolly well get down there as dinner will be served any minute. Well that’s what I think she meant at least!
Wine is poured and beers and water and Slobodan has made us mojitos each…and then we are seated. We have two plates so I know there is at least two courses. Food is not done by halves here and we are nervous that the courses will overtake our capacity. We console ourselves with the fact that we walked to the Monastery until Mirjana tells us that during our walk we have used up approximately as much calories as an apple. What! “It must’ve been a BIG apple is all I can say” remarks Lindy laughing.
As we sit at the table we are presented with the two bottles of wine Tony had especially bottled and presented to them at the time of our reunion. They had bought them home to Croatia and waited for us to arrive. Tony gives a speech and Rina replies amidst much hilarity and then another surprise. Gifts of books and bracelets with a silver cutout of Brac for each of the siblings to always be reminded of where our base is and a gift for each of the others. Then yet another surprise. Koloe arrives with a guitar, another lady and they begin to serenade us with the most beautiful Croatian melodies Rina loves to sing, and I have Rina on one side of me and Koloe on the other, so you could say I have an earful haha! But Rina has a beautiful rich voice and he’s pretty damn good on the guitar.
First course is a range of salads and dried meats, beautifully presented amongst olives and tomatoes and melons and local cheeses. I’m very conscious of not eating too much of this as the lamb surely will appear soon, and so it does. Plates and plates of it. With nothing but a little salt added during cooking it’s favour is truly amazing having ambled thru the olive trees nibbling on rosemary and other herbs it is imbued with all the flavours naturally.
I know there was some dessert made so I have left a spot, but we are not prepared for the huge basket of almond nut crunch and bowls of sweet pastry. Enough to feed an army. Oh but it’s not over yet. Just when we think we have got through and done our best even more arrives. A sweet plated dessert that I think is panne cotta is so delicious. Even tho we are full to bursting we let it slip down our throats in all it’s velvet richness.
We find ourselves singing and clapping along to the Croatian songs which he cleverly intersperses with well known English numbers. We have a go at the NZ national anthem. ‘ It’s a long way to Tipperary ‘ and Tony tests him with a couple of Elvis Presley numbers. We jump up to dance to the twist and even Tanja leaps up and joins in. It is so much fun. We start to flag. It’s been a long hot day and Rina at 83? puts us to shame as she belts out song after song. Gilbert slips away and fails to return and eventually Tony manages to also, much to Rina’s disgust. Rina told us earlier we will party to at least 1am or else. It’s now midnight and I wait until Holly has come back before I head to the toilet but once up here I decide to stay and do my days blog. I’m going to wear it tomorrow, but we will face that tomorrow.
Thank you all our Croatian family. You pulled out all the stops. It has been an amazing day from beginning to end and we appreciate every single moment you have given of yourselves, not just today but right through and we will never forget it.
The singers are now quiet and there’s just the cicadas filling the gap in the night with the last few dishes being gathered up. I will no doubt fall into peaceful slumber though Gilbert did wake earlier and ask me if I’m asleep. “No”, I answer, “how can I be, I’m sitting up?” “Well I thought it must be you snoring it’s so loud.”
Nope, that’s Lindy, but she’s quietened now so it’s a good time to lie down. Tomorrow we explore Novo Sello. Night everyone!