Baking with Baka Second Time Around

***Before I get into this post, I must confess.  I promised myself at the beginning of the year that I would post once a week for 2013, and well… I’ve already broken that promise!  I missed the last couple weeks, so I will be putting out a few posts this week, to make up for my lack of discipline.  Maybe that’ll get me back on track. Now, on to the post!

If you remember, I wrote back in December about our first Baking with Baka (Croatian for Grandma) day my female cousins and I had with my Baka.  We had such a blast, that we decided to do it again, and yesterday everyone came over to my place, and we made one of our favourite desserts, Puhanci (pronounced poo-han-see).  The problem with making these absolutely delicious desserts is you get to see what actually goes into them, which sometimes you don’t want to do… but we all still had our share despite the large amount of calories we were taking in!

With how busy our days can become, you don’t realize how long time passes before seeing loved ones, till its gone.  These afternoons that we all spend together are a wonderful way to touch base, see what’s new in everyone’s lives, and eat some delicious food at the same time!

Learning Grandma’s Secret Recipe

Last Saturday, I got to spend the afternoon with my female cousins and my grandmother.  We were learning my grandmother’s recipe for a favoured dessert by us all, called gibanica (gee-baa-nee-cza).

sugared and done_resized

As most grandmothers, I’m sure, ours never goes by a recipe, but simply makes this from memory – or maybe feel.  No measurements are involved when she bakes, just what feels right to her.  And what feels right to her, tastes awesome to us!  So, we decided to spend the afternoon, learning this one recipe.  Ingredient by ingredient, we measured it all out, wrote it down with instructions for each step, and slowly learnt how to make this killer dish.  At the same time, we had a wonderful opportunity to spend time with our grandmother in a way that I don’t think any of us ever have before, and it offered all of us a chance for some cousin bonding time as well.

folding flour into yeast mixture_resized

kneading dough into ball_resized

Now, before you start thinking, ‘horrible granddaughters, making grandma do all the work’ – we tried!  Every single one of us, down to one of her great granddaughters that was there as well, tried kneading the dough, but apparently we weren’t doing a good enough job.  So, of course, she had to show us how.  Grandma knows best, after all!

dough for kneading_resized

Now, my grandmother is in her eighties, so we weren’t sure how this would go over with her – if she would be too tired, if there would be too much going on for her, or if she simply wouldn’t like being away from her home for such a long period of time.  And yes, it did take some convincing on the part of a couple of us to get her to come to one of our homes, but in the end it was worth it.  A memory that we will all cherish for years to come, and amazingly, a grandmother who loved it so much that she wants to do it again!  I think she just enjoyed teasing us all for our poor mixing and kneading skills, while we were all in the same room …. whatever the reason is that she loved it so much, I’m definitely in for another day of it!