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Blair Kilpatrick's Blog

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15.1 xmasaccphoto.jpg
The square photo is black and white.  It has the scalloped white edges and contrasting dark background you would expect to find in a photo that dates from the 1950s.  The caption at the top reads simply “Christmas,” followed by the year. The little girl, dressed in a robe and pajamas, is...
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Kosovo package returned
It's a complicated story, the relationship between Kosovo and Serbia.  Kosovo, formerly a province in southern Serbia, declared its independence in 2008.  The United States, and most of the member states in the European Union, have recognized this.  But for Serbia, and many other...
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finger casserole, aka djuveč
"Oh-oh.  Finger casserole?" That's what a sympathetic Facebook friend commented after I posted this photo from last night's weekly Slovenian dinner. The dish was djuveč, a tasty meat-vegetable casserole. Probably of Serbian origin.  Lots of vegetable chopping, but less challenging than...
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Bread, done.jpg
My grandmother was famous for her homemade bread.  And not just in her own family. One of my mother's recent recollections is this one:  My grandmother used to bake bread and distribute the loaves to people in their Slovenian neighborhood in Cleveland.  As a little girl, my mother...
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  I discovered the Slovenian community in San Francisco almost by accident.  It might not have happened, if I didn't play the Cajun accordion. One night in February of 2005, my Cajun band was playing at a little club outside San Francisco.  It was Mardi Gras season, so we...
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Slovenian Sauerkraut Soup
I discovered the recipe for Vipavska Corba, or Slovenian Sauerkraut Soup, in a witty and erudite blog called The Austerity Kitchen.   The blogger is a young cultural historian who promises to "bring you the best simple, savory fare history has to offer."  She had found the...
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I just finished reading Guitar Zero: the New Musician and the Science of Learning, a new book by the eminent cognitive psychologist Gary Marcus.   Several people told me about the book after hearing his recent interview on NPR.   They figured I could relate to the story of a musically-...
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Ajdovi zganci, from Wikipedia
Žganci is one of a handful of quintessentially Slovenian dishes. There is an entire page devoted to it on a government website:  Žganci, Always and Forever.  It even merits an entry on Wikipedia.  (That's the source of the photo on the right.)  It's hard to pronounce, if...
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It can be unsettling, to be interviewed and then to read or hear your own words.  The experience is oddly intimate, though still at a remove.  But sometimes an interview can restore your own past to you.  That's what has happened to me. In the last few months, I have been interviewed...
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We had just finished the previous week's stuffed cabbage when Tuesday rolled around again.  It was the day I'd designated for my weekly Slovenian cooking adventure.  The one day I work from home and have the kitchen to myself. Unfortunately, I had already started to feel overwhelmed at...
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This was not the first time I made stuffed cabbage, a homey dish I have known all my life.  But it was my first attempt at doing it Slovenian-style, from a vintage ethnic cookbook called Woman's Glory: The Kitchen. I came up with a combination of three recipes I found in that yellowing...
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Woman's Glory (1958), a Slovenian American cookbook
I've revived my Slovenian roots blog with a new focus: food. Think "Julie and Julia," but with an ethnic twist: A year's worth of weekly dinners, drawn from my new trio of vintage Slovenian American cookbooks, like the one in the photo at the right.  That was the plan, anyway.  ...
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It’s easy to miss the subtlety in the notion of reinvention.  Consider the definition below, from the American Heritage Dictionary.  Especially the second part.               Reinvent:           1) To make over...
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Happy New Year! I found this gem on youtube.  It's the story behind Auld Lang Syne, along with a performance by Scottish singer Mike Ogletree. As he explains it, the story behind the song and poem is this:  Scotland's beloved poet Robert Burns heard a story from a woman acquaintance, who...
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“Do you know what Santa looks like?”   The older woman looked down at the little girl, who stood at her side. They may have been holding hands.  I turned to look at them as I walked by.  What an odd question.  The pair had stopped along Monterey Avenue to admire the Christmas...
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