Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Bukovich: Making Flia with my SEEU students

I was delighted when my students suggested to me, after the semester was over, that we visit the home of one of the students in her village where I could learn how to make flia - a traditional Albanian/Kosovar dish that is made for special occasions. 

This dish is made outdoors -- here you can see the baking dish and the lid.  Flia takes hours to prepare. Layer after layer after layer is added.  Remove the lid, add another layer, put the lid back on and wait for a few minutes, then remove the lid, add a layer, then return the lid, and so on and so on for about two hours. You can see that this is over the fire and on the ground, so you are going up and down, up and down.  My student Meral's mother and aunt showed me how it's done.

While the flia was being prepared, it started to rain, chasing us (temporarily) indoors. Which presented another opportunity for me to add valle steps to my repertoire - and to provide much-needed comic relief for my students during exam season.

I treasured this opportunity to learn more about village life - and the traditions and customs here.

THANKS SO MUCH for this special day!!  Thanks to all of the students who suggested the idea, drove the cars in the caravan, donated supplies - and especially to Meral and her family (and extended family) for opening up their home to us and giving us such a warm welcome!!


our 3-car caravan from Skopje (SEEU campus) to Bucovich

the flia-making was underway when we arrived -- the process takes several hours -- layer after layer after layer

this is where the lid rested while adding the new layer

the ingredients

a lovely courtyard

the "hostess with the mostess" -- Meral

my daughter with her new friends

it was like the proverbial "loaves and fishes"

a little rain chased us inside temporarily - but this was good news - as it led to

Yay! Another chance to learn valle

snapchat pic with the Hostess Extraordinaire - Meral

a feast!

FLIA -- you can see here the many layers

meanwhile....my daughter was having fun with her new friends

a friendship bracelet. LOVE

with her new friends. (my daughter's t-shirt here strikes me as appropriate - since I am sure all the girls are fluent in emoji ;-)

THANKS SO MUCH for your hospitality!! Everything was delicious! And I loved learning how to make flia - and adding steps to my valle repertoire
and - on the way back - we could see Matka Canyon

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