GrandMas project

Makedonka's Sarma

by Makedonka Stoilova

“My Grandmother comes from a very small village in Macedonia called ‘Marvinci’. She is the youngest of nine siblings in a farming family and is one of my favourite people in the world. I grew up listening to her stories of how her and favourite older brother, Borris, would get up to mischief as children. She would tell how they’d fill their pockets with dry meat and run out into the fields to eat it because as the youngest, they only got pigs fat on bread and potato stews. She made me laugh all the time, after her stories she always has a chuckle as if she is absorbing everything that’s happened to her and turning it into a positive. My Grandmother was always cooking something when I was a kid. Always trying to feed me- I was always too skinny to her- typical ethnic Grandma. Whilst my parents were at work, I’d be at my Grandparents house gardening with them, playing cards and then in the kitchen picking at the vegetables Baba would be slicing for the meal. One of my favourite meals to date is ‘Sarma’. It’s a pickled cabbage leaf filled with rice and meat that is seasoned with vegeta, red paprika, salt and pepper. I’ve never attempted to make it myself because I don’t think I could meet my own expectations. Baba cooks it to perfection every time, but always cooks a little extra rice and meat because the biggest kid would always be close by ready to ‘taste-test’ as I like to call it. In a nutshell, this woman is my hero. Understanding, accepting of everyone & kind-hearted.”