Experiences of an American woman who was married to a Serb.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thankfully, My Serb-American Holidays Are Now, At Last, Over

I woke up this morning feeling like it's the day after I ran a marathon. Dazed, a bit disorientated, slightly frayed at the edges, and really happy to be entering regular life again. I sense this regular life will take a few days to feel "normal" though.

The problem is not the holiday season, but rather the combination of Serb and American holidays. When I was single, I'd take off a week between Dec 25-Jan 1st and then get right back to work. Now that I have a family, my own holidays take on greater importance, plus we add in Serb holidays as well. That quick week off mainly dedicated to sleep has turned into four full months punctuated by celebration after celebration, each requiring special shopping, cooking, eating, drinking, long distance phone calls, and hours and hours sitting around the table being with each other:

Oct 31 - American Halloween
Late Nov - American Thanksgiving
Dec 25 - Western Christmas
Dec 31 - Western New Year's Eve
Jan 1 - Western New Year's Day
Jan 7 - Serbian Orthodox Christmas
Jan 13 - Serbian Orthodox New Year's
Jan 19-20 - Our Serbian Family's Saints Day (date varies depending on your family history)

All I can say now is, thank goodness we have a nice long rest before both Easters kick in.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

American Guy Married to a Serb Complains About Serbian Pizza (& Rightfully So)

Just discovered a new blog entitled, They called it Promaja, written by the US husband of a Serb woman. My favorite part is Serbuki Theater wherein dolls, Japanese theater and Serb characters all meet.

He's also outed Serbia's vilest food secret -- their horrific pizza sauce aka "ketchup".

It's completely inexplicable. It's not like tasty pizza sauce is a global mystery. In fact, America's largest Serb immigrant community is in Chicago, deep dish pizza heartland. So you think some of that info might have seeped back to the home country. And, it's not a question of cost or exotic ingredients -- all you need is tomatoes, basil, garlic, and salt. (No, not sugar.)

So, where did Serbs in Serbia get the idea that good pizza sauce is manufactured-by-the-ton, sticky-sweet ketchup? They even call it ketchup. Go to any grocery store in Serbia and there are piles of plastic packets on the shelf in the refrigerator section labeled "Pizza Ketchup."