My Yugoslav or Serbian heritage food memory, KIFLI

I knew from the early 20th century that my father's parents came to the United States from Yugoslavia, which made me grow up. I now understand that Yugoslavia was a national alliance at the time, but my grandparents came from Kukul in the province of Vojvodina, Baka, today in Serbia. My Yugoslav, or Serbian, grandparents live on a farm in rural Ohio. They have chickens, so the eggs are very rich. They grow crops. During the Great Depression and World War, their lifestyle was very different from the lifestyle of my mother's town. My mother recalled that in the early days of her engagement with her father, she went to his parents after a Sunday church. Home, have breakfast. She was shocked that Grandma put more than 13 eggs in the bowl to make scrambled eggs. She thinks that a family of five has so many eggs that are almost obscene. This reminds me of the huge differences between urban and rural areas in that era.

Before I was 2 years old, I really never met my grandfather, but I remember my grandmother Yugoslavia liked her dessert. No one is better. This is her hobby because of the lack of better vocabulary. She made pies with flaky dough similar to phyllo and added poppy seeds, nuts or cheese. She made Kifli, a small piece of cake, which was squared and filled with Prune Lekvar, poppy seed filling and apricot filling. This is the Kifli formula I use.


1 1/2 teaspoon instant dry yeast, about half a packet

3 cups of flour

1/4 pound lard

1/4 lb. unsalted butter

1 egg, licked

1/4 cup whipped cream or heavy whipped cream

1/4 cup of milk

1/2 cup poppy seed filling, trimming Lekvar or apricot filling

Candy sugar for rolling and sprinkling

The cake yeast or instant yeast is pulverized into flour. Process the pie dough in lard and butter. Add eggs and cream and handle by hand until the dough is pulled out from the sides of the bowl. Don't overmix.

Sprinkle the powdered sugar on the work area and pull out a portion of the dough. It is important to use the candy manufacturer's sugar to roll the dough, as adding more flour will harden the dough. Cut the dough into 3 inch squares.

Fill these small squares by placing a small amount of teaspoon filling in the center. Open the opposite corners, wet the edges with milk or cream and pinch them together, then fold the pressed parts. Bake biscuit slices on parchment and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes. The bottom will be gold and the top will start to turn golden. Remove from the oven, cool on a shelf, and sprinkle with more candy.

About 100

Grandma made so many varieties of pastries, and unfortunately, Kifli is one of the few foods in our family that can survive. I never learned to make pie dough, although I remember when I was young, I watched my grandmother quickly operate a small piece of dough into a thin piece, covering the kitchen table covered by the entire tablecloth, and hanging at least 8 – 10 inches on the edge. This is an amazing feat in my memory. She will sprinkle a mixture of poppy seeds or apples, then knead the dough and put it in a long, loose roll. She placed the large roll on the biscuits, then baked the dessert and sprinkled with powdered sugar. When cooking with lard, grandma cooking and baking is a daily life. Now, lard is once again popular.

Grandma also made many different foods for Easter or Christmas. Beets and Easter horseradish, as well as cheese made with eggs and milk, she called Siretz. She did Bobalky at Christmas, thank God, this recipe was passed to us. She made the most delicious soup, sometimes beef, sometimes chicken, and sometimes two. She made her own noodles in the soup. She made a ketchup called Mahanka and ate the meat from the soup. What makes soup very memorable for me is saffron. When we walked in, the smell, the color, and the taste of the saffron in the soup penetrated into the house. The love of saffron is the legacy of Grandma, until today. I am very grateful to her for her wonderful taste and memories of traditional Serbian food in Yugoslavia.

Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it will provide a wealth of information and help you complete your cooking journey. You will find more recipes and helpful tips on my website. I am on A Harmony of Flavors on Facebook and share recipes or tips every day with fans who like my site. I hope to see you soon.

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