Krtoli

By Mirjana

Krtoli

Postby mirjana » Sat May 22, 2010 12:41 pm

Tomorrow I leave to Krtoli, Boka Kotorska. It will be after one year that I go again there. Always when I prepare for traveling to Krtoli there is a great excitement around it because it brings many wonderful memories from my childhood and time I spent there in my grandfather's house. Today it is not my grandfather's house, it belongs to my family and we gave a kind of new fleur to it, but for me, when I am there I am with my grandfather and my father who spent his last 15 years in that house. Both men I loved very much and both are not with us anymore.
And inevitably who is always then with me is a famous French writer, Marcel Proust and his "À la recherché du temps perdu" or as translated In Search of Lost Time or Remembrance of Things Past.
What I love the most in this incredible novel is a multiplicity of perspectives that breaks the classic forms of writing and thinking. Why Proust and Krtoli? Because the same as in the novel, some memories will be triggered by sensory experiences such as sights, sounds, smells and so on, conjuring my important memories and returning my attention to an earlier episode of my life in that house. It always happens and that is what my reencounters with Krtoli transforms into the living sessions of growing and change.
Because of this trip and not having aces to computer there as I have it here, maybe I shall not be as present here as usually, but therefore I shall have more to say after turning back.

Until then a big =0) to my DS friends.
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Re: Krtoli

Postby mirjana » Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:25 pm

It is true that emotions have a powerful impact on memory. According to that the most vivid autobiographical memories tend to be of emotional events, which are likely to be recalled more often and with more clarity and detail than neutral events.
Visiting Krtoli and spending there last week confirms this belief.
When I was there my childhood and my youth were so vivid like I have been passing through them again. Most of all memories connected to my grandfather.

Memories about my grand father


Having his own house and land my grandfather was producing many things himself and those were some of beauties we used to enjoy during spending our summer holidays by him, I started drinking his wine when I was 10. It was a special combination he prepared for us, his grandchildren, and wine mixed with water, so called bevanda. It was a very small quantity of wine, symbolical, with much of water, but the color was there, nice wine pink and the psychological feeling that we, children, were not excluded from adults in daily meal rituals.
From the rest of his wine he was preparing the home made vinegar that gave an extra taste to the salads, pastas and vegetable soups. I have learned to make it myself. By him it was kept in some old little bottles that reminded me very much on old fashion pharmacy bottles. I remember how much I liked them.
From my grandfather I have used to cherish water and be aware by using it not to waste it. Recycling water was a very valuable knowledge I have from that time. Rain water was collected from the roof and kept in “bisternas”. For me it was the best water, always fresh and cold, like from the spring.
He had his vegetable garden that was treated naturally with compost he made. We were privileged to eat the most beautiful vegetable. From that time I still remember his tomato and homemade olive oil. For us as children it was enough just to get this with homemade bread. I can still feel its taste in my mouth when I recall these memories in my mind. I learned from him to value this kind of treating plants and to do it that way myself.
He prepared salted fish in the wooden barks and when eaten with olive oil and homemade bread, it was something very special. The same was with great cheese kept in olive oil for few months and it was something that I could not eat anywhere else.
I have learned there to make homemade yeast and the bread baked under the iron cover in the ash.
By my grandfather I have learned the healing properties of his home made wine grappa for many different health problems.
I have learned there how to dry fugues and make a delicious winter fruit in the season when there were no fugues any more. And they are very good for health and they also have some alternative medical applications.
I have learned about the importance of spared wood as a very valuable energy that should not be wasted but collected. Today I can hardly throw away a piece of wood. As children we would help by collecting some wood for the homemade barbecue. And when prepared on that, the food tasted different.
With my grandfather I also learned about the sea and how to row the rowboat.
With him we became familiar to witty talks and jokes about almost everything.
During this visit, although it is not the same house any more, many things reminded me on him and I enjoyed that feeling.

Krtoli today


Krtoli does not look any more as they used to be. Many new houses around but some ruins as well which makes a very strange mixture. Those ruins belong to some families whose owners were captains and stayed in far away countries so that their houses in Krtoli have been destroyed by the time.
I remember in the time of my grandfather, people would treat their surrounding like a personal garden not letting stones or wood to be on their paths. They were cleaning everything on their way the same like they would do by themselves.Today, people treat like that only their gardens. Everything outside their doors is not their interest. =0(
But the nature there smells the same; the light in the garden is as it used to be and the feeling of peace and serenity I get there is incomparable.
These days during this visit were quite rainy, which is not typical for the climate there. People there told me that this May became crazy.

More about some typical habits in another report.
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Re: Krtoli

Postby Sabina » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:09 pm

I have enjoyed reading your post very much. Just wanted you to know that. :)

Also... the weather this May was crazy all over Europe, not only in Krtoli, and it seems June is continuing in a similar manner. In Vienna it is usually wonderful in May, and right about now (early June) it should be practically perfect! It is not so yet, but it will be... soon...!
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Re: Krtoli

Postby mirjana » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:25 am

Sabina wrote:I have enjoyed reading your post very much. Just wanted you to know that. :)

Also... the weather this May was crazy all over Europe, not only in Krtoli, and it seems June is continuing in a similar manner. In Vienna it is usually wonderful in May, and right about now (early June) it should be practically perfect! It is not so yet, but it will be... soon...!

Thank you Sabina. It is nice and comforting to hear that.
<3
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Broad bean

Postby mirjana » Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:08 pm

One of days during my last visit to Krtoli I saw something that touched me very much. My cousin and her housband were sitting in their little bio garden and chopping ripe broad beans. It was in my childhood that I saw something like that last time. It looked to me like a scene from the past when my grand-grand mother used to do the same preparing it for the next day dish. We all liked it very much. When she was doing that I would always help her using this time to talk to her and to hear many interesting stories from my family´s past.
I stopped to talk with my cousine about that plant , as for a long time it was not part of my cuisine.
She reminded me on that how useful this plant is and easy to grow. I am very thankful she did it as from then on my attention was again by this plant.


Broad bean

It is one of the most ancient plants in cultivation and very easy to grow. It is also called Fava bean.
The young leaves of the plant can be eaten either raw as a salad or cooked like as
Spinach. The beans can be fried and then spiced and serve as a warm salad.
Previously cooked it can be served as a Broad bean purée. It is very well combined with wild chicory.
I like it very much when cooked and mashed and then served with olive oil, chopped parsley, onion, and garlic and lemon juice.
I also prepare it as a vegetable soup. Dried broad beans are boiled and combined with other vegetables, olive oil and garlic.
My favourite way is to make it as a cream and serve it hot or cold and sprinkled with olive oil. I set a variety of condiments and seasonings for garnishing such as diced onion, capers, parsley, pepper, lemon juice, eggs etc.
__6__

It is very healthy plant. It is rich in L-dopa which is a substance used for treatments of Parkinson‘s disease and hypertension. Some people use it as natural alternative to Viagra. It is also very good to be eaten in malarial areas.
It should not be eaten raw, as it can cause serious problems. It is also not recommended for people who are under medicaments for depression treatments.
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Re: Krtoli

Postby Agate » Fri Sep 24, 2010 11:39 pm

As I am strongly in favor of all legumes, I thank you for this info, Mirjana! I don't think I've tried fava beans before, but now I'll make a point to try some soon.
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Not best but not the worst.
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Re: Krtoli

Postby mirjana » Wed Apr 20, 2011 3:23 pm

To keep it or to leave it


I turned back from Krtoli. During this time in Krtoli my husband and I were working on restoration of our family house there. My husband would say:”Such a beautiful garden deserves a house”. He was right. Our garden there is full of beautiful trees and plants, but the house was neglected and needed a hand. Otherwise it would be lost. The question was- to keep it or to leave it. We decided to keep it at least until bringing it a glory of the past beauty. The reason is my attachment to that house which used to belong to my grandfather and where I spent so many happy hours during my childhood. After I inherited it and we made a beautiful garden and some changes at the beginning, our priorities and where we lived put us apart from that house. The result was obvious neglecting which became worse from year to year.
This time we put much work, love and energy there and the old house stated opening like the flower which, hidden under the grass and longing for the Sun, starts showing its beauty after getting it.
I do not know what will be the future of that old house in Krtoli which is full of warm memories and where my heart always finds its peace and tranquility. We shall see how our children will react to all these changes. After we gave it our care and time, it becomes easier for me to accept everything that the future will offer.
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