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Blog / / READ. COOK. SING.
26/11/2021
READ. COOK. SING.
Milica Laufer Editor of MILICA magazine
READ. COOK. SING.
November is the time when we add fertilisers to what we have planted for our future exploits. Everyone in their own garden. I cannot resist the urge to remind you now of one of the first songs of Ekatarina Velika: ‘Teach me how to arrange my garden, since I have to have my own garden’. It seems to me that the psychedelic vibe of the crowded city, where the poet is looking for exclusively his own, different, and more humane space, is crawling under our skin these days, along with the autumn.

Read.

The very title of the new collection of stories by Lejla Kalamujić – Hurry up and Invent a City, has drawn my attention, suggesting that the city does not actually seem to exist and that we fail to notice that. Lejla was born in Sarajevo and her stories are imbued with crystal memories: she reconstructs it, calls it, seeks it, invents it, and in the end the very narrative becomes the embodiment of the city. The main topic of almost every story is love, which is supressed, disallowed, and full of pain. However, it is always out there, in memories or in aspirations. In spite of a handful of unhappy loves and nostalgia, Lejla is not pathetic, but direct, self-ironic and best of all – witty.

I selected this book in the new bookshop of the Štrik publishing house, although you can find it elsewhere. It is much better and much more useful if you buy books in small city bookshops, which promote independent publishers. Štrik is one of them, led by magical Ljubica Pupezin, whose editorial policy is to have the not so obvious, but still excellent female authors, translated into Serbian, making thus audacious and precious selections.

Štrik is inviting us these days to meet Lejla Kalamujić at the promotion of her collection of stories – Hurry up and Invent a City, in the cosy and warm atmosphere of the new Štrik bookshop in Vlajkovićeva Street in Belgrade on 29th November. See you there!

Cook.

Due to the autumn weather, I recommend you beetroot soup, glaring red and with powerful tang of earth and thyme. I copied the recipe from a book of Duchy Originals, a brand of organic food set up by Prince Charles. This well-equipped British cookbook is dominated by recipes from English farms, with organic local and seasonal ingredients. You will see for yourself that this red thick liquid warms up best after a working day, while it can also leave quite a decent impression on a banquet table.

READ. COOK. SING.

Beetroot soup

Ingredients:

3 medium-sized carrots (sliced)
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 large onion
30 g of butter
2 dl of home-made tomato juice
1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 litre of vegetable soup (bouillon cube)
2 large potatoes (diced)
a couple of thyme sprigs
4 medium-sized beetroots (previously boiled, peeled, and diced)
pepper, salt

for croutons:

3-4 slices of rustic bread
1 tablespoon of olive oil
a couple of thyme sprigs
pepper and salt

to serve:

cooking cream or double cream

Preparation:

On medium fire, stew garlic, onion, and carrot on butter until tender. Add tomato juice. Keep the lid on, except while you are stirring. Add balsamic vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar, stir, and add bouillon, potatoes, and thyme. Leave it to stew for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are soft. Finally, add the beetroot and leave it to boil for five more minutes.

In the meantime, prepare the croutons. Mix the bread dice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and thyme in a bowl. Put them all together onto a heated pan and stir over low heat until the bread turns moderately golden. Leave it aside until serving.

Blend the soup until creamy and add salt and pepper. Serve with double cream or with cooking cream, adding croutons in the end.

When you stir in the cooking cream, the soup will turn bright pink, which will seduce any child to taste it, and then eat the whole bowl.

Sing.

I have never been a fan of heavy metal, not even the ballads. Nevertheless, I have been playing Nothing Else Matters – one or the greatest hits of Metallica over and over, yet in the baroque interpretation of Phoebe Bridgers. The talented and already famous Phoebe rendered a version of one of the greatest heavy metal hits for The Metallica Blacklist, the anniversary album of the famous band which consists of 53 versions of 12 songs from The Black Album, which celebrates 30 years since its release this autumn. There are exactly 15 versions of Nothing Else Matters on the album, the most discussed about is that of Miley Cyrus featuring Elton John, Yo Mat and Chad Smith.

Phoebe Bridgers has appropriated this heavy metal anthem and adapted it to her melancholic mood. It starts with the piano flickering and this totally contagious piano line provides rhythm to the entire composition. Born in 1994, Bridgers discovered Metallica as a teenager, first via video games and then she became their fan.

These days I often catch myself crooning these verses I never cared about before, while they were pretty much setting on fire the crowd I never belonged to. With the gentle but powerful rendition of Phoebe, these verses bring a completely new and different feeling which I am very much able to identify with. How about you?

So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
And nothing else matters
AUTHOR
Milica Laufer
Editor of MILICA magazine