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Blog / / READ. COOK. SING.
24/12/2021
READ. COOK. SING.
Milica Laufer Editor of Milica magazine
READ. COOK. SING.
It’s not that I am pretending to be a devotee of political correctness, but the recommendation of the European Committee to use the term ‘holidays’ in place of ‘Christmas’ sounds to me like an interesting linguistical twist. I have noticed that this general term has also been increasingly used on a daily basis, when we are not sure what holidays the persons to whom we send our best withes celebrate. Religious and ideological differences are quite prominent in our region and they often cause tensions, but I have the impression that we understand and accept each other well when it comes to celebrations. We visit each other, exchange presents, we are keen on extending our days-off, as if we wish to unite in celebrating, regardless of whether we cherish the tradition which celebrates Christmas or New Year’s Eve according to the Julian or the Gregorian calendar, St Nicholas, St Stephen or St John, or Hanukkah.

Under this festive aegis of exchanging best wishes, visits, and presents, we should not find it unusual to invest our efforts not to be better than others, but to be better towards others, towards those who are different. This is why presents have been invented – to be a token of care, support, forgiveness, gratitude, understanding, and love towards all those people we love but also those that need them.

Finally, holiday presents are not required to be expensive, but precious.

Read.

Summing up the last year’s achievements, in addition to the unquestionable vaccines, I would like to emphasize the audacious acts of women who spoke in public about sexual aggression they had experienced, identifying the abusers and pressed criminal charges against them. These heroines will also be remembered by the fact that, owing to their courageous coming forward, the topic of violence against women was promoted from crime section to front pages.

In the meantime, a novel has come out devoted to all those who remain silent. To all those who suffer, like Eva, the leading protagonist of the novel Fatal Outcome of Athletic Injuries by Milica Vučković. This book has seen five editions since this summer, when it was first published by Booka publishing company. The front-page news may have contributed to the quickly acquired popularity of this novel, yet the authenticity of this literary work without a doubt deserves the title of the novel of the year. This is a brilliantly written story which scrutinizes and precisely records the development of a violent relationship. When she finally meets her ‘great love’, Eva becomes involved in a vicious circle of manipulation, gaslighting, and physical violence. Milica’s writing is witty, poetic, and informative before all, devoid of any unnecessary embellishments and descriptions.

Having read the book in one go, I was at first irritated by the reactions of those who blamed Eva for her own situation. Then I realised that such reactions only prove the gift of the writer.

Cook.

My holiday cooking begins with baking Christmas tree decorations. Therefore, I wanna see some baking moulds, flour, and deft hands on the table!

Čitaj. Kuvaj. Pevaj.

Ingredients:

5 oranges
bay leaves
rosemary sprigs
cloves
cinnamon sticks cut to 2-3 cm

Preparation:

Cut the oranges into rings, 4-5 millimetres thick, and lay them onto a baking pan, covered with parchment paper. Bake in the oven at 120 oC for about two and a half to three hours. Do not let them burn, but keep an eye on them to see how the drying is progressing. After an hour and a half, turn the rings over in order to have the other side dried, too.
When the oranges become dry, take them out of the oven and leave them to cool down well. Pierce a hole at the top of the orange ring with a thick needle and pass a thread through it, onto which you had already attached a bay leaf, a rosemary sprig, or a cinnamon stick. Cloves can be inserted directly into the orange ring, like pins.
Hang the decorated dried orange rings onto your Christmas tree. In addition to looking really lovely, they also have the wonderful scent of winter spices.

You can even string garlands from the decorated orange rings with which you can nicely decorate your holiday table.

Baked stars

Ingredients:

500 g of flour
250 g of finely ground salt
125 ml of warm water

Preparation:

Prepare typical salty dough, suitable for shaping and roll it out with a rolling pin until gets 4-5 millimetres thick, and then pull out the stars with baking moulds. Use a thin straw to pierce a small hole at one arm of the little star through which you will pass a thread or decoration ribbon later. Arrange the stars in a baking pan covered with parchment paper and dry them in the oven, preheated to 150 oC for about one hour.
Once they have cooled down, pass a decoration ribbon or a thread through the holes and decorate your Christmas tree.

Add a couple of fir cones to your Christmas tree, water it regularly, and plant it after the holidays. Make a wish for you fir tree to survive strongly, as strongly as for your other New Year’s wishes.

Sing.

I haven’t listened to Norah Jones since Come Away With Me, so I got pretty much intrigued and even delighted with the news of her new album, I Dream of Christmas. I was just hunting for a playlist to go along with the first winter’s snow on a December Sunday afternoon, when the well-known gentle voice of the once favourite girl from Texas ‘jumped out’ in my search.

In Nora’s characteristic jazz-pop rhythm, the entire album is enchanting and enjoyable, completely nostalgic; a very elegant background for an idyllic holiday atmosphere which conjures up an evening by the fireplace with sparkling wine. One of the reviews exactly mentions that the album is an epitome of sparkling wine.

With this mix of Christmas classics and original songs, the musician seems to wish to remind us of the golden times of Doris Day, Peggy Lee, and Barbara Streisand. Although Jones often sang on politically engaged topics on her previous albums, the deviation from the disturbing reality is so obvious here that it becomes a point. Music becomes a remedy for everything that hurts and worries us.

I’ve been ‘riding’ on the enchanting and sleepy Nora’s voice that inebriates and invites daydreaming, for days already – White Christmas, Blue Christmas, Christmas Calling, Christmas Glow, You Are Not Alone, Winter Wonderland, A Holiday With You... Play the record and… happy holidays!
AUTHOR
Milica Laufer
Editor of Milica magazine