Traditionally, the Easer festive dinner starts with fresh green salad. There is only one important thing in preparing green salad - drying the lettuce leaves before tossing them, because the extra water will dilute the dressing.
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When it comes to cooking stinging nettle, the maxim "no pain, no gain" is totally valid in the kitchen. That is, of course, if you, like me, do not follow the popular advice of using latex gloves when handling the nettles. My fingertips are numb from the tiny needles but the dish is totally worth it. Today, I made a quick and easy appetizer.
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Last week, as I was exploring the eco-trails of the Tryavna Balkan, I met a very chatty guy and his 4-year-old son. They were on their way to pick up fresh nettle plants. This reminded me of the delicious nettle soup that my grandmother used to cook every year in the very beginning of spring. Here's the recipe.
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This Friday, my regular walk to the market was marked by the white and red colors of the martenitsa. Martenitsa is a small piece of red and white woven yarn symbolizing a wish for good health. It's part of a pegan tradition, popular on the Balkans, in which people exchange martenitsa as a gift on the first day of March and wear them to welcome spring.
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My regular Friday visit to the market resulted in a couple of pounds of zucchini from Greece, red and green cayenne peppers from Turkey and a bunch of fresh dill from a local farmer lady. And since the snow is finally gone and it smells like spring outside, I decided to cook a light spring meal to celebrate the awakening of nature - zucchini stuffed with vegetables.
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