Croatia is a country with different kind of climate, it’s mostly famous for is pretty sunny coast, but we should not forget that it also have territories with less friendly temperatures. The region Lika for example is known for really “fresh” temperatures during winter. Villagers expect usually average temperature of -10°C , but sometimes there are down to -25°C. We had to prepare ourselves for these strong temperatures and to think about all we would need to survive!
The more vital need is for sure food; we have for this a garden, we cultivate during summer. We stocked then several boxes of tasty vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cabbage, onions… but reserves are not enough for all the winter! Then we go to the market one time per week to buy to others gardeners complement of vegetables.
Besides, we prepared sour cabbage with the help of “teta Dragica” and “teta Kaja”: the two legends of Kuterevo really known by all their traditional knowledge. They’ve brougt us their “machine” to grade the cabbage and they’ve gave us workforce. After 2-3 hours of exercises we’ve succeeded to put in two barrels, 150 kilos of cabbage!! All this cabbage was mixed with water, salt and pepper so it can ferment and to get a special taste after 3 weeks of waiting. What is sure is that those boxes will hold out all the winter!
Not only us have to survive, we don’t have to forget the bears!! We’ve harvested corn with locals peoples during a long day to can bring back to Kuterevo hundreds bags. We’ve received as well a lot of bread that we’ve stocked and suspended from a barn to don’t get too much humidity.
Besides hunger, we also have to support the cold! Here we have to warm Postaja with fire. For this we had to cut and stock many logs. The advantage in Kuterevo is that we use the same stove for warming the house and for cooking, and thus we can do two things in the same time. Another system really useful against the cold is Rakija. This kind of brandy is traditionally made by every villager with a destillator that we nicknamed “the happy machine”. We’ve also prepared ours with the help of some villagers, the one we’ve made is from plump and “Drenjula” (a symbolic and specific wild fruit of Lika).
Then we were more than ready to overcome the winter, now we just have to stay in a warm place to can enjoy the fruits of our harvest!!