So by now, you’ve heard all about my friend Krassy. Ever since my family complimented his cooking during their visit, he has insisted that I learn his recipes and send pictures and instructions back to my Mom. What better place to start than with banitsa (банитца)–a traditional Bulgarian food (often eaten for breakfast) made with eggs, Bulgarian white cheese, and pastry. Here is Krassy’s banitsa recipe!
Step 1: Put on favorite flannel pajamas. Cooking banitsa requires extreme dexterity, so comfort is of paramount importance.
Step 2: Gather ingredients. Point at each ingredient multiple times and make Michael repeat the name after you. He learns slowly, so be patient! Ingredients: five eggs (пет яйца), Bulgarian white cheese (сирене), pastry dough (тесто), soda water (газирана вода) and oil (олио).
Step 3: Remind Michael that he must write down every step so that he can send it to his Mom. Double-check his progress throughout the recipe to ensure each step is properly documented.
Step 4: Spread oil on bottom of circular pan.
Step 5: Open pastry dough, and cover bottom of pan with thin layer.
Step 6: Cut chunks of cheese and spread evenly across layer of pastry. Don’t be shy with that сирене!
Step 7: Add layer of pastry dough, covering the first layer of cheese.
Step 8: Repeat steps 5 and 6 until entire package of pastry dough has been used.
Step 9: Crack eggs and dump into mixing bowl.
Step 10: Throw all eggs away upon realizing that one egg had gone bad.
Step 11: Crack new eggs and re-dump into mixing bowl.
Step 12: Add half liter of soda water to egg mixture, and stir until evenly mixed.
Step 13: Pour egg and water mixture over layered cheese and pastry dough. Cover entirely.
Step 14: Suddenly remember that you forgot a cooking essential–your apron! Consider starting the entire recipe over, but decide to press on.
Step 15: Put pan in the oven at a “very hot” (много горещo) temperature. Tell Michael the actual temperature isn’t important, or else you will have to go get your reading glasses from the other room. Oven font is small.
Step 16: Drink rakia and eat shopska salad while you wait for delicious banitsa to cook.
Step 17: Squat in front of oven and smoke 2-3 cigarettes.
Step 18: Explain Bulgarian talk show to Michael while eating.
Step 19: Finagle with temperature incessantly to get that crisp brown banitsa.
Step 20: Take many blurry pictures of Michael with finished banitsa, so he can send to his family. Make him wear apron because his Mom will surely love that.
Step 21: Feel sorry for Peshoo because he is stuck with rabbit food.
Cooking Banitsa with Krassy was a (delicious) blast. A few days later, we also made some cheese pastries (I can’t remember the name) and a dessert cake (торта)–pictures below! This is as domestic as I get, folks.