One of the first (non-profanity) Croatian phrases I learned was “Želite li nešto za jesti?” or “Would you like something to eat?” In Croatia, food is a way to welcome someone into your home. It is a thing to share and to appreciate.
The phrase “eating on the run” does not translate. You don’t see people walking around drinking out of disposable cups or eating paper-wrapped food. I have never seen a Croatian eating alone in his car, which is a disturbingly common sight in America.
My inspiration for this month’s challenge: I found the extraordinary in the ordinary in a small café in Groznjan, Istra, Croatia. In this tiny town of 785 people, accessible only on foot, you can find half a dozen tables set just like this. Even on a picnic table over wooden benches, you’ll find water and wine glasses, plates, silverware, and of course olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
In Croatia, meals are enjoyed at the table. As in, sitting down. For a length of time. Preferably with friends and family. A meal can be anything from a couple slices of bread and cheese, a little gelato, a slice of pizza or a 3 course seafood dinner. But in every case, the point is to stop whatever else you’re doing and savor it.
Technical details: mostly cotton fabric except for the glasses, which were made with silk organza. All attached with raw edge applique and sewn with free motion machine stitches.