The Budget Savvy Travelers

How Sarma Turns Friends Into Family: Thanksgiving Day Reflections

My story begins from a craving and a conversation starter. One September Sunday afternoon, we spent the day hiking up Mosor Mountain. The round trip trek takes about five to six hours. It’s a great opportunity for a digital detox and provides the perfect setting  for good conversation between friends.

Hiking up to the top of Mosor Mountain.

After awhile, with our stomachs getting hungry, we started talking about all things food. As we climbed, I causally asked my friend, “Diana, do you know how to make sarma?” That was all I had to ask. Diana was now on a mission. “I will make you homemade sarma.”

Diana and Davor know just what to buy from the local vendor. Here we are buying fresh chopped sour cabbage.

In Slavic countries sarma, or stuffed cabbage rolls, is a very traditional dish. Making it homemade is a day long process. It took a team of us working together for a common goal. We deemed it our “sarma party.”

Buying fresh parsley. The key is using fresh ingredients!

Our morning started at the farmer’s market, buying sour cabbage and fresh parsley from a local vendor. We learned that using sour cabbage is preferred as it lends itself to a more flavorful dish.

One of the key parts of making sarma is how to tightly roll it.

We stopped at a local market, each buying something to contribute to the feast. Harry and I bought wine, of course.

Diana was our master sarma chef.

Next, came the preparation of the sarma. Like chefs in a busy kitchen, our Croatian friends chopped. They stirred. They rolled. And I closely supervised. This was an art they passionately wanted to teach!

We served it with mashed potatoes and pork knuckle. The pork was cut into pieces and layered on top of the sarma rolls and chopped cabbage.

Just like Thanksgiving Day in the States, after a long day of food preparation, we all came together to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Before we enjoyed, we made sure to document our night with a group photo. Days like today are always difficult to be away from home, but these friends have stood in and have become like a second family to us. For that, we are grateful.

My dear Croatian cousin Diana

To everyone back home, today you are in our thoughts and we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.

Our Croatian Family
2 thoughts on “How Sarma Turns Friends Into Family: Thanksgiving Day Reflections
  1. I got a new iphone and can’t find your email address so I came on the blog and saw this. Love and miss you. Happy Thanksgiving!! ????❤️

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