Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Celebrating Lithuania

Last week, just before launching into the marathon of doctor's appointments, two friends of mine had me over for lunch. They had prepared a feast to introduce me to the foods of their home country of Lithuania. I could not have had more fun! Entering into someone else's culture and getting a taste of life in another part of the world is a treasure that expands the heart and mind. 

We started with beet soup -- it is so pretty and delicious, not to mention good for you (although some might argue about the sourcream!)

The main meal included two kinds of rye bread, two kinds of potato salad (which goes by another name). The most traditional potato salad is the one with beets. We had polish sausages with sauerkraut and a potato pudding with onions and bacon as well as salad vegetables of tomatoes and cucumbers. Everything was delicious!!! It all went together so nicely and each of us lingered over the treat it was to enjoy this.

Another surprise was to find that my friends had decided to celebrate my birthday a month early. Alex had procured a special Lithuanian dessert all the way from Chicago. It came wrapped up like this:

It is known as a Napoleon Torte and it had layers of pastry, a cream filling, and apricot jam.

It tasted AMAZING!

Rita showed us her latest knitting -- so beautiful, and lovely merino wool too!

And Alex has been having fun with ruffle scarves -- aren't they pretty!

There were even presents!

The lunch went by far too fast and it was sad to leave that special moment and get on with life. But I am so thankful for the chance to taste some Lithuanian dishes and also to understand more of what the Lithuanian people have been through in the past 60 years with the Russian occupation and then finally freedom.

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