We wait for our guests to arrive enjoying the garden and giving the pot an occassional stir. Kotlich parties were born for us at this point and we will never forget that happy event.
Heat, in the mid 20s, loose clothes, children running around in the garden and lots of wine and elder flower juice. Mmmmm mmmmm what more could we need. I did collapse at about 4.00 and hog the most comfy chair, putting my feet up.
My trusty fire builder, Robert, tends to over do things when it comes to cooking outdoors and the flames always leap higher than necessary. But they soon settled and he put himself in charge of starting the gulash. I, in the mean time had made a filo pastry, cheese, eggs, yoghurt and garlic pie. This is my version of a Gibanica! Most people can't resist it.
I busied myself with the table and decor. Bunting, a typically english thing, was received with gasps of delight. We were surrounded by flowers but I can never resist picking a few and putting them in a vase......tea pot.
We had been given a typical Hungarian gulash recipe to cook in our Kotlich (bograc). Our outdoor kitchen in Serbia, consisted of a stone work surface with a fire place and sink all in an L shape. This in the shade of a plum tree beside the pergola provided the perfect spot.
Lots of onions and garlic fried gently in plenty of oil, closely followed by different cuts of beef and pork, peppers and any handly vegetables. We use loads of paprika, some mild curry powder, s and p, cumin whole. From start to finish it is about 2 hours.
The guests enjoyed the garden and the cool wine, and the children fight over who is going to turn the well handle and drink the most elder flower.
At last the gulash was ready, we asked our friend to check for us. Yes, the meat was soft and melting. We helped ourselves and found a seat under the pergola. A slight breeze sent the bunting limply waving. A satisfied silence held us for a moment as we gave thanks and all started to enjoy the gulash and salad. A feint smoky aroma lingers in the air and adds flavour to the dish.
Nothing can compare to a meal cooked outside on a wood fire with love and care. A special touch makes such a difference, some name places, or a decoration, a pretty table cloth, the flourishing garden space encircles the gathering. Plan your own Kotlich party and surprise your friends.
This lovely village farmhouse no longer belongs to us. The present owners are still offering it for holidays. It is a billiant old farmhouse, new beds, secure beatiful garden and just waiting for you to visit Vojvodina, Northern Serbia.