Is there a time, does any reader know, when the whole world is asleep? I’ve had bouts of insomnia at awkward hours; too early to make a din in the kitchen and too late to phone someone for a chat. So, I come online and all I find are creepy Goths gnawing at their wrists. Is there a time, an hour of the day, when only the underbelly of the world is awake?

I don’t know, but at these times I find the safest and quietest option is to go to the kitchen anyway, and make something very quietly. I have found that stirred dishes, like jams, preserves and chutneys, are a sure win. Roasting vegetables, too, is a good idea.

Pic: Shannon Vineyards

The South African Food & Wine Blogging fraternity recently lost one of its most stalwart champions, Dusan Jelic, who returned to his native Serbia. At his departure from our shores we all wiped away tears. But modern life has brought us the wonderful opportunity to stay in touch, and Dusan is able to share his constant hunt for food and wine news with us in ‘real time’ via Facebook and Twitter.
A few days ago, Dusan posted a link to what looked like the kind of cooking I like best, a short list of simple ingredients and an end result of the truest kind of food flavours imaginable; Ajvar. I couldn’t wait to make it and taste it.
This dish is endemic to Dusan’s world, eaten as a snack spread on home-made bread, or as a condiment with roasted meats, it is known as ‘”Serbian vegetable caviar” a very apt descriptor. …

Be happy back home,Dusan, with your beautiful wife and your gorgeous little boy, Stefan Luka. Au revoir, until then we’ll see you on the net. South Africa is poorer for having lost you.

Pic: Shannon Vineyards

And don’t forget, you still owe me the recipe for pogacha …

Oh, and for my readers, here is the recipe for ajvar:


And here Sally has put a Russian version:




50 thoughts on “AJVAR FOR DUSAN JELIC

    • It is so yummy and so full of possibilities, I am using some of it in a braised shin bake for tonight’s supper as I will be out all afternoon and supper needs to slow-cook itself in the oven. I also think it would be great on pasta for meatless mondays 🙂

  1. Awesome recipe. I will definitely try it…..thank you for sharing. And thank you Dusan too. Love that guy 🙂 I also like to work in the kitchen if I can’t sleep. Have a good weekend Cindy xx

  2. I’m in awe that you make jam and chutney in the ‘dead hours’ – doesn’t the smell of sugary fruit/vinegary fruit wake the household? 🙂

    I think I’ll give Ajvar a try.

    Hope you get a night’s sleep tonight.

  3. From my perspective . . . the whole world is asleep at the switch all the time.

    We spend far too much time worrying about trivial concerns and not nearly enough time addressing the issues that really matter.

    As a result of our distraction, those in power stay in power . . . and “we the people” pay the price.

  4. Slightly reminds me of something my grandmother used to make. I can’t remember what she called it though. It was spicy and hot I think. I never ate it. I have no idea why.

  5. There’s a comfort to knowing most of the world around me is asleep. There will be no demands for my time or attention. I turn on the light to read. Then Duc comes knocking at the window to be let in so he can have my full attention, be fed and play. *Feigning sleep*

    Here’s a gift for you for one of those sleepless nights: http://easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/breads/r/pogacha.htm . I had to look it up so thought I may as well share it. 🙂

  6. Whoops, apparently I thought I was commenting on this post last night…ooops, disregard the comments on your latest post, about how good the bread looks..(Especially, as there ISN’T ANY bread mentioned on it) Just apply it to this post instead.

    God Bless You

  7. You never cease to amaze, Cin. I’m hard-pressed to get creative in my kitchen during the day, never mind at midnight 🙂 This all looks delicious and best wishes go with Dusan and his family…

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