It's early November and it's freezing! After the long hot summer, and the pretty warm early fall, the weather suddenly became the worst enemy you could face. It's about 0 C, and the forecasts say that it could even snow.
But, the people in Macedonia are well prepared for the challenge called winter. They have filled the basements with all the supplies they need to survive. Here is a short list:
- sour cabbage [rasolnitza]
- more ajvar
- a whole stockpile of ajvar
- a really really huge ammount of ajvar
The Ajvar [made of RED paprika], on the other hand, was also a national secret for a long time, but the foreign government's intelligence agencies have succeeded in their mission to steal the recipe of making it, and than brand it and sell it like their own product, making the most flagrant plagiarism ever seen.
Now, when there's nothing left to hide, I present you the ultimate ajvar-making manual, cause the ajvar is not something you buy in the grocery, it's something you make, with love and dedication!
First, you need to calculate how much ajvar you want to get. The proportion is simple:
Then, buy the paprikas from the local market. An authentic ajvar-making process, however, means that the paprikas must be packed in a special bag, something like fishing-net, and you have to transport them by carrying them alone. Ofcourse, you can use a car or smt, but the feeling is not the same.
After that, roast them really raw. Then remove the seeds and peel them. No, don't peel them - let your wife do it. Then, grind them fine till you get a weird messy mixture.
Put the mixture in the biggest saucepan you could find; if you have a cauldron even better. Put all the cooking oil you have inside. You could also improvise with the ingredients in order to get a genuine flavor.
Then comes the phase of frying. Don't forget to mix the ajvar, prefferable clockwise. Use a wooden ladlespoon. After a period of mixing and frying, you should get the thing that's on the photo above. But, that doesn't mean the ajvar is done. Every member of the family shoud taste it and decide if the flavor is good or not [like the two guys who tasted wine in Sideways].
When the family makes a consensus about their preferences about the flavor, color, density etc, remove the saucepan from the fire. Let it cold. Then, pour the ajvar in jars. Pack the jars with a plastic foil. Leave a pair of jars in the fridge; move the other to the basement. Then, invite your friends to taste the ajvar. It's usually served with bread and cheese, but also with cabbage, pork etc.
When you hear the first fart caused by the ajvar, you definetly can say that you've made it, succesfully!