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Recipes from the Siege of Sarajevo

DAYTON, Ohio - Recipes from the Siege of Sarajevo on exhibit in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

DAYTON, Ohio - Recipes from the Siege of Sarajevo on exhibit in the Cold War Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

During the siege of Sarajevo, people had to hand carry their water in plastic containers and find ways to cook warm meals. Since the Bosnian Serbs had cut off electric, gas and other fuel supplies, the people of Sarajevo adapted to the situation. They responded to the scarcity of wood and coal by constructing home-made stoves that used very little fuel. Burning just a few twigs, pieces of wood, or even a child's toy for fuel, the stove, like the one pictured, provided one family in Sarajevo with warm food throughout the siege.

Meat Pie
Once upon a time you would use fresh beef or lamb meat, cut into small pieces or ground; some liked it lean and some preferred it with fat. Today, look for the meat in the cans from the humanitarian aid. You should grind it, add salt and pepper, and minced onion, if available. Dough should be divided into two pieces, oiled and filled with meat, then rolled. Arrange it following the shape of a baking pan -- the traditional shape was round -- sprinkle with some oil and bake in the oven. When the pie is ready, sprinkle it with water, cover and let it soften. Serve warm.

Cheese a la Olga Finci
4 demi-tasses of milk powder (bought at the black market)
1 demi-tasse of oil (from humanitarian aid)
1 demi-tasse of water (boil it first)
0.5 demi-tasse of vinegar, or one lemon
1 small spoon of garlic powder (present given by a good friend)

Mix it all with a plastic spoon that can be found in the USA lunch package. The mix will thicken immediately, just like a pudding. If you were lucky enough to grab a bunch of expensive parsley, cut it finely, pepper it, and add into the mix. All should be then taken to your balcony, where the temperature is -10C; you can as well leave it in the kitchen where it is only -8C. It should get hard. Even if you had other ideas, this dish has to be served cold. Enjoy!

Source: FAMA Foundation Publication - Sarajevo Survival Guide

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