Sister Vendelina’s cooking

The cookbook (or the person/brand) that I am generally (but not really dogmatically) going to follow is Marija Ilc, sister Vendelina.

Sister Vendelina (d. 2003, aged 87) was a Slovene nun who dedicated her life to cooking and teaching the ‘Slovene’ middle class (mescanska kuhinja = of the city) cooking.

In the 1970s she updated the legendary sister Felicita Kalinsek’s cookbook, which was first published in 1912, based on the 1868 Slovenska kuharica (Slovene cook(book)) by Magdalena Pleiweis. This was the first cookbook originally written in the Slovene language. I don’t therefore have to stress that in its authority and significance this traditions resembles the British Isabela Beeton.

The book I am going to use is the 2003 selection of recipes (Vale Novak Publishers) which includes photographies, resembling a little bit Jamie Oliver’s cookbooks – especially visually as you can see below the nun in action ;)). In this image, she is cutting the bread  but elsewhere she is seen in the market and during cooking.

Given her age, the book was prepared in cooperation with Edvina Novak (the editor) and a team of cooks lead by Uros Demsar. All the recipes, however, are sister Vendelina’s.

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Photo: Always sister Vendelina. The basics of the good home cuisine

The sections of the book are:

  • Soups (63 pages – stressing the importance of the soup in the ‘Slovene’ meal)
  • Rice, pasta, ‘struklji’ and ‘kase’ (incl, polenta and njoki/gnocchi)
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Salads (25 pages, as above)
  • Eggs
  • Bread
  • Desserts and sweets

In one of the future posts I will write more about the interesting tradition of Kalinskova cookbooks as well as about sister Vendelina!

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