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How to Make Lutenitza

March 16th, 2013

lutenitza-jar.jpgLutenitza is a traditional Bulgarian relish that is often used as a spread with bread or toast, and may also be used as an accompaniment to foods such as grilled meats, meatballs, or even chips (fried potatoes). Variations of lutenitza, including ajvar and pindjur, are popular in the Balkan countries of Serbia and Macedonia. Traditionally lutenitza is prepared and stored in jars as a way of preserving surplus vegetables during the winter.

I first discovered lutenitza while browsing through the international foods section of our local Big Lots store. After noticing that it was made in Bulgaria and included ingredients that were similar to vegetables that I was already growing in the garden, I decided to give it a try. Although it is essentially a combination of vegetables (typically red bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, and occasionally carrots) minced and mixed together, lutenitza has a distinctive taste derived from the grilling or roasting technique used to cook the vegetables and facilitate removal of their skins. Salt and sugar are usually added to enhance the overall flavor.

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Humorous Examples of Ignorance in America

March 14th, 2013

ignorant-americans.jpgWhen former president George W. Bush asked the question, “Is our children learning?” (Florence, South Carolina, January 11, 2000), somehow I suspected that the status of education in the United States was unlikely to improve over the next few years, and that ignorance in America would continue to flourish. A few days ago I encountered some particularly humorous examples of such ignorance while reading through the Friday Funnies section of the Casey Daily Dispatch (the remainder of the linked article makes for an interesting read as well, although the other subjects addressed are much more serious). Supposedly these questions and answers were from previous student responses to the GED examinations dating back to 2000, although I was unable to track down the primary source for them.

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