… that in the old times, when they were still using fireplaces, they were told the future from the way the fire was burning: if the fire was rustling, blowing or singing, it was predicting a visit from a stranger; if the tongues of the flames were wildly interlacing, a quarrel was to be expected in the house; if the fire was burning with a high flame, it was predicting good weather.

… that the inhabitants of Brda, in the time between the two World Wars, during the years of deprivation and hunger, even hunted and eat birds for their survival. Apparently they tasted the best with polenta ...

… that the inhabitants of Brda showed how to make ‘prunels’, also to the farmers from the many villages in Bizeljsko. The most enterprising took with them 30 - 35 women, who skinned the plums and taught the local women this demanding task. Zahišar from Šmartno conducted a group of women skinners (locally called ‘žaudarce’) on foot until to Škofja Loka, and from there they took a train.

… that the preparation of brandy was strictly controlled by Austria, but under Italy it was prohibited. The inhabitants of Brda managed very well and they prepared the brandy secretly. They even hired Venetians, so that the men were at home in case of inspection.

… that in old times housewives made »martinc« on St. Martin’s eve. They stuck sprigs of juniper, laurel, wormwood, lavender and rosemary into the biggest apples. If the apple dried, it predicted a good vintage in the next year, but if the apple was rotten, they interpreted that as a bad omen.

… that in winter they often prepared linden tea, which they spiced with white wine. If the children also drank that tea, the housewives first set light to the pot, so the alcohol burnt away.

D I A L E C T I C A L W O R D S . . .

  • tôc (sauce)
  • tônt (plate)
  • gláž (glass)
  • búc, štrtín, batón (different types of wine barrels)
  • brájda (vineyard)
  • kúhnja (vegetable soup, minestrone)
  • frtálja (egg omelette with fresh herbs)
  • rmulíni (apricots)
  • prunéle (dried plums processed in a special way)
  • dzêj, cájna (basket, hamper)
  • cštêla (a basket which is carried on the head)