I mentioned in my previous post that along with St. Valentine’s Day, we also celebrate St. Trifun, the Guardian of wine and wine makers. As a matter of fact, St. Valentine’s Day is a fairly new phenomenon in many parts of the world, including Macedonia, but it has somehow grown to be celebrated amongst the younger generations along with St. Trifun.
In honor of St. Trifun, on the 14th of February a great celebration takes place in many city squares in Macedonia with a program that includes agricultural and cultural happenings, and the famous Wine Fair. The priests say a prayer, and the pruning season is symbolically marked with the pruning of the three church wine grapes.
Here’s a photo of our little grape vine in our backyard:
Pruning – February 14, 2011:
Throughout the day we prepare and serve Macedonian specialties, sing Macedonian songs, and taste delicious Macedonian wines!
Sausage Stuffed Eggplant is one of those specialties that we enjoyed last night for dinner. Made with our very own homemade sausage, lots of garlic, and a touch of Мајчина Душица – Mother’s Soul, or Thyme, as it is called in this part of the world.
Sausage Stuffed Eggplant
- 4 eggplants , halved lengthwise
- 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 pound of sausage , your choice of sausage, but I recommend one with a bit of heat, YUM - casings removed
- 6 cloves of garlic , chopped
- 1 cup fresh parsley , chopped
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant, chop, and set aside.
Season the empty shells with salt and pepper, and coat with some olive oil; set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium high heat.
Put in the sausage, chopped eggplant flesh, and garlic; Season with parsley, thyme, salt and pepper, and saute until sausage is evenly browned.
Stuff the mixture into the eggplant shells and place them in a baking sheet filled with 1/4 inch water.
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Take out and sprinkle cheese on top.
Bake for another 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.
Serve with your favorite red wine.