Monday, 14 October 2019

Shume Mire

Which means very good in Albanian. I had the most exciting and unexpected parcel delivered last week, and it was indeed very good
Some people just pack things up and shove them in the post. I confess that I am frequently one of those. But this parcel was so much more than that...
For starters, the outer wrapping was a recycled porridge oats packet. How cool is that? It ticks the green/eco box - and this retro packing is so much more interesting than the 'simply lidl' one I buy.
Then there was a postcard -a beautiful picture of a Victorian applique bed cover. I've spent ages looking at it -the central section is in A-Z of a woman's life ... from Adoration, Beauty, Cupid to Wedding, Xpression, Yes, Zingari. Zingari is an old term for Romany/ idea why the stitcher chose that for Z- perhaps it was a good omen if they showed up at the wedding, like a chimney sweep?
Then a picture of this elderly Albanian lady. She sells eggs and caj mali in the market, seven days a week from early morning till late at night.My friend Andrew buys goods from her when he is in Albania.
And at the bottom of the parcel - a pack of caj mali [pronounced chai marleyI drank this on my WWDP trip to Albania nearly 3 years ago. And when Andrew visited Albania recently, his wife Eleanor [a friend for over 35 years, and follower of the blog]reminded him to bring back some tea for me. So her very kindly made room in his case for some

Caj Mali  means mountain tea -This is otherwise known as sideritis, iron wort, or shepherd's tea. It is often brewed with mint, and sweetened with sugar. I make mine in a saucepan. I'm not sure how E&A brew theirs. I found this YouTube clip slightly alarming!
The older generation in Albania maintain that most ills can be cured with a cup of mountain tea. So perhaps a cup of this may help restore my energy levels .
Andrew taught me a few phrases before I went - and as well as Shume Mire - very good, I also learned faleminderit - thank you!
Thank you Eleanor -  I'm grateful for our long friendship, and I look forward to enjoying my tea, and remembering my wonderful trip to that lovely country in 2017.
One small parcel which has brought so much joy!


  1. The Porridge packet is a great idea! I remember in the 2000's, I used to turn foil crisp multipacks and kitkat multipacks inside out and used those as wrapping which, though not compostable, still was a good way to reuse waste. The tea sounds great! I hope it works its magic!Xx

  2. I love the idea of reusing the oats packet paper to make the parcel! That herbal tea sounds interesting! I enjoyed watching the video of how to make the tea. That is one strong brew she made!

  3. Reminds me of those Pass The Parcels I used to make for the kids. I would put a little toy or a joke between each layer till they got to the big prize


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