Priecīgus Līgo svētkus!

Priecīgus Līgo svētkus (Jāņi 2009)

Mm. Jāņi. Summer solstice. A great Latvian excuse to drink copious amounts of beer, eat large quantities of really great food, stay up all night and play with fire.

I don't expect to make it all the way through the night and local ordinances prohibit us from setting fires in our yard, but we do have plenty to drink and eat.


Šašliks (marinated pork shishkabobs)

Speķa rauši (pīrādziņi)

Speķa rauši (baked bacon & onion rolls)

Read more about how to make speķa rauši.

Speķa rauši, jāņu siers

Speķa rauši, Jāņu siers, ķiploku mērce (garlic sauce)

And ķiploku mērce, too. This is a sauce we first had at the Fontaine in Liepāja. It was their take on a creamy garlic sauce (even released in bottled form by Heinz, though I have not seen that here in America). We absolutely adored the Fontaine's version and promised ourselves we'd recreate it here. I may be biased, but I think our version today kicks the Fontaine's sauce's ass.

Read more about garlic sauce/ķiploku mērce here.

Fresh Jāņu Siers

Jāņu siers

Slices of Jāņu siers

Slices of Jāņu siers

Our cheese from yesterday hardened beautifully into what I can only describe as the texture of a young Cheddar or an aged Monterey Jack. It came out wonderfully and I already have plans for a pepper jack-style twist for later this summer. For the cost of 1 gallon of milk, this fresh, heat-aged cheese is well worth the effort.

Mmm.. Now I'm hungry again. I think I'll go grab myself another margarita and watch my husband grill us up another set of šašliks.