Summer Holidays Begin


Ollie, Ocean, Mom, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

Nadia is shown above with the kids at our favorite place for pizza in Belgrade, Brodic. It means “little boat” in Serbian and it is basically a boat and raft, moored along the Sava River, near the Sajam Fair. They serve a sesame seed crust pizza that is absolutely delicious. It is more a hangout place for beers, than a family restaurant, but it has a friendly atmosphere and serves Paulander Wheat Beer, which is a favorite of mine. I highly recommend the “The Pizza Boat” as the expats call it.

We are busy packing for our summer holidays. I’m wrapping things up in the office at school. We bought a new car as our beloved “Eidelweiss” is on her last legs. It is a 2005 Town & Country and it is THE family vehicle. I love that both rows of seats can be stored underneath easily and it is quite luxurious compared to the 1996 Honda we are currently driving. We are trying to figure out a name for the car. The paperwork is taking forever however, and we won’t get our license and registration until we return to Belgrade in August. That is one difficult part of living in Belgrade, sometimes simple things like transferring a car title and registering for a license plates take forever and require several trips to government offices. It is one reason why the economy is bad here, is that it is hard to do simple business transactions because of too much bureaucracy.

The New Ride

I took the kids to the zoo on Sunday while Nadia was getting her hair and nails done. We had a great time. I recommend visiting it with the family. I am ambivalent about zoos. It is good the kids can see the animals and learn about them, but it is basically a prison for animals. The conditions for the animals in the Belgrade Zoo are not great, but in my travels around the world, I’ve seen worse.

My favorite meal: Pizza Rolls

Every time I come home to Caspian for a visit my mother makes my favorite meal. She calls them pizza rolls, and they are an Italian dough and meat cinnamon roll shape covered in a red sauce. It is a simple recipe and the only work is in preparing and shaping the dough.

To the right is how the dough is laid out and the meat placed. It is then carefully rolled and cut into small slices.

My mother got the recipe from her mother who got it from Mrs. Stiffe, a neighbor in their Italian neighborhood of Caspian. I’ve eaten these since I was a kid and always eat too many of them.

Below my Dad and Mom enjoy the pizza rolls in the foreground. My brother and his family came from Iron Mountain to enjoy the rolls and spend some time with us. We went up to the baseball field and played with the kids after the meal.



  • 3 cups of flour
  • 6 eggs (2 eggs per 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 large cup of tomato sauce
  • 1 large cup of pizza sauce
  • 1 can water per each can

Meat: 1 – 1 & 1/2 pounds of hamburger (add 1/4 – 1/2 ground pork), salt, pepper, garlic salt, onion (mix well together)

Instructions: Mix flour & salt – add eggs (dough will be soft and sticky) add a little milk if too dry. Put oil on hands and over dough. Divide in half – roll on floured bread 1/4 ” thick. Spread on meat – roll like a jelly roll-cut 1″ slices – place 1″ apart in cake pan. Mix sauces and water – pour over slices – cover – bake 350° F for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Andy’s tip – mix the meat the night before to make it easier and it gives the pork a chance to give more flavor to the beef.

Family Journal: Wednesday July 9, 2008

Uncle Dan, Mom, & Aunt Darlene, originally uploaded by bill kralovec.

We had a nice visit yesterday from my Uncle Dan and Aunt Darlene. The three Heikkila siblings are shown above. My mother is in the middle. The other surviving sister Ione could not make it, but she came up earlier in the summer. I haven’t seen Dan and Darlene in a while and it was good to sit and talk with them. My uncle Dan donated his kidney to his sister/my mother years ago and has always been kind to my family. Both Dan and Darlene are enjoying their retirement and live in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We spent many of a family vacation when I was growing up staying at their homes. I have lots of good memories of the fun times I had with all of my cousins.

Of course on the way home they needed to stop for a Riverside Pizza. The Riverside Bar and Restaurant is a landmark in Iron River. They make a unique pizza that is sliced in little squares instead of the normal big pie pieces. the sauce, cheese and other toppings are delicious as well as the thin crust. A one-of-a-kind pizza that I don’t understand why they never tried to spread it. All tourists and former residents have to eat one during their visit.

In the afternoon I went for a physical at the Iron County Community Hospital. I need to get a physical and TB test for my new school. I got a booster vaccine of DTP (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis). I was four years late with the last booster shot received in 1994.