A publication in the form of the cookbook “Meals from the Dutch Oven” was published as part of the project “Strong Women” implemented by the municipality of Ražanj in cooperation with the associations “Etno konac” and “Sunčev zrak” and the tourist organization of the municipality of Ražanj, aiming to contribute to the establishment of local support mechanisms for the economic empowerment of women from rural and impoverished areas.
This book was published with the aim of promoting the local version of a Dutch oven (“crepulja”), the main product of the Women’s Agricultural-Social Cooperative “Ražanjke”, the activities of the newly formed women’s cooperative, and the municipality of Ražanj itself, known far and wide for its environmentally healthy local ambience.
The “Meals from the Dutch Oven” cookbook was produced under the process of researching traditional way to make Dutch ovens, a unique process described in this publication, while advice for the use and maintenance of Dutch ovens were obtained from manufacturers and persons with many years of experience in preparing food in this type of pot. Furthermore, the authors of the brochure visited cooks in Ražanj and the villages of Poslon, Mađere, Rujište and Smilovac, recording recipes for healthy and tasty culinary specialities prepared in the Dutch oven.
A “crepulja” Dutch oven is a clay pot made exclusively by hand, using a traditional recipe and without the help of a potter’s wheel or other machinery. The pot is made of natural materials and bears the mark of an ecological product. It is good for baking bread, pastries, and cooking dishes. Dutch oven making in Ražanj has been registered as non-material cultural heritage of the Republic of Serbia in the National Register under no. 47. More on the process of manufacturing these pots can be found here.
The lavishly illustrated publication “Meals from the Dutch Oven” brings useful information on the method of preparing the pot for its first use and the process of subsequent maintenance, and a number of recipes for meals prepared in a traditional way in this pot, that can find their place in modern cuisine.
The publication is intended for catering facilities across Serbia, and all citizens who wish to use natural materials in their household for cooking and eating healthier meals.
The project “Support for the Development of Innovative Models for Social Inclusion – Strong Women” is being implemented as part of the Local Initiatives Programme for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction – Support to the Development of Innovative Models for Social Inclusion LIP 2, coordinated by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (SIPRU) with support by the Government of Switzerland. The project has established a women’s agricultural-social cooperative, providing for increased employability and employment of women, particularly women from rural and impoverished areas in the municipality of Ražanj: women with a low or inadequate degree of qualifications, Roma women, single mothers, and women with disabilities.