I’ve never been so grateful to find $2.
But it’s all in how it came about. And the tradition that comes with it.
My MIL makes a dish called Maznik, true to the Macedonian culture. It is a pastry with fetta cheese and it is oily, and that is all you really need to know other than it is DEE-LICIOUS.
Oh, and it pairs well with some home-grown fresh garden tomatoes, simply cut up.
The seasonal tradition is that with the coming of the ‘old’ New Year (that of the Orthodox New Year) she makes this Maznik, and somewhere within its circular shape places a $2 coin wrapped in foil.
The coin is meant to represent good luck for the coming year, and if you are the lucky recipient of it, well then a good 2019 year to you.
Tonight after much ado (it’s been in our fridge for a few days, tsk tsk tsk) we took the huge pan out, set it in the middle of the table during dinner, and cut it into 4 pieces. One for each of us, and the 4th for ‘the house.’
Hubbie and I went mad. We were going through our allocated pieces something shocking, from first peering down the ends of the tubular pastry to then not holding back and ripping it apart, pushing down hard to feel something, anything other than fetta cheese. Baby girl sat there patiently, chatting away about how it is so delicious (thinking surely that is why we were tearing it apart) while we went through all 4 pieces in order.
But we couldn’t find the coin.
“Tell your Mum she forgot to put the coin in.”
My hands were greasy, almost dripping from the oil and cheese. I was trying to keep some kind of order within the pan and keep each piece away from each other as we finely dissected it.
“Tato, your Mum didn’t give us the chocolate coin,” baby girl chimed in. She was convinced it was chocolate, and not gold. Ahh, kid life.
I had gone through 3 of the pieces, perhaps 3 times over already. Mine, baby girl’s and the ‘house’s one. I pressed repeatedly on hers again, looking and feeling and pulling apart. I was starting to feel sorry for the pastry… it had looked so beautiful, and now it was reduced to pulled parts.
It would still end up in our bellies though.
I moved on to my piece again. “There is no money in here.” I pushed down hard on the pointy soft end of the Maznik, filled to the brim with cheese. I looked down the tubular crust end. “Honestly where the hell is this?” I kept simultaneously pushing down and pulling the pastry away, until –
“It’s here.” It was a flat tone, but I pulled out the little piece of foil with satisfaction.
Hubbie said a traditional congrats to me, while baby girl went “Ohhhh.”
“It’s okay honey, you’ll still have a good year…” I grinned.
I had gotten lucky. 🙂
I know it was only $2, but that little gold coin represented so much more, and I hoped it would bring abundance, more than any monetary value it held…
We then proceeded to eat the Maznik we had torn to shreds. Nom nom nom.