Archives for the month of: June, 2011

Victory Day falls on May 9 and is celebrated in Moldova (and in many other European countries) to commemorate the end of World War II. Nazi Germany signed a surrender document late in the evening on May 8. As that was officially May 9 according to Moscow time, the victory is celebrated on May 9. The majority of Moldovan villages and cities have built WWII monuments to commemorate soldiers from Moldova. The monument in Chișinău burns an eternal flame with two soldiers standing at attention.

Bălăurești has one remaining WWII veteran who is honored and greatly respected in the community. On May 9 of this year, the community put on a concert in the morning followed by a religious service at the monument.

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Carne Bătută is a typical dish you will see at most Moldovan tables on celebrations and holidays. It is usually served cold and sliced (like steak fries), but I think it is much better served warm.

Ingredients
6-8 Chicken Breasts
2 Eggs
1/2 cup Flour
Salt and Pepper
Oil

Beat 6-8 chicken breasts with a meat pounder. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each side and set on a dish. Heat some oil in a pan. Beat a couple of eggs in a bowl, and put the flour in another bowl. When the oil is ready, place the chicken breast in the flour, making sure the whole breast is covered generously with flour. Then dip it into the eggs, and place it in the pan. Repeat with the rest of the chicken breasts. After 3 or 4 minutes, flip it over to cook on the other side.

Pofta Bună.

Andrușica is L and E’s grandson who lives in a neighboring village with his parents, but he comes to stay with his grandparents each weekend. June 6 was his birthday, and because we could not be here, we gave him his gifts early. We gave him his gifts one at a time so he would play with each of them, so we started out on Friday night by giving him a beach ball and eating ice cream. He loved it, and it wore him out. Saturday morning the first thing he said to me was, “Good morning, Susie. Did you say you had another gift for me?” E immediately told him it was not polite to ask for gifts, so he felt embarrassed, and didn’t ask for at least another hour. The second gift was a bubble gun. He loved that one too, as did all the neighbor kids.

Răcituri is a very traditional Moldovan dish, but one that I am not willing to eat. I have never been a fan of cold meant unless it’s deli meat, and as răcituri is served cold, I just can’t get into it. The natural gelatin found in the rooster’s bones makes this dish what it is. It is basically boiled for several hours and cooled for several hours, allowing the gelatin to set. No thank you. Just in case there is someone who wants to try it, here you go!

Ingredients
1 rooster
1 large carrot
2 onions
2 bay leaves
Salt
Pepper

Kill, clean, and cut up your rooster, keeping all the bones connected to the meat. Put all the pieces into a big pot of water, place it on a burner on high, and wait for it to boil (takes a long time). Just in case you have recently killed a pig, you could also add a couple of pieces of pig fat to the pot.

Peel the carrot and chop the onions.

When it starts to boil and even before, you will notice foam coming to the top. Scoop it off with a spoon and feed it to the pigs. After boiling for 3-4 minutes, turn it down to low.

Add the carrot, onions, salt, pepper, and two bay leaves. The amount of time it needs to cook depends on the rooster. Generally you want to leave it on the burner for 4 hours. An older rooster might take more time, and a younger one might take less. Turn the burner off and let it cool for 4-5 hours.

After it has cooled, scoop all the fat off the top with a spoon, and place the meat and carrot in a separate bowl. Drain the liquid with a ladle, counting how many spoonfuls you drain. Using a cheese cloth instead of a colander is best because even the smallest colander will let in too much.

Set out several bowls and place at least two pieces of meat in each bowl (The number of spoonfuls divided by 2 is roughly how many plates you need.). Using the ladle, scoop the liquid into the bowls covering at least half of the meat.

Thinly slice the carrots or make whatever design you want with them and add them to the liquid. Make sure it is “frumos”, because if it isn’t it cannot be called a Moldovan dish. Transfer the plates to the refrigerator for several hours if not overnight. The liquid will set and become gelatin.

Pofta Bună!