My host mom laughed at me when I took this picture. She doesn’t think it really counts as cooking, since all she did was cut up a pumpkin (from her garden!) and put it in the oven, with maybe a little vegetable oil. Bostan din Cuptor (“Bost-ahn deen coop-tor”)* just means “pumpkin from the oven.” But it sure tastes good!
Doesn’t this key look like it ought to open a pirate treasure chest? Or a secret room in a spooky old mansion? Or the final clue to solve some deep ancient mystery? Actually it’s just the key to the office where I keep my things at school (although I secretly think of it as my Harry Potter key). Using this cheie (“kay-ee-ay”*) — this key — almost always makes me smile.
Random Cool Thing about Moldova (#2): Stores that sell all different kinds of candy (mostly chocolate!!) by weight. Yummmmmmm! (And one of the many reasons I won’t be going home any slimmer than I arrived).
My host mom loves to try out different treats on me. When she brought these out she said “these are cookies made with corn flour.” Biscuits de Porumb (beess-cu-eats day pour-oomb”*) just means cookies from corn. I was curious to try them, and I like them very much. In my head I call them “cornbread cookies” because they taste kind of like sweet (Jiffy) cornbread only even sweeter, with a denser texture, almost like butter cookies.
P.S. Yeah, I know it’s Saturday. Life happens. Deal. 🙂
Spring is green. Summer is bright.
Autumn is yellow. Winter is white.
Some of the sixth grade English students had to memorize this little poem. When I first heard it I wondered why yellow was the color they had chosen for Autumn (my experience includes Autumns with red, green, yellow, orange, and mixed-color leaves). Now I’m seeing the reason. Check out Toamnă (“Twahm-nuh”*) — Autumn, in Moldova:
This picture and the next one were taken 5 days apart.
Look how many leaves have fallen in just 5 days!
Girls from my school enjoying the beautiful leaves!
(Note that the top middle two pictures are the same place, only 5 days apart. In the second one looooottttss of leaves are now on the ground!)
The text in one of the 4th grade lessons has a student pretending to be the teacher. So to start the class, we got this volunteer to be the “teacher” and review the previous lesson’s vocabulary with the class. As you can see, it was a big hit!
I know two words in Romanian for “cheese”. The yellow kind from the store is called cașcaval (“cahsh-cah-vahl”*) but this more common, locally produced cheese is called brânză (“broon-zuh”**). Wikipedia says it’s from sheep milk, but I’ve been told there is brânză from cow and goat milk as well. It’s somewhat reminiscent of feta cheese, but with a sharper taste, a little bit like ricotta and a little bit like roquefort. It’s used very commonly here in all kinds of food, from crumbling it on top of fried eggs to baking it inside of pastries, to name just two. Since the taste is sharp, tangy and salty, most Volunteers report that they either love it or hate it.
**Pronunciation even more approximate than usual. The â really doesn’t exist in English. It sounds kind of like the French eu in “fleur” but not quite.