Boxnote 160, May 23 2017


Gustare/Kalotaszeg Kostoloi Hrana naturala, locala de la satele din zona Huedinului

Remember we are in the hungry gap .. HPM is FULL of palanta/rasadari .. and many are coming to market to buy these. We could see the market filling up with cars and people from our window as we organised boxnote chart/mailed cheese order to Szilard/gathered together the dry goods packages collected yesterday. All washed down with a cup of tea and homemade biscuit (made from Kati’s flour and Nelu’s honey of course!).

Douglas dashed down the road very early to meet Levente on the school bus. This week, for the first time, Emese picked in Bagolyvar garden in Vălcăul (I saw the spelling of this locally used name for the first time today and am grateful for it. The village name, Valeni is NEVER used by locals. This is so in many villages which adds to the general excitement of being in the area!). Mandru Kati picked at 208 Vălcăul ;. Both of these women sent their pickings with Levente who sent his lavender plants. Some of you will have noticed the GK chat newsflash about Levente’s goose eggs; on Monday and later,chatting with Kati in Damos, I discovered that she has duck eggs. Let us know if such exotics ever take your fancy!

After Levente, Douglas whizzed to meet Szekely Edit with your kale in front of the station. Kuratorne Kati picked with me in Damos; Agi neni in Alunis (or once again, the name all the locals use,Monyoro) .. and then later, Gil and Douglas collected in the Huedin garden; but I reach the end of the morning before we have even sniffed a story …

As I rushed to market, passing by large producers (Oradea, Arad etc). These people are not ‘en gros. …we were thinking this is possibly why people travel from far afield to buy the ingredients for making their jams, syrups, zacuskas etc. because they know where they come from and the quality.

These larger with their tomoatoes and peppers and goodness knows what other goodies stacked on their full tables all flashed before my eyes; but when I reached the old market, the Kalotaszeg sellers squashed between Krazna’s plants, or popped out of their usual spaces onto the back tables, we were lucky enough to collect some of the pre organised lettuce and elderflower collections (Eva) and pasta (wholemeal and oh so very new world) and gather some other goodies for you. All voluminous and all green.

If you are desperate for a root or a tattie (Scottish word for potato) to chew on, the news hot off the press from PMV (Piata Mihai Viteazul) and our roving reporter Simona is fresh carrots – the table near the producers who now have “rasaduri” – they are 2 brothers (sometimes there is their mom or wives too) one brother is wearing glasses, the other is tall and smiley (i think Joszef is his name) and the table is facing Oncos; they have mint too (and besides them is Iulika neni who has rhubarb, macris and eggs

and the other ones, with the carrots; are one line before these brothers, and perpendicular; husband and wife, and they have oil,and poppyseed and a few types of flour (I bought fresh baby potatoes from them – scumptious’

I believe these farmers are larger than ours (probably equivalent to the Crazna sellers who come to HPM in terms of status); and from the warmer villages east of the city.

Thanks for sharing that Simona!

Other local goodies will come, slowly unravelling as they are first thinned out from their rows in the plot and finally collected. There will be carrots and onion and cucumber .. and … and …. and .. but it just takes time when you grow on a small scale without plastic. Personally, I love it. I feel as though my body slowly receives what is locally gathered and this is exactly what it needs. It is almost like the beginning of spring; when you see the first flower, the second, and then come a crescendo and then before you know where you are, it is harvest and we are bombarded with the beautiful excess of nature.

**** for info./stories about individual goodies and producers, find the veggies below! **

Thanks to the Gustare team who helped us bring the goodies to you this week: Gil arrived with many packages. I had great hope he was coming to stay and help us out (he is SUCH a great help), but no, he was carrying Carmen’s archive. Yes, our dear Carmen is beginning an adventure .. sooo in the meantime, until she is settled, Douglas will be arranging the blog. It won’t be so lovely (unless someone else would like to volunteer?). If yes, let us know. It is a case of selecting/arranging photos and boxnote text

Szilard helped us arrive at the station and Roger to get your packages onto the train. Gil accompanied your packages whereupon Deni met them and organised your GK to be collected!

If like me, you haven’t had the great pleasure yet to indulge in Guirec’s other life (or one of them!)

read on..

Here is your box this week; who grew it/who collected it and where!

Fresh herbs spearmint, peppermint, marjoram (many find this pretty weak as a tea but try it out, or in cooking and check it out online. It’s pretty healthy),

Kuratorne Kati, Douglas, Agi neni, in Damos, Huedin and Alunis.

peppermint and other garden mint variety in a bunch – Erzsike and Domi, Huedin

Salad ustoroita-kanyarzsombor-jack by the hedge/red lobodo/young penny cress/ lamb’s lettuce/ rucola/chevril – turbolya-hasmatiu/macris-sorrel- soska/ cress/spring beauty, From TKD gardens..collected by me, Curatorne Kata in Damos, Douglas, Gil and Guirec in Huedin; Agi neni in Alunis, Emese in Valcaul

lettuce/salyata – Eva Ketesd, Curatorne Kata, Damos, Zsofi, Huedin.

Green onions, ceapa verde, Zsofi, and Domi, Huedin

Fresh garlic – Annus neni,Ketesd and Douglas in Huedin

parsley/petrinzsely levelet/patrunjel/marar-kopor-dill Erzsika and Domi in Bicalat/Huedin, and Annus neni in Ketesd and Eva, Ketesd

notice that we already wave goodbye to chicory leaves and leustcean which have become bitter, as the plants begin to shoot …..

Spinach/spanac/spenotMaria, Huedin mainly and Annuska in Ketesd

perpetual spinach – the first to arrive at market from Zsofi neni. Zsofi now has a small leaf variety (her seed) and a large leaf variety (our seed) from which these leaves came. She was SO excited to have this speciality so early in the year!

Cabbage/Varza/Kapuszta and Radish Domnul Pandele, Huedin. Domnul Pandele came to Kalotaszeg from Bucharest and is a market gardener in Huedin with polytunnels. He is passionate about growing and selling, so he’s pretty successful and doesn’t need our regular support. He uses small amounts of peat to fertilise his soil (because of the lack of cows and manure in Huedin) but because peat use is very detrimental to planet, we only buy from him when rather desperate, ie. In the hungry gap period.

Macris collected by Emese in Valcaul

or Kale or kale shoots, we stir fry these like broccoli Szekely Edit and Agi neni in Alunis and Mandru Kati, Vălcăul

or pea tops or bean tops we love these crude or in a salad. Agi neni in Alunis and Mandru Kati and Emese in Vălcăul

or extra cabbage – Domnul Pandale

The reason you each have one of these bags is we didn’t have enough for all. We feel the shoots are better stir fried now as the plants are a bit bigger. They are the last and we bid them also farewell from our boxes until 2018.

Preparing your boxes,we ran out of time. Everyone declared it was because I spoke too much during the process .. but Gil, dear fellow, said, ‘ it is just all part of the game!’ … the game of Gustare/Kostolo. This certainly encapsualtes the cut and thrust quality of market day!


Cheese – Szilard, Alunis. The mature sheep cheese has arrived.

Pasta/Taietei – Annus neni made this using Kadar Kati’s Damos flour with korpa/tarate/bran(she wanted to mix in as much as possible so she ground what I gave her very finely with her coffee grinder. So thereis a good tip for us; if you want to increase the bran content in your flour grind the ‘tarate’/’korpa’) Her own hazi eggs (21 chickens – 3 cockerels, 2 of which are lili – little cockerels. They eat greens and home grown corn. They love the greens (just like us!) at this time of year! .

Cornflour/Faina de Malai/puliszka liszt – Eva in Ketesd. Eva has one more kg if anyone needs it.

Nuts – As you know, nuts last year were very bad quality in general and because of this we are very cautious and ask many questions about the nuts we buy for Gustare. We are now paying 20lei/500g if someone is cracking the nuts on the spot, in the market, checking them well and removing any dodgey ones. Erzsika, Huedin started this good idea so the nuts are from her.

apple rings – dried in the solar drier by me and pandurne Erzsi in Vălcăul. These are the last of the year. They have been very popular with us all. If we can get our hands on enough Kalotaszeg apples (our Sovary tree in Mogyoro is resting this year), we will prepare many more together for you

Kale/Kel levelet/Varza furaje – Szekely Edit – Huedin. Sadly this will be the last for a while as Edit has pulled out these plants to replace with tomatoe plants.

Flour/Faina/Liszt with Korpa/tarate/bran – kadar Kati, Damos. Kati’s husband has cancer and is gai old (gai = scottish english for, very very) but he still potters about in the yard. One of his sisters died a couple of weeks ago; his other sister had a stroke on Tuesday and was whisked into hospital; you can almost imagine the feeling is that he will be the next to go.

The sadness is overwhelming Kati and it makes me sad and even more desperate to record her wisdom. She is a very intelligent woman; baking bread for her father and siblings from the age of 12 when her mother died. At a young age she started to learn about agriculture. She is well aware that very few in the village are left holding the knowledge that she has and is happy for me to record in any way I can (if anyone can magic me more time please for these wonders, please do so!).

Walnut oil – Levente’s nuts turned into oil in Valcaul by Gil and Guirec and Darius and Douglas. We’ve now run out.

Eggs (all fed with homegrown cereals/potatoe etc.); Kadar Kati – Damos; Kuratorne Kati – Damos;, Agi – Huedin, Huszar Kati – Damos, Ibolya – Nearsova, Hajni – Babiu/Babony (if you have super yellow yolks, you have Hajni’s eggs. Her daughter in law, Arany, told me that she feeds her hens with a lot of homegrown corn). I am always excited to hear of the remote village of Babony. Books were written about it in the past. It is small and isolated. I’ve put Arany on the iroasszony (pattern drawing ladies for the large square closed chain stitch) liviing or dead trail. Hopefully, there will be some names and news next week.

Cream – Jenica, Hodis from cow milk. I now have no plastic cream containers and I have cream container debts to Jenica, Vio and Livia. Next week it will be VERY hard if not impossible to buy cream without paying off my container debts and exchanging. Please think about how you will get the containers to us before ordering!

Always get everything out of plastic and the paper as soon as possible; even things in clean like pasta and cheese. I’ve been asking how pasta was stored pre-plastic days and I was told that it was put into a clean fabric napsack and suspended. We recommend this!

We hang the cheese (wrapped in paper) in net bag on the tarnat, which is fine except when the small birds are very hungry

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