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Eggplant Salad(Spread)

Eggpant salad, A amazing spread for bread! While I was in Roșia Montană I learned how to make this delicious and healthy smearables!  I have been told that it actually originates from Turkey, though throughout the Balkans you can find a similar recipe. I myself got to know Eggplant Salad in Romania, where at first i though it was quite weird. I soon came to realize how amazing this spread actually is. Besides that, it is so extremely easy to make its hard to not like it.

What’s it you need?

Well it quite depends on the quantity you want to make. Considering it stays well for quite a few days in the fridge and once you start eating it you cant stop, lets use the following amounts.

4 Eggplants
2 Big Onions
Oil, (Olive or Sunflower)
Salt

Creation of Eggplant Salad

When you freshly harvested your eggplants from the garden, or bought them from the market you have to roast them. Roasting eggplants can be done in the oven but the most popular and delicious way is to roast them on open fire. Make some fire and lay the eggplants next to it or above it, while turning them around every few minutes. Basically you want to roast the outside of the eggplant evenly black. It doesn’t take that long, but to check whether they are done you can squeeze them a bit, they should have become soft and squishy. When they are done, take them out of the fire and let them cool down for a few minutes. Were gonna have to peel off the skin! If you’re a phoenix people and you can bear holding hot surfaces you can start right away. To peel an eggplant just pull of the crunchy black skin either by hand or with assistance of a knife. Yes its that easy!

With the peeling process done, put the eggplants in a bowl or pan, cover it with a lid and let them sit there for about a night. The next day you can finish the eggplant salad. Because you let the eggplants chill out in the bowl, all the eggplant juice gathered at the bottom. Its Very important to get rid of the juice! for the juice is quite bitter!

Now the juice is gone we can continue. Take one eggplant and hit it with a hammer! Alright, maybe not a hammer that will make the thing explode all over the place. What you do have to do is to chop it up into a nice pasty smearable thickness. It can be done with a knife, there are some blunt wooden knifes that are perfect for the job. Keep hitting the thing until you approve of the consistency. With the eggplants beaten into a spread you chop up the onion. Preferrably small perfect triangular pieces, then add them to the eggplants

The next step requires some serious attention! its time to add the oil and salt. As for quantities its hard to tell, It needs quit some oil and salt. I suggest you find out what you like best by trial and error. What is Very important though, is when you start mixing the oil with the eggplant you decide whether to stir clockwise or counter clockwise. Once you start stirring you better don’t change the direction, for it will not end well! it is key to keep stirring in the same direction! when the whole spread became equally mixed and you approve of the taste its ready for consuming!

You can eat the eggplant salad just like that next to some potatoes and veggies, though it usually gets served with bread and tomatoes. Thus eggplant salad can be used as the perfect breakfast, lunch, appetizer for dinner or even desert. If you have never eaten or made eggplant salad yet I highly recommend you do so! For eggplant salad will definitely improve your life!

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Optional

Instead of oil, you could also use Mayonnaise. I’m not quite sure how to explain in words what the difference is in taste, I do know that both versions are very delicious! It is key though to make your own mayonnaise rather than using the one from the shop.

To make mayonnaise for 4 eggplants you need One boiled egg yolk and two raw egg yolk
You mix these three together until you have an even mush.
Slowly add oil while mixing, One or two spoons of Mustard and keep mixing.
You keep adding oil until you get the Mayonnaise consistency you want.
In the end all it needs is some salt.

Then when you make the eggplant salad use the mayonnaise instead of the oil. And Voila! Dont forget to keep stirring in the same direction! Some people also like to add some lemon juice.

May your new Eggplant Salad addiction begin!

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Să creşti mare!

Riding the bicycle, something I love to do and something that has been quite common for me throughout my life, almost daily even. ever since I started traveling, riding the bicycle has not been that common sadly. While staying in Lithuania I bought a bicycle in Vilnius and whenever I went to Vilnius I would enjoy riding the bicycle. As for Romania these days i’m borrowing a bicycle and use it all the time when i’m in Cluj! what I like about riding the bicycle in Easter European countries compared to back in The Netherlands, is that there are basically no rules here (except for in LT you had to wear a reflective fest “officially” and in RO if you cross a zebra you should step of your bike and walk it). besides that you can ride you bike wherever you want, basically you just act like a car when your driving on the road or act like a pedestrian when you decided to ride the sidewalks. The thing is though, that in most East European countries there is not much respect for the bicycles in general and there are hardly any bicycle lanes. Implying that either you get stuck in a pothole and make  front flip, or a car tries to drive you off the road to gain an extra 100 points.

For this reason Critical mass got invented. Critical mass is a gathering of bicycle every last Friday of the month, the big group rides their bicycles on the main roads to show their right in traffic and let people know that they are fucking awesome! To show cars they should accept and respect their presence in traffic. It originates from San Francisco and the first ever Critical mass was held in 1992. the great thing about these gatherings are that there is not really any leadership. The one that’s in front of the group can basically decide where there going and its not seen as an official protest or demonstration due to the no leadership. There just happens the be a huge group of bicycles riding together as a group every last Friday of the month ;) Due to my love for bicycle, Ioana notified me on this awesome gathering, we joined the ride and got a pretty cool tour of Cluj Napoca!

Up in the mountains things are doing great, a few weeks ago we started on the garden. The garden Victor used last year had to be moved so we had to make some new raised beds on a better suited location. Basically we took out patches of grass, then dug out a few squares approximately 20 cm deep, afterwards we threw in some manure, put back the grass but upside down! add another layer of manure and throw back all the soil we dug out. This gives you a very fertile nice raised bed to grow some veggies, we planted some veggies and these days there growing amazingly! without any watering of weeding to be done, its just plant and wait until you can harvest. maybe an occasional re-adding of some hay so the moist stays inside of the soil!

Meanwhile I finished one of the beds in the Illumicabin. We don’t have any power up there where we are building the cabins, so I had to make everything by hand which was a very good opportunity to practice some lost arts. Before making the bed we had a good chat what it should look like and we decided it should look rough with cracks and gaps, not everything has to be even and 100%. so I just started choppin some mortises and tenons, and just went with the flow. The bed turned out to be very sturdy and Awesome! The mattress is made out of hempfabric with straw on the inside. the bed is made out of oak logs and boards from locally chopped oaks.

Apart from that we have started working on the sauna, with the Illumicabin basically done and Jon just working the cracks and the final plaster layers in the Piracabin while helping with other tasks, We had lots of time to do this, First of we had to cut some trees and peel them to make the support of the sauna, afterwards we ordered some more wooden boards that had to be cleared of bark. then we just started building. The crazy thing was, the wood provider was not able to bring the wood that day when we needed it. this meant we had to bring them up manual. So yeah I have carried 6 meter long boards on my shoulder for short distances before. But I never expected I was capable of doing this, while climbing a very steep mountain with the end part of this climb being forest! maneuvering myself with the crazy heavy and long board through all the trees. It was crazy and quite intense at some point. But very mind expanding. A detailed post about the construction of the sauna will be written once we finished it.

Besides the sauna we have been going to Cluj for the past 2 weekends, we got an offer to build a cob oven for a future hostel in Cluj. Of course we took it! we initially planned to finish it in one weekend, but we had to use some metal parts for the dome and were using the fancy doors. sadly the guy welding the things was not capable of welding it on time so we had to spread the project over a few weekends. We are close to finishing it, but its not quite there yet! You can read all about it Here!

Because we have been going to Cluj more often lately I have been staying with Ioana quite a lot. The thing is she’s working on her Thesis and Project for she graduated Architecture, but to get this fancy word in front of your name some things have to be done. This girl though, is fkn mad! she works like 18 hours a day straight, trying to avoid going to the bathroom for she doesn’t want to waste her time on this. Luckily for her, i’m a pretty cool guy and have been trying to “take care” of her as much as I can. (Actually its slavery, for she just demands this, otherwise she’ll drain my blood and turn me into a vampire) She’s a Vegetarian though like most people around me all of the sudden. Implying that all the food I want to make for her has to be without da meats and although I love to sarcastically complain about this and make jokes, it has been a good thing! I have been learning how to cook proper Vegetarian food, like a Vegetarian Lasagna some pasta etc, got some crazy Salads going on with some inspiration of Victor. I even learned how to make an Apple pie and home made Chocolate! The most wonderful thing about Romania (or any other Easter European country for that matter) is the fact that people still grow their own food and make their own things. Seriously! The fruits and veggies here are so damn delicious! Recently Ioana’s parents came to visit, they just brought a box full of cherries picked that morning from there 100% organic backyard garden, some strawberries and home made jams and Zacusca. all this wonderful eatables! And even though she is very busy, She made me home made peanut butter when I started to get Withdrawal symptoms for not consuming peanut butter for a while. Looks like she made it up to me for microwaving my food!

As of tomorrow we are changing location, Victor is building a Strawbale house for his NGO in a little village some 150km from Cluj, some new volunteers will be arriving tomorrow and with them we will head to the Strawbale house to do some plastering, build some more facilities and finish as much as we can! Due to this place being in a smaller village and still under construction, there is no power or running water present. Were gonna stay there sleeping in our tents and hammocks. cooking on a small rocket stove, using the neighbors water hose to take a shower etc. going back to basic. heall yeahhh!

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Whatz happenin lately

Its mid July these days n things here at da Izreal are going pretty amazing. Not only are the plants growing and blooming, and are eating from the garden regularly, N we have been working on the house like mad!!

We had a period of rain, lots O rain. but the last week it has been 30+ degrees again, I still have to get used to this a bit. doing this physical work in those kind of degrees without much wind can make me feel like a dolphin, dem shiny skin all day! but I try my best to wake up early, so we can chill when the Sun is highest. and continue work when it gets cooler again.

Anywayz. lets start with the foodzies growing around our yard. I’m not a pro gardener. so I probably skipped or didn’t recognize lots of them. For example: we had a Lithuanian visitor this weekend, he is really into diz shizz. so when he was walking around he started eating so much plants. apparently we have allot of spices and edible plants that he did recognize.

July Gardenz1 July Gardenz2

So this is what da garden looks like these days, some veggiesz have grown amazingly, others not at all. others have been eaten by Natural pirates. Basically Basz planted allot of seeds end of April. then like mid May we suddenly had 1 or 2 nights of Frost….. this fkd up lots of the Seedlings. so then we had to replant most of them. Luckily everything went alright and so we haz diz nao

Spiralz

What happened with the Spices Spiral is still a Mystery. cuz I don’t think there are much spices in it that are supposed to be there gheghe. This probably also due to the vew nights of frost we had late this year which ended up destroying all dem seedlings. ah well. it looks hilarious though. who knows what we can find later this year.

The apples and Plums are doing pretty well though, we have shit loads of Apple trees. I didn’t even count them, but like 10 Apples at least, A vew Plums, and Even a vew pear trees who probably wont give fruit this year cuz they did so last year. but lotsoapples fo sho1!. the tomatoez inside the Greenhouze are also doing pretty nice! there growing very fast and starting to get biggah n biggah. also the cherry tomatoes and paprika are doing great.

obuolys1 obuolys2 Plum?

The time for me to mess around with wood and Tinker some furniture is over
We have a house to finish before winter, so the past 2 to 3 weeks we have been spending all our time on doing so. Basz haz been working on the base layer of the floor inside, where the Floor heating system will be build upon, And he has been Finishing the walls with Lime shizzle on the main floor walls. I finished most of the Window frames and worked on the Roof Edge with some Crayray assistance. we also have been Claying the the base layer on the second floor. also, Clayafitti

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Project Greenhouse

Last Friday we started on Project Greenhouze, Friday n Saturday we worked on it here n there, we got about this far, Sunday Rain hit us again. so basically we didn’t work on da Greenhouze that day and chilled like a Baws.

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The reason we started on the Greenhouze is because we have lots of Tomato seedlings in eggboxsz, so we had to finish the Greenhouze ASAP to put the Tomatoez in there,
I had in mind: at this pace we could finish the Greenhouze around Tuesday

Around Tuesday we got this far…

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U might be thinking,
couldn’tyou level it a bit? everything looks twisted and crooked!
But don’t worry ya all! We Leveled it using This Device!

So Wednesday morning I add some more legs to support the weight and started on sawing some planks for the Table tops left n right, this took longer then I expected,
(we also went to visit a friend of Basz da afternoon. who wasn’t home at the time…) 
but I was able to finish both sides at the end of the day

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Thursday I Though we would finish the Greenhouze fo sho, Me n Basz worked on the Door and the Window together to finish it Asap, Basz did not sleep so well that night, I was being really annoying and way to happy for a sleepy person. Ten$ion but good Co-Op in the end. no finished Greenhouze though

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When we started on stretching the plastic we realized we did not have enough screws and most important things to get this job done fast and right!

We cleaned the place up a bit, headed to the store to buy the needed things to finish the job and went for some dinner at Obuolių sala

Friday morning we were all ready to finish da Greenhouze Project, with all the preparations set I started on stretching da plastic, It was not so difficult as I expected, later on Basz joined me with the front and back side. this time he had a had slept way better, much funzies were had. No Ten$ion.
This is da Result!

Next year the Greenhouze will be updated, we made the tables because we needed it asap for the tomatoez. but next year basz wants to make a Rocket mass heater inside the Greenhouze, instead of the tables we will make 2 containers (filled with clean soil to reduce weed growth) and added 2 Flue’s one in both container. this way he will be able to heath up the ground of the containers to extend the growing period in the winter

Crraazzzyyyy!

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Dandelion Syrup

This week I have been trying to make some Dandelion Syrup, the result of the first bottle was better then expected, So i made moar, and figured it would be a worthy subject to randomblogpostaboutit

How much of da things you need is something you should find out yourself, I had a simple guideline, although I did not exactly followed it perfectly, I also tried different amounts of stuff on the first and second try. but go for something like

400 Grams of Dandelions (blooming nicely)
A lemon
A Orange or Manderin
About 1 liter waterz
N Sugarzzz!

So on a nice sunny day, find yourself some blooming Dandelions and gather those flowers!!, you don’t need da peduncle, if you would like to check if your Dandelion is Ready for use. Make sure it looks kinda yellow, and try to give it a blow, its supposed to not fly away all over the place.

CIMG0877Get rid of all the remaining leaves/peduncles, some prefer to only use the yellow flower, I just took the ugly looking leaves off but kept the flower with little bit of green intact.

Put dem in da panz, Slice yo Lemon n add dem slices, do the same with da Orange.

It still misses water, so add some water. 1 liter, 1.5 liters. maybe 10 liters. whatever you like!

 

CIMG0871Get yo cooking thing ready, and bring the Dandelion water to da cookz, SLOWLY don’t start with max heath or whatever you are using, bring it till the point of cooking. Slowly! When it cooks. let it cook for a little bit, maybe a vew min.

That’s all for today, put your pan with slowly cooked Dandelion substance in yo kitchen and let it be. some say it should stay for 24 hours. I just kept it there for a night and an afternoon, so something like 12 hours I would suspect.

/\/\/\/\/\/\ZzZzZzZzZzZzZzZ/\/\/\/\/\/\

CIMG0872The next day you can continue with yo CIMG0873Syrup, find yourself a peace of cloth and a strainer, throw the Dandelion substance through the strainer/cloth combo, I think it would be best not to put anything under it so everything will fall onto the ground! :D

then with a spoon you need to push all the Aroma’z of da Dandelions with the rest of the substance. This is the most important part I would say, because if you don’t. dafuq you do it for? You need dem Aroma’z yo! Its all about da Aroma’z!!!!

CIMG0874So once you squeezed all the Dandelion Aroma’z into your pan, its time to give it a little bit of sweetness, of course this is most easily achieved with Sugar, Pick a Sugar you like. How much you should add is again something you should figure out yourself, I think I used around 300 Gramz, on something around 1.5 liters of water and something like 350 gramz of Dandelions. Anywayz. add yo Sugar to your Dandelion Substance, and heat it till it cooks, (without the lid) this time you need to make it more syrupy, so fire it up! Cook dat shit! Make dem Water vaporize! I didn’t time any of it. So when you think the substance is Syrupy enough, Find yourself some bottles (hopefully you cleaned them first) and add the syrup to the bottles just after you finished cooking it! let it cool for a while you will see the Substance will become a little thicker/syrupy after it cools, Perfect!

And this was my Result! Some sweet ass Bottles of: In my Opinion very well made Dandelion Syrup, These ones I will trade for Ausra her Jamz, Awwwyeahh!

Awesome Rite? shizz Supah Delicious

Awesome Rite? shizz Supah Delicious