Project Description

Maria Ilyinichna Fomina

My grandmother

Bessarabia, Ukraine

I learned to cook when I married. Prior to that it was not necessary, my mom was cooking. The village is easy. Each has his own business. When I lived with my parents, there was no need to cook. Then, with the appearance of my children, I learned.

I have gone through several regimes. And through the hope when everyone believed in communism, and through dispossession of people who want to work and worked. Through the Romanian government, which protected the Bessarabian people from the Nazis, not allowing them to scoff at the simply people, and through the terrible postwar famine. Through the Renaissance and the sunset of a great country, and the time of formation of a new one.

Life is hard, but money doesn’t rule the world, it is love who rules . The younger generation has forgotten about it and they chase every penny. Who doesn’t stand up to this race, becomes an inveterate drunkard.

And if they loved they would be happy.

I was born in 1934, I don’t know the date of my birthday, so I celebrate it on the day of my angel Mary.
All my adult life I worked on the farm, we called it «to drag the norm». In the Soviet union they didn’t give us money in the villages. Passports too. For the reason that we couldn’t go to the cities. So, there were norms that we had to perform.

For these norms they count the points for us. And these points we could exchange for food, clothing etc.

Then I got sick and I couldn’t do manual labor. I got a job as cook in the kindergarten. It was in the 70s. So that’s how my professional career began (laughs).

My husband, Yevdokim, worked all his life as a truck driver. He traveled all over the great country, the USSR, and went abroad. They wrote about him in the newspapers.

And I, except for a few cities in Ukraine and resort in Latvia, haven’t been anywhere else. All my life I have lived here in Bessarabia.

In the kitchen I didn’t weigh anything. Everything I always determine by eye. I learned this from my mother, and I taught my daughters do the same.

All dishes are prepared in different ways, depending on the traditions, family values, the upbringing and the approach. The same recipe of the dish different people make by different ways. One makes a delicious dish, other — not.

Children in kindergarten, where I worked, always knew that I was on shift. I have never saved products, porridge was very sweet, and soup was rich.

The main thing in a dish — organic food and water. In the cities you have insipid water, not alive. It is not good for cook.

I always made simple dishes. When the dish is simpler, so it is closer to the person and tastes better.

In Bessarabia we mixed kitchen. We have Ukrainian, Russian, Moldovan, Bulgarian and Romanian kitchens. And all this spiced with wilderness, our herbs, thyme, chamomile …

On the photo the traditional Moldovan dish that like my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. This is Placinta. But with the one feature. It is fried without a drop of oil and on a dry frying pan.

And only then it is greased with melted cow butter. That’s how my grandmother and my mother did and now I do the same.

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