It’s an adventure: weekend edition!

It’s our (COD’s & SED’s)  final weekend during Peace Corps pre-service training before we all leave for our permanent sites on Wednesday. It was a full weekend complete with an underground wine tour, doing some baking & cooking, and a day-long visit to the Nistru river with my host family.

Friday night started off the weekend adventures as my host sister and I did some baking in the kitchen for the meal another volunteer and I were making for our host families (our host mothers are sisters) on Saturday evening. My host sister helped me find all the ingredients and supplies and I think she memorized the recipes. 😉

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Preparing the flour

First we prepped to make the cornbread… and quickly discovered that we would need to make a double batch to fit in the large pan.

Getting all the ingredients and measurements ready...
Getting all the ingredients and measurements ready…
It's quite the learning experience to bake/cook in another culture - and the feeling of accomplishment when the end result ends well!
It’s quite the learning experience to bake/cook in another culture – and the feeling of accomplishment when the end result ends well!

Once we put the cornbread in the small oven outside we moved onto making the no-bake cookies next! These were pretty easy to make with most of the ingredients they had on hand and then we found the rest of the ingredients at a local magazine (store).

Making no-bake cookies on the stove top
Making no-bake cookies on the stove top

We had an audience of 3 little kittens through most of the baking adventure who were just waiting for food to be available at any time…

This is probably the closest one of the kittens has gotten to me without me trying...
This is probably the closest one of the kittens has gotten to me without me trying…

As the evening light disappeared we kept on going until we finished and got to our desired end result – fresh cornbread and chocolatey-no-bake cookies and double batches of each! We didn’t want to run out of course…

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It’s finished and it tasted so good – probably one of my better attempts at making this too.
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Just some of the many no-bakes we made…

Then on Saturday we had language class in the morning and after class some of us boarded a mini-bus for a bit of an adventure for a wine tour at Cricova. This place is the second largest wine cellar in the world (the other one is also located in Moldova – Milesti Mici) with underground roadways where half of these roadways are used for wine storage. We just did the tour for the afternoon with no wine tasting – I’m hoping to make it back sometime within the next 2 years to experience that adventure. So if you come to visit we’ll make a trip to Cricova or Milesti Mici.

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Some of the very large barrels along the underground roads – check out the size next to the mini-bus!
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Exploring the national wine collection
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Stopping to take some photos during the tour!
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This is my favorite wine tasting room… when can we go back?

After the wine tour at Cricova my host family prepared to head over to my host mother’s sister’s home where we would have dinner along with her family. They’re always doing the cooking for us, but this time the meal was prepared by another Peace Corps volunteer, Matt and myself. Matt prepared the main dish – enchilada’s… while I took care of the baking. One of the goals of Peace Corps is to share American culture with the people you get to know wherever you are serving – so we enjoyed sharing a bit of food with our families that they haven’t experience yet.

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My host sister admiring some of the foods before going out to the table…
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Fresh fruit, sweet no-bake cookies, and sweet cornbread
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Dinner is served – lots of food for all!

As Sunday rolled around my family planned a day with some of their friends for a picnic/cookout and relaxation along the Nistru river.

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Relaxing along the Nistru…
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Some did some swimming in the Nistru… I opted not to but enjoyed the view from the side…
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…and enjoyed hanging out with these two as well as many others!
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I even introduced a new game… Story Cubes – however we had to have English and Romanian editions. These kids were creative and used some vocab I wasn’t familiar with.
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Food was prepared over a fire – soup, fish, chicken, sausage, and vegetables
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…and nearby some salads were being prepared with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and onions.
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Quite an enjoyable picnic – more food than I am used to and all very delicious.

I’m exhausted after a full week of language classes and training in addition to a weekend full of many adventures. Time is going by incredibly fast as the end of our training is coming up soon – we have one more day of language class and training before our language tests on Tuesday!

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