Alrighty, I got a little behind, didn’t I? My apologies. So, as I believe that my last entry was about the week before last, I’ll start with suggesting that anyone interested in international music and or rock should check out Cargo and Zdob si Zdub, two amazing bands that I saw at a free concert here on the 25th. Cargo is sort of like Romania’s answer to Metallica, and they’re wicked, and Zdob si Zdub is a Moldovan rock band with lots of folk influence. And they are AWESOME live. The lead singer has loads of energy. However, if you look up their music, disregard what they did for Eurovision. That stuff is kinda lame. My last weekend in the osteology program was spent here in Cluj mostly writing, with a random trip into town that took us to the concert. I also hiked up a hill in the middle of twon and found a great lookout spot with a view of most of the city. It’s a really lovely place. And well, other than that I concentrated on writing what I could of the 10+ page paper that was due on the first as our closing contribution to the study of the Noua. My partner and I wrote about the metabolic pathologies that we’d seen on the skeletons we studied. Our sample was very small as we only had three skeletons, but our findings will be added to the rest of the summer’s stuff and last years, plus whatever they do in the future, so I don’t feel too irresponsible by drawing conclusions about a population through three skeletons. Every other sentence in our paper and presentation was along the lines of: “Due to the small sample size, no firm conclusions can be reached but…” Our lectures the last week were about histological ways of studying bone through DNA, radiography, and such, plus a little section on dating, so we really got a rather rounded out, if condensed, class. I’m really impressed. The amount of knowledge that they managed to cram into my brain in four weeks is quite astonishing! Last Friday was our last night as a group at the pensione, so we had a masquerade night to celebrate the end, which was a lot of fun. On Sunday the three of us digging at the Bronze Age site just outside of the city moved all of our gear over to a new hostel to make room for the new bone people and get started on the next leg of the trip. Our hostel/pensione is in a really upscale residential section of town quite a ways from downtown. It’s a very nice place and we have an entire floor set aside for our group, which feels a bit like we’re taking over, but I like it. We have two meals a day provided for us by the ladies here, all traditional Romanian food, which means a LOT of meats, and soup. And cabbage. I have included a recipe for Varza a la Cluj, which is a local cabbage dish that I really enjoy. It’s been raining all week so far, so we haven’t been out to the site yet, but we’re going out tomorrow, rain or shine to explore the site and check out what we’ll be doing, and then digging starts on Thursday, when the rain is supposed to stop. We should have one day a week in the lab working on the pottery we find looking for fingerprints and doing phosphate analysis. I can’t wait ☺
Varza a la Cluj
You will need the following ingredients:
2 medium cabbages (pickled cabbage is recommended)
1 to 1.2 kg minced pork and beef meat
150g of rice
2 big onions
6-8 spoons of tomato paste
a cup of sour soup (if you do not use pickled cabbage)
pepper, salt, thyme
Cut the cabbage, rub it with salt and then fry it in three spoons of oil. When the cabbage becomes soft, put half of cup of water and keep mixing constantly. Add a sprig of thyme, and mix in the pot until the water evaporates.
After the cabbage is done, you have to boil the rice. Clean and cut the onions, then cook them in two spoons of oil. Add the meat over the onion and season it with salt and pepper. Mix the meat with the onion and let it cook, until the juice from the meat is reduced. Then, add the rice and leave it for five minutes on the stove, mixing constantly.
Now that we have both the cabbage and the meat prepared, we can proceed to putting the final preparation on the tray.
Take a large enough tray, with thicker walls (preferably a clay one) and spread some oil on it. Add a layer of cabbage, one of meat with onion and rice, 3-4 spoons of oil and tomato paste and 2-3 slices of pork or Kaiser, depending on what you’ve chosen to use. Over the Kaiser, add again a layer of cabbage, one of meat, and continue like that until the composition comes to an end. The important thing is to finish the food with a layer of cabbage and few slices of Kaiser.
If you used fresh white cabbage, and not pickled one, besides a cup of water, also put a cup of sour soup. Put the tray in the oven at 150 degrees for 2 hours. Cabbage a la Cluj is ready to be served with sour cream, hot peppers and polenta.
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