27 Dec 2012

Christmas Cooking Olympics

As it turns out, Christmas food preparation seems to take almost as long as the elephant gestation* period (same applies to the Christmas food digestion period). 

We might call it Christmas Cooking Olympics and the biggest golden medal definitely goes to our taste buds charmer Zosia. Everyone gained either victory over the wild pronunciation of “beetroots” or at least a few extra pounds.

Christmas and Cooking Olympics, in fact, provided preconditions for truce that saved us from the extensive Polish invasion we experienced for quite a lengthy period of time.

Here is what some of our hosts had to say:

Ala, “I realized that cooking is not my destiny and from now on I will stick to eating.”

Zosia, “Christmas is exhausting.” 

Ieva, “I liked that the food was in different colours of the sunlight during its passage over the sky at daytime and that it wasn't the colour of the night.”

Eva, “Lots of food. That's my statement. (Ieva, “But that's not funny.”) I'm not funny.”

Tomas, “The number you are trying to reach is currently partying in Istanbul.”

A guest's opinion:

Tamuna, “EVS Polish ghetto in Rustavi with delicious food.”

All in all, Christmas Eve was spent in peace and fellowship. New friendships (with each other and with Lekso's wine) were made and new inspired insights reached (mostly that the roominess of one's stomach can be compared to an average marshrutka in a rush hour). We thank our hosts and our guests who participated in creating this festive Christmas miracle. 

*For those too lazy to google, “gestation” = “pregnancy”.

11 Dec 2012

"Adios Khachapuro" Fitness club

If you are an active person who likes exercising and making sports and in the same time you want to spend your energy in productive way - I have something for you. Every Thursday at 5 pm I am leading fitness which helps you to stay in shape and have a good time. It's also a good way to prepare yourself for summer.

Here is the link about this fitness :)
Zosia's Aerobic Club "Adios Khachapuro"


Italian cooking club

Risotto with spinach

  • 0,5 l of vegetable bullion
  • 2 spoons of butter
  • 1 onion chopped very small
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 250 g spinach
  • 50-70 g sulguni cheese
  • salt and pepper

Clean the fresh spinach well and cut into smaller pieces (into about ¾ inch pieces) and set aside. Place the butter, onions, and a half teaspoon salt in a large heavy pan and set the flame to medium. Cook down the onions until soft and then add the rice. Toast the rice until the rice becomes translucent (the center can have a bit of white color). Pour in the wine and stir the ingredients well (you want to make sure the alcohol has had a chance to evaporate out of the liquid).

Next, ladle in 2 cups of hot boullion. Cook and stir again for 2-3 minutes and add the spinach on top of the rice and stir well (the spinach will wilt almost immediately). Continue to ladle in more bullion to cover the rice and stir frequently and when the liquid is almost completely absorbed ladle in another cup or bullion.
After 15 to 20 minutes taste the mixture and adjust for salt and pepper. When the rice is creamy and has a slight crunch in the center you can add your butter and about ½ cup of grated cheese.

Spaghetti bologna
  •  0,5 kg  pound lean ground beef
  • 2 onion chopped very thin
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 green celery (we don’t have it)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 can crushed tomatoes
  •  salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 packs spaghetti
  • Sulguni cheese for the top
1    Cut carrots and celery sticks(green of possible) and onions in little cubes and fry it till onions are translucent. Add minced beef meat (and add one all onion, which later you remove before serve) and when it is brown add one glass of white wine. Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste. At least 1,5 hours slow cooking
Pasta cook in salty water. 

Almond chocolate cake
  • 180 g sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 200 g dark chocolate
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g almond flour
  • 75 g flour
  • 1 teaspoons of baking powder
Heat the owen for 180 degrees, make the form oily with butter.   Make the butter and chocolate liquid, wait a bit and add yolks and sugar, mix with robot. Put in also almond flour, flour and baking powder.  In the second bowl make the snow from the wtite part of the eggs.   All together.
Bake about 25-30 minutes. 


3 Dec 2012


Last trip with Petra. First trip with Madis. Three days wandering around Georgia from one end to the other. Eleven hours in marshrutka in Mestia. The return trip was a racier with hitch-hiking from Mestia to Kutaisi. One experience after another, as it is usually in Georgia. But the experiences are priceless, that´s right. And we returned full of new energy. I'm already looking forward to go back there in the spring. Svaneti has amazed us. We went eight-hour trek from Mestia toward the mountain Ushba, which climbers called it "Caucasus Matterhorn". And this mountain aroused strong respect. It was a wonderful trip with wonderful weather. Even at night when we slept in all clothing we had with us. We climbed under the Ushba 3000mnm, we are treading in the snow, was dressed only in a T-shirt and enjoy the beauty and quiet. No one anywhere. The original plan was to find a small lake, but without success. At least Madis built his first snowman, we slipped ass over the hill and ate snow. Along the way we found out how convenient it is when you are able to at least somewhat speak to georgian. Because then marshrutka driver can offer to you for lunch, even when everyone else waiting for you in marshrutka.. And then take up directly in front of hostel. Tomáš and Florian warned us that hitchhiking of Mestia is quite expensive, so we are prepared for it, and Georgian sentence "We have no money, we are volunteers" fortunately helped. In hitchhiking back to Kutaisi Madis found his new talent, probably it will be his future job in Estonia (or maybe in Georgia also). For me cows were the funniest. When I was little, and I ran out, I always had to be home when the street lamps lit. Cows in Mestia it had pretty similar. It was sixth o´clock and all the cows mooing obediently in front of their door, came back of the pasture, and they wanted to go home. Morning they set off again, like usually at ten o'clock..on everything is enough time. Looking back I realize, most of the photos are either Usha or cows. I do not know what fascinated me more.

2 Dec 2012

Trip to Abkhazia

First week of November, Tomáš and Floriane decided to explore the most sensible region around Georgia: Abkhazia! We felt very excited, because heard and read  a lot about this complicated region.

The only way how to entre Abkhazia from Georgia is through the Ingur bridge. We felt a bit like in a movie, squeezed in a small trailer powered by a horse with old ladies all in black with pictures of their dead sons and husbands on their breasts.  

Our first stop was in Gali, the most problematic region of Abkhazia.  You can immediately feel that civil war had been taken place here just recently. Most of the houses are empty, people wearing black, social problems... On the other hand, the life goes on even here. Bazaar is full and noisy, people are chatting over coffee, old buildings are being slowly renovated. 

From Gali we went straight to Sukhumi. City looks very calm, as it´s already November, but still very warm and green. Few Russian tourists are resting on the beach, men are fishing, local café on the main avenue is full. Only few buildings are rebuilded since the civil war, but the city remained very beautiful with typical Abkhazian tropical nature around.

Just 20 km from Sukhumi lays Novy Afon, famous summer resort with its dominant church and monastery built by Russian monks. This place is a real paradise!

We continued more to the north to Gagra. As the weather changed, we were happy to meet our new host, who fulfilled our rainy day with thrilling stories from the times of civil war and the post-conflict period.

The main attraction of the whole trip came as the last: Ritsa Lake. We took a tour by minibus and managed to see this magnificent place in amazing autumn colours.

During those 6 days we met many nice and helpful people, which made our trip unforgettable and changed our stereotypes about this complicated region.


20 Nov 2012

Cooking club - chinkali

This Friday we learnt how to make homemade chinkali with meat and cheese yumi :P


  • 1,2 kg flour
  • 2 coups warm water
  • pinch of salt
Filing with meat

  • 1 kg minced pork - beef
  • 4 onions - chopped very small
  • coriander,
  • parsley, 
  • 2  teaspoons (tsp) black pepper
  • 2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 cup beef broth / or water
Filing with cheese
  • 1 kg sulguni cheese
1. We mix minced meat with chopped onion and we add spices. At the end we add the water or beef broth (as much as meat  absorb water/broth) and mix thoroughly all

 2. Wipe off the cheese on the grater

Mix the flour with the salt, then knead gradually adding hot water so that the cake was soft and flexible. The cake should give a fairly thin roll and stick with the chinkali.

Roil cake quite thick, and then cut out a glass circle, and each rolled thinly to a round cake. At the centre we put a tablespoon of filing and stick chinkali.
Salted water we need to boil. Chinkali cook for about 15-20 minutes.


    Yesterday , Ala, Zosia and me we did our first EVS presentation in Ilia State University in Tbilisi. We were host in the big conference room with all materials ready for us (computer, microphones, screen…), so confortable ! Of course we were a little stressful 5 minutes before to start : how to do a dynamic presentation in front of more than 100 students …?! Will they be interested …?!

   To attract them we did some small games: guess our nationalities, quizz about EVS, videos, powerpoint… And finally it was successful : room totally full of people; 4 papers full of email addresses; first calling in office 2 hours after; and some people interested also to participate in our French and Polish clubs !

   Conclusion :  everyone  was satisfied , students because they learned about this opportunity to go abroad for free and help people ; and us because we felt active and we were in direct contact with Georgian youth !
                      An experience to repeat  !!! :)


Cooking club 2 - Pumpkin day

At the second meeting we had a pumpkin day. We prepared 3 dishes with this vegetable.

Pasta with pumpkin and butter
Ingredients for 2 portions:
  • pasta  
  • 1/2 half of small pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup of liquid cream 15%
  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 3 shallots - onion - chopped very small
  • 4 tablespoons grated Sulguni cheese
  • salt, pepper,
  • parsley,
  • nutmeg
Pumpkin peel and seed seeds. Cut into cubes. In a skillet, over low heat melt the butter, add chopped onions, season with salt and stew it slowly covering it, about 10 minutes, but not brown it. Add pumpkin and season with a pinch of nutmeg. I cover and stew slowly about 15 minutes under tender. I add the cream, 2 tablespoons Sulguni cheese, 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick I add a little hot water. For the sauce, I add cooked al dente pasta. Mix, sprinkle the remaining two tablespoons of Sulguni cheese.

Pasta with pumpkin and chicken in tomato sauce
Ingredients for 4 portions:

  • pasta
  • 300 g pumpkin, cut into small cubes
  •  2 medium double breast of chicken
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • tin of chopped tomatoes / or 4 tomatoes cut into cubes
  • tomato paste
  • 1 chili
  • oregano, cumin, curry
  • salt, pepper,
  • sulguni cheese  
Chicken washed, drought and cut into small cubes. In a skillet until golden brown. I add a small chopped onion and crushed garlic squeezed through. Fry moment until the onion is tender and pour in water. I throw a whole pumpkin and stew about 10 minutes. I add tomatoes and paste. Stew 5 minutes and add spices to taste. Stew pumpkin under tender. Cook pasta al dente in salted water. Sprinkle with grated Sulguni cheese on top.

Chocolate Cake with Pumpkin
The cake tin with a diameter of 22 cm
  •  3 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • 130 g of sugar
  • 150 g melting and cool chocolate
  • 200 g grated pumpkin *
  • 200 g grind almonds 
  • 1 teaspoon of soda
  • 3 tablespoons corn flour
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • grated peel 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
* If the pumpkin is too juicy, you can squeeze it gently

Preheat oven to 180 ° C. White of an eggs whip to stiff with a pinch of salt, egg yolk and sugar whip white mass, then add all the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Then add the white of an egg and stir gently. We put cake to springform pan and bake 45 minute.

icing on the cake: melt chocolate

* If the pumpkin is too juicy, you can squeeze it gently

Preheat oven to 180 ° C. White of an egg whip to stiff with a pinch of salt, egg yolk and sugar whip white mass, then add all the remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.  Then add the white of an egg and stir gently. The weight of a greased springform pan translate and bake about 45 minutes.


8 Nov 2012

Youth Exchange „Green Stage“

On 23 October 2012 there was a theatre play about natural environment in the premises of the local gymnasium in New Rustavi. Actors of this performance were the young people of five different countries - Norway, Armenia, Poland, Latvia and Georgia, who were invited by our organization for an exchange called "Green Stage". The theme was theatre and ecology and the main objective was show to the others cultural difference in each country, to address global issues around the world and environmental problems in the participants´ countries. With this youth exchange young could realize the seriousness of the problem of environmental pollution and pollution of their surroundings. At the end all these issues were expressed in a theatre performance. During the ten days meeting the participants had an opportunity to show and express their views, find a hidden talent for theatre and think about the environment around them. On their own and also together as a group they were searching for solutions to improve the environment. Among participants there were professional actors but also amateurs and students of ecology. Together they created a play on how to treat the nature around us gently. The participants prepared the costumes, the plot, lighting and music themselves in the Scouthouse in Old Rustavi.


1 Nov 2012

Cooking club

Hey guys ! If you haven't noticed yet, on last Friday (25th October), Cooking Club started. It will take place every Friday at 5 pm in Scout house (Rustavi, Balanchivadze str. 9).

If you want to have a good time in international group of people and eat something that we prepare together - feel invited !

The idea of my Cooking Club is to  give everyone the opportunity to discover a passion for cooking. Familiarize participants with cuisine from different countries. Show that cooking can be a great way to spending leisure time. At first meeting we bake two cakes (chocolate and apple). We spend together great time, eating delicious cakes after.

And here are recipes :)

Chocolate tartCake:
  • 300 g flour
  • 200 g butter
  • 100 g powdered sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 150 g butter
  • 150 g bitter chocolate
  • 5 g flour
  • 200 g powdered sugar
  • 4 egg
And: cocoa for dusting Sift the flour on the pastry board, add the rest of the ingredients, chop with a knife until just combined, quickly knead the cake, otherwise it will be hard. Cool 30 minutes. Smeared with butter spring form stick with the cake. Bake for 15 minutes at a temperature of 180-190. Melt the chocolate and butter, whip the eggs with the sugar and flour, added to the cooled chocolate. Fill the cake and bake until the filling hardens.

Apple tart
  • 100g flour
  • 50g oat flour from blanding oatmeal
  • 50g powdered sugar
  • 100g butter
  • yolk
  • pinch of salt
Butter, cut into pieces. It should be cold. Rub your fingers with flour, sugar and egg yolks, then knead the cake. Wrap with foil and store in the fridge for an hour. In the meantime, prepare the filling.Filling:
  • 4 apple
  • 2 table spoons of melt butter
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 table spoons of sugar
  • peelings from apple
  • 1/2 glass of sugar
  • 1/2 glass of water
  • pinch of cinnamon
Filling:Peel apples, keep the peel, remove seeds and cut into slices. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Lay off the spring form cake tin with baking paper and smeared with butter sides of form. Stick with the cake, make small holes with a fork and bake 10 minutes at this temperature and for another 15 reduce it to 180 degrees. Cool. Apples thick stack. Brush with butter, sprinkle with salt and sugar. Bake 30-40 minutes at 180 degrees.CarmelPeels, sugar, water, cinnamon fry for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Remove the peel and pour over baked tart.