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.