Friday, March 4, 2016

All Day and Night Event!

Central Asian women don't mind hard work, especially if it involves time with others and a delicious result.
A spring tradition is to make a dish called "sumalak." The first step in the process involves sprouting wheat. The rest of the process involves a huge pot, an open fire, and hours and hours of stirring.
My neighbors invited me to partipate in their sumalak making this year, and it was my first time to be a part of the process from start to finish. They started the preparations in the morning and had the pots full by 11:00am. Then we all stirred and ate,stirred and ate until 6:00 am the next morning.( I only made it until 1:00am! )At that point, they covered the pots and let the sumalak set. At 12:00 noon the next day, we opened the pots and the sumalak was distributed.
Part of the fun is that in the evening, the ladies and kids dance and eat good food. Work, food, friends and family,'s a great tradition!

This is in the twilight. Ladies stirring 2 huge pots with other women sitting around chatting. You can see the evidence of the fire underneath the 2nd pot in the back.
After they opened the pots (they were covered up for several hours,) the women gathered around to take pictures and see what image had appeared on the top. Everyone thought this one was a flower.

This is our share of the sumalak. We added 5 kg of flour (11 pounds) and I got around 5 liters of  it to take home.  It is part of the tradition to share, sending some to your family, friends and neighbors.

This is the field behind our home. The tree is flowering already and is beautiful! Spring has already arrived.