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Food, Moldova, Peace Corps, Recipes

Baking Abroad

My house here is about a two-minute walk from the local supermarket (and cafe); on my way home from school, meaning that I average about nine trips to the supermarket a week (at least so far). Sometimes I go alone to get something, sometimes just to explore (and try to read the labels in Romanian) and other times  with Anastasia to pick up something for her Grandmom, my host mother. Often, I use my broken Romanian to attempt to ask for help in finding various products, from the cashiers or security guards.

Its probably not surprising given the fact that this is a small town (by Moldovan standards its medium sized, but by American small), that I know several of cashiers well enough that we say hello when we see each other places outside the market. (In fact I ran into one of them on the streets of Chisinau on Thursday!)

Today, I went to the supermarket three times. The first two with Anastasia, for macaroni and then again for more macaroni. The third time was to gather supplies for an attempt at baking cookies in Moldova. Tomorrow is a fellow PCV, Max’s 23rd birthday. Since we have class tomorrow, a couple of girls and I decided that as a fun Friday night activity and to provide a treat for everyone during class breaks Saturday we would make cookies for Max’s birthday.

I chose a simple oatmeal cookie recipe, (see below) but as soon as we got to the grocery store, we realized this might be more difficult than we had anticipated. The labels here are all in Romanian or Russian, meaning that google translate and some help from one of my favorite cashiers was needed to even find all the ingredients. We realized that the ingredients, especially the butter which was nearly 50 lei alone (just over $4 american) was going to really stretch our budgets (we’ve been given about $2.20 a day), but decided to splurge on the adventure.

The ingredients. Since they didn't have chocolate chips we simply chopped a couple chocolate bars and made our own.

The ingredients. Since they didn’t have chocolate chips we simply chopped a couple chocolate bars and made our own.

When we got to Kate’s house (her host mom had said it was fine for us to come over and make them) we met her younger host brother Nicu, who provided us with entertainment during our baking process. We couldn’t find any measuring cups, so we decided to use a mug and taste test. The first few batches turned out a little burnt of the bottom, but by the last one we turned the oven down and started making the cookies a little flatter and they were perfect. After the initial hurdles it ended up being a great evening, filled with laughs, dancing, games, way too much cookie dough – the first baking adventure could not have been more of a success!

The recipe:

1 cup flour

1 cup butter

1 cup sugar

2 cup oats

2 tsp. baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 350 and allow to bake for about eight minutes. We added a chopped up bar of cappuccino chocolate per batch and it was the perfect amount of chocolate! (I might have enjoyed some chopped walnuts or shaved almonds in the cookies for a little more texture, but next time!)

Kate and Molly hard at work!

Kate and Molly hard at work!

The adorable Nicu!

The adorable Nicu!

Molly checking the first batch.

Molly checking the first batch.

Delicious oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies!

Delicious oatmeal chocolate chunk cookies!

Kate teaching her host brother Nicu some yoga.

Kate teaching her host brother Nicu some yoga.

The Romanian happy birthday song is really beautiful when sung by someone who knows how; it’s lilting and perfect, but I have yet to find a good version of it on YouTube and Anastasia won’t let me record her singing it (she’s got an amazing singing voice), so enjoy these videos until I can find a better one to share: La Multi Ani from Talking Tom and La Multi Ani from Ginger. Anastasia showed these to me – hope you get  a kick out of them and happy Friday!


About I think about that every day

I guess this blog will be a really long answer to the generic 'about me' question.


4 thoughts on “Baking Abroad

  1. Perfect, I love it all. Proud of you for always being so thoughtful and ALWAYS making others feel amazing on their birthday. Also, cutest pic of Nicu!

    Posted by Ashley | June 15, 2013, 3:54 pm
  2. Yay! Love that you made cookies. You’re adorable. I miss you!

    Posted by Julia | June 27, 2013, 8:54 pm
  3. Leah, you are such a thoughtful and considerate person (duh)!

    Posted by christina | July 2, 2013, 2:02 pm


  1. Pingback: Chopped: Moldova Edition | I think about that every day - July 19, 2013

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