Cuttino's Georgian Life

A journal of my Peace Corps service in the Republic of Georgia, 2006-2008.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Joy of Cooking


Hello American friends! I’m posting two of these at once, since this is the first time that I’ve had a chance to use (somewhat) high speed internet. The first entry I posted was written last week, so just pretend that it’s been up for a while. From now on, I should be able to update my blog once a week. We’ll see if I actually accomplish this.

I feel like I’m back at school—we have about four hours of language instruction Monday through Saturday. On Monday and Wednesday, we have afternoon class so that they can teach us how to work in an NGO. Sunday is our only day off. Last Sunday, I spent most of the day lazing around the house. We seem to do a lot of that here. Zura, my host father is unemployed (like many other men in Georgia), so he ends up spending a lot of time sitting by the road and talking to the neighbors that pass by. I’m to the point now where I recognize the neighbors and know a bit about their lives. This is mostly based from what Zura tells me, so I know who’s the alcoholic, who’s husband is in jail, and which of the neighbor’s daughters I should take home to America. There’s an endless amount of gossip in this town.

Besides the workload, I’m really enjoying my time here. One of the highlights is the food. Each day, we have lunch at a different house. I’ve found Georgian food to be hit or miss; but when it’s good, it’s amazing. My favorite dish so far is khachapuri, or cheese bread. It’s a bit like a calzone with stuffed with salty cheese. I’ve had surprisingly little meat and I’ve forgotten what a green vegetable looks like. The Georgian diet is based on bread, potatoes, beans, and cheese. Like the Russians, they smear everything with sour cream (the beloved “smetana”). My host grandmother has a tendency to force-feed me every meal. I plead with her that I’m full, but in Georgia “no more” translates to “I’d love one more spoonful of sour cream.”

The other day, they pulled me outside for a serious talk. As Eka, my host mother, looked on grimly, Zura asked what was wrong with the food. I assured him that everything was fine, and that in America we don’t eat as much. He explained that they were worried I wasn’t eating enough. They’d cook anything I wanted—if I just told them! This went back and forth for a little while until I finally said I wanted more fruit in the diet. The next day they presented me with a bowl full of apricots, pears and apples and my grandmother was not satisfied until I ate every last one.

That’s the news from Khashuri. Hope everything is fine over there. Don’t worry about me, I’m starting an exercise regiment to keep from gaining fifteen pounds.


  • At 8:39 PM, Blogger Jessica Clemens said…

    Hey fatty!

    You better not be bringing home any Georgian girls. I think we will have a problem if you do...however, cute Georgian babies/orphans/special ed babies/special ed orphans are completely fine, so work on finding some of those!

    I love you!


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