Sunday, October 23, 2011

Georgia: The 40th Day, Part 2: The Morning Of

Kardanakhi, Georgia
 
Friday evening, Nely's son, Paata, and daughter-in-law, Eka, picked up Nely and me to go to Kardanakhi. Before leaving Rustavi, we swung by and also picked up one of Paata's cousins.

We drove through Signaghi to pick up some pastries, made by another relative, to add to the next day's feast.

(Signaghi is Georgia's "city of love," called thus because its local laws make it very easy to get a quickie wedding.  Many expats, such as Americans, moved there and gentrified it. Known for artists who settled there, in addition to a very famous - in Georgia - American who, as they say, "went native." He married a Georgian woman, became a fluent and much-admired Georgian speaker, and opened a winery that embraces the ancient method of Georgian wine-making. Signaghi is definitely a tourist town. Some find Signaghi charming; others find it a Disney version of a Georgian village. I'll reserve judgment until I can see it during the day on a future visit.)

We arrived at Nely and her husband's village house to be welcomed by some relatives and neighbors with a light dinner and wine. Already visiting the house for some time were two of Irakli's sisters. They, and a sister who lives next door, are the three remaining sisters out of an original eight. Irakli, Nely's husband, is the only son of his father.

The house is a two-story building; external staircase gets you from one floor to the other. The main floor houses the kitchen, a living room, a small bedroom, and the storage/wine room.

Upstairs is a large balcony with a money-shot view of the valley below Kardanachi and, when the haze lifts, the Caucasus Mountains. There are also two "hard-wall" bedrooms and a curtain-wall bedroom and a salon, I guess you'd call it.

Kardanakhi, Georgia


The Georgian bed system is pretty basic. You've got your twin size, twin size or ... twin bed. The marital bed equals two twins pushed together. My experience thus far is that the guts consist of a somewhat springy metal lattice underpinning with thin cloth pallets laid on top. The bed has a flat sheet that lays nicely on the top pallet, but for some reason, the sheet is not quite long enough to cover both ends of the mattress. (This held true for the pricey hotel we stayed in during orientation.) On top of the sheet is a duvet. Georgian pillows are huge and square-shaped.

Well, I kind of digressed there ... I slept in the curtain-walled "room" on a twin bed. I knew it would be cold, so I had come prepared with layers to sleep in.

The next morning, Saturday, was the 40-day observance.
 
A neighbor slaughtered the sheep and then butchered it.
 
Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia
Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia. All that remains is the rope

Butchering a sheep, Kardanakhi, Georgia


Other men, both relatives and neighbors, prepared some beef, peeling onions and garlic.

Kardanakhi, Georgia

Kardanakhi, Georgia

Kardanakhi, Georgia


Women, both relatives and neighbors, readied big pots for cooking over the fire by applying wet wood ash on the sides of the pots.

Kardanakhi, Georgia

Kardanakhi, Georgia

This will sound peculiar to Americans but, by and large, the meat was boiled. Startling, I know, but it is tasty. Herbs, onions, garlic, and spices go into the pot, too.

Kardanakhi, Georgia


Kardanakhi, Georgia


Inside, women prepared other dishes.


Kardanakhi, Georgia

Kardanakhi, Georgia

Kardanakhi, Georgia


Tables were moved outside to prepare for the feast after the cemetery visit.

Kardanakhi, Georgia

Next: The 40th Day, Part 3: Cemetery and Supra 

1 comment:

  1. > He married a Georgian woman, became a fluent
    > and much-admired Georgian speaker, and opened a
    > winery

    Say hello to John from Irakli and Connie when you are there next time. :-)

    ReplyDelete