The Hungry and the Kind


IMAGINE GETTING the news that your 21 years old granddaughter is dropping by with 12 people, teens and young adults, you have to feed and shelter over night.

That’s what I did to Maicutza, my grandmother from my father’s side, who lived in the countryside in Transylvania. We were on our way home from camping in the mountains for a week, tired and hungry, when we went out of food. There was nothing to buy from the communist store in the nearby village, not even bread.

That early morning we dragged ourselves from the railway station through my grandma’s village, caring huge military type backpacks, heavy tents and camping gear. When I opened Maicutza’s gate, the fragrance of amazing food filled our lungs.
We dropped our burdens in the yard and I showed the way to the house, stepping over the two big rocks on top of each other that were the stairs to the narrow veranda.

Maicutza showed up to greet us with her sweet, kind smile and rosy cheeks. She kissed me with love and invited us inside.
The big kitchen was also the living room and one of her two bedrooms. The stove was filled with simmering pots and pans and the aroma of food in making was out of this world. One of her roosters accompanied by vegetables had made its way in the biggest vessel. Stuffed cabbage rolls, meat and potatoes were cooking in another pots.

Both beds by the walls were covered with homemade donuts let to rise on white tablecloths. I counted them. There were more than one hundred.
Everybody found a place to sit, since Maicutza has had 8 children and she didn’t get rid of the chairs and the benches by the wall.
Food. My grandma’s food. You can imagine the joy.
( PHOTO – Maicutza’s house )

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