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Domestic Traditional Customs

Jam-boiling

In the past as well as nowadays jam-boiling was one of the favourite activities. The housewife made a few jars of jam from the summer fruit for the winter season.

According to the rural custom, in the past jam was made sugar free, the most popular one being the plum jam “magiun”.

The housewives removed the plum pits, most of the times in the form of “clăci” women gatherings since they used to boil fruit in large quantities. The fruit with pits out were put in a large bowl above the boiler under which a mild fire was set. The housewife started the jam-boiling early in the morning, since this could take all day long and involved the continuous mixing of the material. The plum jam was boiled runny. Some time ago, the jam was kept after the boiling process in clay pots, nowadays being kept in glass containers.

Fierberea dulceţii

Meat preservation

In the area ofTârnava Mică, the preservation method of meat also known today is by smoking which is part of the process following the pig slaughter. The smoking place was the attic, but there were smoking areas specially designed for this purpose. The products thus smoked (sausages, meat, liverwurst) have a particular tasteful flavour.

The new preservation method of the meat is by roasting. The processed meat, namely by roasting, is put in a large bowl, on which lard is poured. The lard does not allow the air to reach the meat and thus it can be eaten over a longer period of time.

 

Conservarea cărnii

 

Bread baking

Even today many yards display the traditional oven. One of the most important uses of the oven was bread baking. Currently the housewives do no longer bake home bread, however they still preserve the traditional oven. It was also used in baking the traditional cake “cozonac” because it had a better taste.

The simplest version of the oven in the form of a haycock is the oven made on post and willow frame. The ovens specific to the area are made of clay and unburnt brick.

Most of the old ladies of the village know how to bake bread even today. The bread preparation is a complicated process. The quality of the bread is given first of all by the composition of the flour, then the yeast, the dough fermentation, etc. The baked bread is hit so that the burnt part fall off. 5 to 6 bread loaves of 5 kg each were baked at once, of which an average family fed itself for two weeks.

 

Coacerea pâinii

Homemade Soap Making

The homemade soap was boiled in a special vat intended for this purpose. Firstly 6 litres of water were poured, preferably rain or brook water but also the water from the well. Then, the grease left from the pig slaughter is added, lye liquid and finally some salt. The boiling time is of approximately 3 hours.

After the soap starts separating from the alkaline solution, the vat is removed from the fire and left to cool down. After it starts cooling down, it is put with a strainer spoon in a box on wet cloths. Next day, after drying, it is cut and the drying process is set to continue.

Even today the soap thus prepared is used, especially for summer washing of carpets, older women use it also for clothes or hair washing.

 

Fierberea săpunului de casă

Székely Gates Making

In the area ofTârnava Mică there is a tradition in Székely Gates carving. These gates are made and decorated in a wide variety.

The basic material is oak wood which is pretty difficult to process. The carved shaped on the gates may be of several types, depending on tastes: tulips, sweet William, roses, and grapes. These shapes bring added value to the beauty of the gates, carved with the utmost care by mastery hands by means of appropriate tools: axe, plane, and different types of chisels.

On the small door of the gate it is usually carved an inscription which may have several meanings:

  • Name of the sculptor and the completion date;
  • Peace to the ones entering it and health for the ones leaving it;
  • Made by the help of God – the name of the sculptor.

These gates may also be painted, but usually they are just varnished to preserve the original colour. For the achievement of Székely Gates, two strong hands and a lot of patience are required.

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