Friday, June 11, 2010

Na dacha (on the dacha)

We served dinner last night to our landlords, Anna Adamnova and Evgenny Ivanovich. They're super-nice people, and we always enjoy seeing them. Last night they were feeling especially expansive and invited us out to their dacha today. Having never been a guest at anybody's dacha, I was pretty excited about this.

While they would ordinarily have gone early this morning, they waited until I finished my class today and then they picked us up. Our plan included a swim, a walk, and shashleek. (Shashleek is Russian for sheesh-ke-bab, and the meats are generally marinated for a day and then cooked over smokey coals from a wood fire. Today's fire was from cherry branches.) It turns out that our plan also included lunch, but I didn't realize that and I ate before we left. Oops. I enjoyed both lunches.

For more, see 2010-06 June
We stopped to swim in a beautiful river whose name I have already forgotten, but it was really great. This made us decide to go swimming again tomorrow, perhaps in the Minsk Sea.

The dacha itself is a very-well-constructed log home surrounded by an extremely ambitious garden with two greenhouses and edible plants practically everywhere. The house has a deep and chilly root cellar, and the nearest running water is at a sink in the yard. I enjoyed washing off fresh radishes in the sink and cutting them into our salad.

At the very back of the property, our hosts have added a second building, a traditional Russian bath-house that smelled really great inside. This little building even has running water and a shower.

I could write a whole entry about the chicken shashleek, but I won't. Let me just say that I was really happy that they managed to send me home with the leftovers in spite of Alla's polite refusal.

If you want to see more pictures of this dacha excursion, I posted some here.

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