Pickles and dogs, autumn activities

We want, we don't want ... the beautiful summer is coming to an end and we have to think about the autumn affairs and the preparation for the winter.

I don't want the summer to end and it is obvious that she does not want to leave either, it will certainly be a fight that, obviously, autumn will win. As late as possible, I hope.

After two (short) escapades at sea we dreamed of another one but our good friends wanted the same thing, at the same time and then we had to give up in their favor. You may be wondering why we don't all leave together? Because our friends live in the country, in a big house full of dogs that need to be taken care of and only we can help them when they want to leave home together (I mean our friends).

In these conditions we decided to take advantage of the week in the country and make some preparations for winter. Prepared in the conditions of the country and according to the way our grandparents used to do.

So I went once again to the old market to buy the necessary vegetables. In the market I have to photograph as discreetly as possible because no one likes to be photographed for different reasons. Fear and suspicion.


My market that survives on the outskirts of Bucharest. I prefer this market not only because it is the closest to my house but because the vegetables and fruits are brought from local farmers who produce less good-looking but very tasty products.




Apart from vegetables, I wanted to buy melons and to see the flowers. Autumn flowers have appeared. These are the last days when they are still in the market, the sellers are preparing to go to their homes, in their villages tens of kilometers away.




After the shopping made on the run, a very difficult exit from the city followed. Always on Friday, with the start of the weekend, the outings from the city are extremely crowded, I covered 2 km in two hours!


A distance that usually lasts half an hour I covered in almost three hours! Bad luck on this day. I arrived at the dog house where I will be living next week. I don't really like, to be honest, living in another house. It's hard to adjust to the place, the objects, but friends are friends and need help (just as they help us when we need it).


I think it's obvious that this post is for #MarketFriday hosted with such devotion by our friend Denise, also known as @dswigle!

In the better times, when free time floated easily around me, I used to show in the posts in this challenge how I prepare, cook, what I buy from the market. Although the time is not as generous with me, the proof that I am posting late now, I try to show how I made a preparation for autumn in my friends' yard.

It's about zacusca. I don't know how this word can be translated into English, especially since I don't even think it's a Romanian word!

ZACUSCA is a vegetable preparation that is boiled in oil and kept in jars all winter. It is very tasty.

Although it seems simple, the preparation is very laborious and I worked almost a whole day. I will show you how to prepare it, in stages but without a recipe to follow. It's hard to do for the first time because you have to know how it should be, in taste and shape, when it's ready. That requires exercise ... I have made several mistakes in the past and failed to get the best food. We learn from mistakes! If anyone wants the detailed recipe, then ask for it in the comments and I will publish it.


Ingredients: eggplant, red bell pepper, tomatoes, onion, garlic, oil, salt and pepper.

Eggplants and bell peppers should be grilled or baked. Fortunately, my friend has a large hob in the yard. This is a great advantage, you can cook several vegetables at once and the fact that it is outside, in the open air, makes the heat released easier to bear.




While the vegetables are cooking, I take care of the tomatoes. They must be grated and boiled. Fortunately, these activities can be done simultaneously.




After baking, eggplant and bell peppers should be peeled.



The eggplant is chopped into small pieces ...


... and the bell peppers as well.


Now it's the onion's turn. Onions cut into pieces are baked in a pot with sunflower oil. First we prepare the pot and the fire. Then add the oil and onion. Bake until tender.




I forgot to say that I had companions all the time I worked on this zacusca. Very curious.


These separately prepared ingredients are now found in the pot. After the onion has softened, add the aubergines and bell peppers and continue to cook, stirring constantly so that the composition does not burn on the bottom of the pot.


It remains to add the tomato juice obtained by boiling the tomatoes given by grater.


The last phase of cooking means this ... add crushed garlic, hot peppers, salt and pepper. All in quantities required by our taste, meaning we have to taste the composition until we like what we have obtained.



We do this if we want to make eggplant zacusca. There are other types of zacusca, for example mushroom zacusca, but eggplant zacusca is the best known and appreciated.

Then follows a very important action in which zacusca is put in jars and they are sterilized to last for months in the pantry. I don't show it now because I risk boring you.

Along with the time spent shopping, all this action lasted almost a day. Of course, this is also influenced by the amount of vegetables used.

This is how life in the country is, you have to work all the time, especially if the house and the garden are big. I could say it's a dog's life but I would be very wrong.


Because that's dog life!

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