In gangs of a dozen or solitary parties of one, the peasants of Maramures head out to their fields to bring in the food they will eat until this time next year.
Beans are coming off their poles.
The oats which were dried on their poles are taken to the threshers -- driven by water wheels.
Orchards spill their abundance on the ground for their owners to harvest. They also provide a tasty snack for the neighbors on their way home through the owner's field.
The best plums are selected from the heaps of fruit to be pitted, then boiled down and stirred for two days non-stop. This is the family's private store of jam.
Stirring jam is an equal opportunity employer.
Most of the plums are pulped into a vat to ferment for making tuica. Plum tuica is considered the best tuica of all.
Making preserves can seem endless at times. No sooner is the plum jam finished than apple butter gets started.
Foreigners cluck with appreciation, thinking these are destined for pumpkin pies and stuffed squash. But people don't eat 'em -- they're only for the pigs.
Seed onion bulbs are carefully sorted and dried for planting next year.
Into this time of abundance came Kathleen's mother and step father, Roberta and Tim.
They sampled the local hospitality.
Then insisted on turning the tables. Everyone had to down a glass.
In Rosavlea they prepare for their local harem, or annual pilgrimage.
In our house, that tuica to Roberta and Tim really paid off. For all their life they've lived without running water. Now our parents are paying to put in a pump from the well to the house. They tell us they dream at night about taking a bath.
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