Imagine waking up after a long journey and seeing a sword of bright light piercing through white cotton curtains flowing gently from the wind. As you sit up, stretching your tired muscles, you hear singing and laughter coming from outside.
Upon parting those curtains and letting the coolest of breezes kiss your face, you behold fog engulfed mountain peaks, dew covered green grass and the sun’s achingly beautiful attempt to shine through the trees.
There are men and woman dressed in colorful garb laughing, talking, singing and getting ready for a long day of work. Little Roma children chase goats and dogs around the tiny village nestled between two mountains and hidden deep within the woods. You smile and inhale deeply as total contentment rests your weary bones and replenish your spirit.
It’s at that moment you notice the most amazing aroma and walk from your room in search of the source. On your way, you pass by another room filled with the tangled, tanned limbs of the Romanian men women and children who gave up their sleeping quarters to make you more comfortable.
You’re heart aches at their hospitality and you smile while venturing onward in search of the aromas source. You walk outside and a large fire pit with iron rods stretched across the expanse of heat and on top of the iron rods are pots and pans. There is a small iron dome heated by the fire as well that served as their oven. This was their kitchen.
Two tiny woman, one old the other young, were busily kneading dough with their fists and taking the finished product from the oven. You notice other food and hug your stomach as it growls.
The two woman notice you and smile cheerfully. The young girls name is Anca and the older woman is Catina. They speak broken English but manage to ask how I slept and if I was hungry. I told them I’d slept perfectly and that I was indeed very hungry.
Anca offers you a piece of bread that you call Lady Fists. You know of Lady Fists. Your mother and law makes it every Christmas but refuses to give you the recipe. You take a bite and sink into bliss. You must have this recipe.
Once finished, you look up at Anca and Catina’s smiling faces and ask.
“That was absolutely delicious, how did you make it?” The tenor changes slightly as Anca’s eyes widen and turn to look at her mother who stands perplexed.
“It is family secret,” Catina says in a deep throaty accent smiling gently.
“Oh, of course it is my apologies. Is…is there any way I could maybe work for it? You see I’m a traveler…”
“No,” says Catina her smile tightening. Not wanting to anger her and be thrown out, you nod politely.
“I completely understand. I just wanted to show the world what a talented cook you are. But, I respect you decision, just know that if you change you’re mind, I’m willing to do whatever you ask…whatever you ask.” You emphasize and before leaving, thank them again for the food.
You smile as you walk back to your room knowing by the pondering look upon on their faces, that you’ve peaked their interest.