Oyuntugs and I are working with the other volunteers in the aimag to create an English language resource library here in Bayankhongor. Right now we are working on getting books, movies, music, and furniture for the room. The government has given us two rooms in the government center! We hope to set up our library during the summer and open this September.
Other news: Molon Khaan (my cat) almost died about 700 times last night. He ate one of my buuz so I put him outside. Our dog (Bombor) found him and chased him into the neighbor's hashaa. Molon waited on top of a shed and would not come down, even when I offered him a chunk of beef that I had just bought (it smells terrible in the meat "market" if you were wondering). This was the state of things at midnight. I gave up, tired from making about 150 buuz, and went to bed. At almost exactly 4 AM I woke up to the sounds of Molon and Bombor duking it out...on top of my ger. With my ceiling shaking and threatening to collapse, I went outside hoping to rescue Mr. Molon. By the time I got outside Molon had been chased back onto the neighbors shed. I grabbed my chair and broom and scooped him up, ran into my ger before Bombor could break in and gave Molon some well deserved fish. Realized at about 9:30 AM this morning that I failed to bring the rescue equipment (aka the chair) into the ger. Dogoo (an early riser) no doubt wonders what the hell I was doing outside with a chair last night.
The recipe for buuz for those of you who wish to celebrate Tsagaan Sar (see Nathan and Leslie's blog for real cultural information...).
First: Boil and mash whatever you want to put into the buuz: "real" buuz are meat (sheep or beef, though tempting do NOT use camel or horse meat, I am told that this is unseemly). I use vegetables. My Mexican buuz this morning consist of: peppers, garlic, onions, turnips, potatoes, carrots, and a TON of spices. After mashing it I put it outside to cool, tonight I will finish the process...
Second: make dough. Easy, friends, easy: flour, salt, and warm water. Shouldn't be super sticky. Roll it out and use a circle cookie cutter (whatever size you like) to cut...circles of dough...
Thirdly (hehe): put a dab of your (now cold) mash onto one of your circles of dough. Pinch the thing shut in any number of ways (experiment, it will be fun, or, more likely, frustrating...).
Number the fourth: Steam those little suckers for about 20 minutes and eat! If you have leftovers be sure NOT to re-warm them. Instead dip them in milk tea and pretend that they are tasty this way!
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