GRANDMOTHER’S TURTA

My grandmother, who lived in Romania for a time

before emigrating to this country,

made a dessert called “turta” in celebration

of the Winter Solstice; it was only baked

at Christmas time  and was made up

of layers of dough, filled with honey

and ground walnuts. In this tradition,

she said, when the wife would be kneading

the dough to make the traditional cake,

she would follow her husband  to their orchard

where he would go from barren tree to tree

threatening to cut down each one.  Each time,

the wife would urge he spare the tree, saying,

“Oh, no, I am sure that this tree will be heavy with

fruit next spring as my fingers are with dough this

day” and she would touch each tree  leaving a

floury fingerprint.

 

Sandra Lee Smith

Originally compiled October 1, 2009

Updated September 9, 2018

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