Zurgada Antonova, About Milk Vodka
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Terbish, B., & Churyumova, E. (2018). Zurgada Antonova, About Milk Vodka [Video file]. https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.25184
Zurgada reminisces about her childhood: how she looked after calves, what children did in the household, what milk products people ate. She also talks about how people made vodka from milk. When the Kalmyks lived in nomadic camps, women woke up early in the morning. They milked their cows and wrapped the bucket with milk in a winter coat. When the grown-ups went to drive the cows out to the pasture, children looked after the calves so that they did not suckle their mothers. Children also collected cow dung (args) used as fuel. From her early age Zurgada helped her paternal uncle make butter. She witnessed how grown-ups distilled vodka from milk. To make butter, people poured chigyan (fermented cow’s milk) into a special wooden container that had a long stick to beat butter. Since Zurgada was too small to reach the upper end of the stick, she was put on a chair. Zurgada would lift and push down the stick until the grown-ups said that the butter was ready. The liquid that was left afterwards was used to produce vodka. Vodka was usually distilled in the afternoon when the weather is cooler. For this were used 2 pots connected with a pipe. All space (between the lid and the pot, etc.) was smeared with mud in order to keep the pots hermetically sealed and prevent the steam from escaping. The mud was mixed with cow’s dung to make it crack-proof. The big pot, where chigyan boiled, was put on a tripod with fire underneath. The vodka vapor from this hot pot moved through the pipe to the smaller pot. The amount of chigyan used for distillation was approximately 3 liters. In the beginning, the big pot was put on a strong fire. When the chigyan boiled, the fire was turned down. In order to test vodka, people used a special stick wrapped in camel’s wool. The stick was pushed through the second hole in the small pot so that the camel’s wool absorbed vodka. Vodka from the first distillation is called arz. When arz is distilled again, it turns into khorz. When vodka was ready, a sprinkle was offered to goddess Okn Tengri. After that, people said well-wishes and drank it. Liquid left from distillation was called bozo. Once cooled down, it turned into a mass and was used to make aadmg cheese. Aadmg cheese could be processed further into eedmg cheese. Other milk products made from cheese are shuurmg (dried cheese that was kept in a bag) and khurs.
Childhood, cattle breeding, dairy products, milk vodka, recipe
Sponsored by Arcadia Fund, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin.
This record's DOI: https://doi.org/10.17863/CAM.25184
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/