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GEORGIA ON MY MIND…..

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2019 at 08:12
I'd almost bought one of those when I started the Georgian research. But I wanted the large one, and it was out of stock.

Ancient Cookware has one of the largest collections of clay cookware I could find anywhere. But I disagree about it being pricey.  It's right in line with what most run of the mill clay pots cost. And there are some that are exponentially higher. I mean, in the hundreds of dollars. 
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 March 2019 at 17:24
Yeah, I wasn't thinking when I ordered the small pot.  A medium appeared yesterday so I guess I'm set now. 

The shipping costs are what drives the price up but I get it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2019 at 18:34
I've been in touch with a Ukrainian seller of artisan clay Ketsi, the traditional Georgian pan used for frying and making khachapuri. Ketsi are made of clay and stone in Georgia but I'm looking at clay. Shipping is making this cost prohibitive. Especially since I'll need a 3 Liter ketsi to make a proper khachapuri. That said, a straight sided pizza pan or cake pan can substitute as well as simply free forming it on a pizza stone. They can also be made on stove top in a skillet. While I'd love to have a ketsi, one isn't really required.

I did buy this gorgeous unglazed lidded clay pitcher from them though. Sure, I'm a sucker for unglazed clay, but this is a work of art.  And it makes a pretty darned good pitcher too!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 March 2019 at 21:16
Gorgeous, G-man. No other word applies.  

You hit the nail on the head, though. It ain't the cost of the pots that kills you. It's the shipping.

But still.....

If you don't mind, could you send me the contact info on that Ukrainian guy. PM if you want to handle it that way.  If nothing else, I'd like to drool on his stuff.

BTW, if you haven't discovered this yourself, flower pot drip pans serve many purposes in the line of clay-pot cookery.  And they're certainly inexpensive enough.  

Thnx

But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2019 at 06:01
The company is Madeheart.  It claims to represent over 10,000 Eastern European artisans and they deal with much more than clay.  The person I have been in email communication with is Alice Tkachova.  She can have any clay piece made to order.

I originally found this company in the Amazon hand made section while looking for ketsi.  Amazon has a few clay items readily available from Madeheart that will not break the bank.  This pitcher was one of those.  I wanted a 3 liter but settled for a 2 liter because it was already in California.  Otherwise there is a long wait.  Perhaps as long as two months for delivery.

I don't really trust Alice Tkachova.  Since custom orders are accepted, I asked her what size ketsi I would need to make khachapuri. 

Her response:
"For khachapuri I would suggest buying a 3 liter ketsi, but it really depends on the amount of servings you want to achieve.
My grandmother actually makes khachapuri on a basic flat oven pan as an alternative to using a ketsi. She was taught by 
her Georgian neighbor. The khachapuri does hold the form quite well. However, the right way, of course, is too cook
the khachapuri in a proper ketsi."

For fun I asked her for a price, with shipping included for a 3 liter kesti. When shipping costs are greater than the product
I don't buy. She said she would try to lower the shipping cost but I have yet to hear back from her.

I understand identical products are sold at different prices in different places but Amazon's price for three 300ml ketsi is
double the price when ordered directly from the Madeheart website. $123.44 vs $61.19. Shipping costs included.

So I don't know if I will be dealing with Alice. We'll see how this all pans out. But you have the website and can view
the artisan clay they offer. Just type "clay" in the search box.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2019 at 07:25
Thanks for all that info.  I'll look at the site. But, based on what you say, probably not order anything.

Interestingly, when I searched ketsi at Amazon there were no hits.  I'll have to double check what they have.  I've noticed with other products that the Amazon/vendor price differences can be extensive. But don't recall as though it was ever double Amazon's price. 

When we made the khachapuri we, as you suggest, just used a straight-sided round baking pan. It would have been nice to have done it in the proper dish, but you do what you have to do. 

I have some small (4.5 inch diameter), straight-sided Turkish baking pans. I've been thinking it might be fun to make individual khachapuri in them. Still not 100% authentic, but at least they're clay. 

Of course the real trick isn't in the baking dish, but in the pleating technique. And that's a lot easier with the larger khachapuri than with the smaller Khinkali. But it still takes practice. 

Ah, well. If it were easy everybody would do it. 


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And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2019 at 07:42
G-man, check it out: Madeheart has a "clay plate" that might be suitable. Same milk-fired clay, with a slight taper to the sidewalls, it's actually larger than their ketsi: 10.24 x 2.76 inches.  Best of all: $16.34 plus shipping.

Added later: Sorry. Forgot to add their id number: 365360658


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And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2019 at 12:50
Uh - yep...I've been looking at that pitcher for a full three minutes, now.

"Gorgeous" is honestly the only word....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 March 2019 at 15:03
I sent Alice another email.  She now knows that I know about the pricing differences between Amazon and the main Madeheart site.  I asked about delivery dates etc,. We'll see what happens next. 

The plate is not out of the running.  Thanks for finding that HF.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2019 at 05:56
Heard back from Alice.  The price of ketsis has magically dropped from $123.44 for 3 ketsis to $200.00 for the 9 she has in stock.  Shipping included.  I certainly don't need or want 9 ketsis but things are looking up.

She is, however, being vague by sending me photos of her in-stock ketsis but not including dimensions.  They could have 3" diameters for all I know.   Alice sez it will take a month to produce and ship specific sizes but I qualify for an additional 15% "discount" because I've already bought an item from them. 

Its interesting  that when I place one order of three 300ml ketsis in the shopping cart, it shows up as two orders for a total of 6.  One must be aware of this and reduce the order to 1 before hitting the "buy" button.
 
The long and short of this interaction is they, Madeheart, are willing to deal since I found their site. Now if I could just get them to stop the BS. 

FWIW, I always check Amazon prices before buying most things there and I've caught large product price differences from them more than once.

And so it goes.  Waiting for another email.  I'll probably buy something from them once the BS stops.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 March 2019 at 12:30
Sounds like she's dealing on the shipping as well.  Near as I can determine on the website, the $123.44 does not include shipping.

At Amazon, the price also does not include shipping, which is an additional 70 bucks.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 05:56
Alice says the ketsis she has in stock have diameters of 15-16cm (5.9-6.2") and have capacities of 300-350ml.  Not quite what I expected.

The Madeheart website states their 300ml ketsi dimensions as:  Dimensions: length: 8.27 inches (21.8 cm), width: 8.27 inches (21.8 cm), height: 1.97 inch (5 cm), weight: 5.14 lb (2330 g)  Which is it Alice?  If these dimensions are both correct, the only explanation is the smaller diameter ketsis are deeper.  It's difficult to know because Alice loves to withhold information and the photographs are probably stock photos (I don't know that) and are misleading (I do know that).

Perhaps it is now more evident to members here why I don't trust her. 

Photos of in-stock ketsis (maybe)

So back to square one.  I do know It would take anywhere from 5-6 weeks to receive any custom made order and I question even that estimate.  As stated above, Alice likes to withhold information and if things continue as they have been it will take 2 to 3 days to find out exactly what the cost and delivery dates really are.  Clay is also breakable and I may have no recourse should anything arrive in pieces.

I may, or may not order one piece.  A ketsi at least large enough to cook the flattened chicken in but it is more likely I will take a pass. 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 08:51
It's understandable that you would pass, but quite regrettable; those pieces are beautiful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 March 2019 at 14:23
Yes, all of their stuff is beautiful.  I've made one more email effort asking for an estimate for the cost of production (I'm betting the artisans get squat) and shipping to me of a 31 or 32cm (12+ inch)diameter ketsi.  I was very specific and left nothing out so I don't see how any answer could be jumbled up but we'll see.

If Alice can't get it right this time I can buy a 12.5" clay Cazuela at my local Williams Sonoma that will do nicely for $40.00. It's glazed but it will do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2019 at 05:35
Abkhazura and Elarji

Spiced juicy meatballs fried and finished in pomegranate gravy plated over white corn, butter and mozzarella Elarji (a kind of polenta). Elarji is made with coarse grain white corn and white corn four. Butter is added and then mozzarella which is a substitute for Georgian Sulguni cheese. The dish is garnished with scallions, pomegranate seeds and red onion.

Georgian meatballs aren't typically round but I did that anyway. The ones I've seen are sausage shaped or sausage shaped with pointed ends.  These days I'm usually pressed for time so balls it was.

Georgians would wrap these in caul fat befor frying.  Not an easy thing to find these days so that didn't happen.

I was expecting an order of coarse grain white corn grits to arrive but it was damaged in shipping and was returned to the sender before I ever saw it.  So I cheated and used Quaker Oats white corn meal.  It came out just as elastic as shown in videos.  Interesting stuff. 

These pork and beef meatballs are spiced with garlic, finely chopped onion, hot chili powder, freshly ground coriander, fresh cracked black pepper. summer savory, blue fenugreek, sumac and dried barberries.

My intention was to grill these meatballs on skewers and finish them in the pomegranate mix on my ceramic cooker but winter has returned with a vengeance.

I believe if I lived in Georgia I'd be as big as a house LOL 


This recipe was an amalgamation of three others so maybe I can post it here when time permits

Abkhazura
Spiced pork and beef meatballs

Ingredients:
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground chuck
1 egg, beaten
2 onions, finely chopped (use a food processor for this)
5+ garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp hot chili powder 
4 T dried barberries  
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
1 tsp freshly ground coriander.  I used a mortar & pistil for this. Freshly ground is the only way to fly.
1 tsp blue fenugreek, ground
2 tsp dried summer savory
2 tsp ground sumac
4 T butter or oil divided
1 T AP Flour, sifted
1 C pomegranate juice

Garnishes:
Sliced red onion
Scallions
Cilantro
Pomegranate seeds - These were available in my local grocery store, somehow.

For the meatballs:
-Mix together, with your hands, all ingredients except butter, flour and pomegranate juice
 Form mixture into desired shape - I used a medium ice-cream scoop for consistent meat balls
-Heat 2 T butter or oil in heavy cast iron or carbon steel skillet over medium heat and brown the meatballs on all sides in batches
-Transfer to a paper towel lined plate as they finish browning
 
For the sauce:
-Melt remaining 2 T butter or oil to skillet
- Sprinkle the flour in, mix, and cook for a minute or two stirring often
-Slowly add pomegranate juice while stirring continuously making sure no lumps form

Finish:
-Reduce heat and add meat balls into the pomegranate sauce.
-Cover and simmer 15 min or until meatballs are cooked through.  Turn meatballs occasionally to coat evenly with sauce.  The sauce will turn the meatballs very dark.
-Place covered skillet in 175ºF oven to keep warm if necessary

Serve over elarji and top with choice of garnishes

Quick Elarji

Ingredients:
1 C Quaker Oats white corn meal
1 C cold water
1 ¾ C chicken broth (or more water)
1 C water
8 oz fresh dry mozzarella, sliced
2 - 4 T salted butter

-Mix corn meal with 1 cup cold water and set aside
-Bring broth and 1 C water to boil
-Gradually stir corn meal mix into the boiling liquid
-Cook 5 min over medium heat stirring constantly
-Lower heat and stir in the mozzarella and butter
-Cook 5 min stirring constantly until cheese is melted

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wannabebwana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2019 at 07:27
Oh, my!  Thumbs Up
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2019 at 08:25
Nice job, G-man, especially considering the constrictions you worked under. 

The cigar shape might be more authentic, but I don't see how it really matters all that much.  It, perhaps, would have if you had skewered & grilled them. But, from the looks of it, the final dish will serve just fine.  

The fact is, while we strive for both authenticity and flavor, if one of them has to be sacrificed then authenticity has to be the loser.  
But we hae meat and we can eat
And sae the Lord be thanket
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 March 2019 at 08:37
Outstanding work, gMan - I would be very honoured to sit down to a plate of that.

Quote This recipe was an amalgamation of three others so maybe I can post it here when time permits


I hope you are able to!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gracoman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2019 at 08:56
Originally posted by TasunkaWitko TasunkaWitko wrote:



Quote This recipe was an amalgamation of three others so maybe I can post it here when time permits


I hope you are able to!

Done
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Wannabebwana Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 March 2019 at 10:46
Honestly not trying to hijack this thread but I remembered that I had taken a pic of the English language menu at the Georgian restaurant.    I’m sure you’ll recongnize some dishes here. FYI, a Ukrainian Ghrivna is about 26:1 US$, so the prices were very reasonable.


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