All posts filed under: Romania

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Monday Meal Review: Romania

THE SCENE Pleasure is spread throughout the earth in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find. (William Wordsworth) I spend hours daydreaming about other countries – about how beautiful they are, about the incredible food they eat. Every week I take my family to one of these countries via stovetop travel and we imagine the joy we’d have living life in those countries. But I’m increasingly uneasy with this set up. I’ve had trouble pinpointing my discomfort, until the other day when my issue hit me like a ton of bricks. Part of loving the world we are in… well… it’s loving the world right where we are, right now. To quote a lobster I know: The seaweed is always greener, in somebody else’s lake. You dream about going up there, but that is a big mistake. Just look at the world around you, right here on the ocean floor. Such wonderful things surround you, what more are you looking for? (“The Little Mermaid”) Truth is, I’m a lot like Ariel, more focused on …

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Romanian Easter Bread | Pasca

In my dream Romanian house I am surrounded by tall, sunny windows overlooking cobblestone streets and green, leggy hills.  As I sit in a velvet window seat, I nibble copious amounts of Pasca, a traditional sweet bread enjoyed on Easter morning. The bread is filled with sweet cheese (think something like cheesecake) and sometimes raisins. Between bites, I sip a cup of steaming, hot tea. The nearby oven radiates gentle heat that drifts through the house and takes the chill out of the air. In real life, my kitchen has no windows and, instead of warmth floating through the house, my stand mixer tosses my made-with-love Pasca dough off of the counter. Instead of daydreaming by the window, I spend my afternoon Googling what kind of mixer to buy this time. You see, as my stand mixer kneaded the soft dough, she shimmied off the table, crashed onto the tile floor and broke the arm mechanism for good. Even JP Weld wouldn’t put those pieces back together. I know because, love him, Mr Picky tried. The scene …

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Transylvanian Cauliflower Casserole with Cheese

I don’t usually give a lot of thought to Dracula, except for that one era in the nineties when several movies came out and I read “Interview with a Vampire” in two and a half late-night sittings. For a long time afterwards my brain bore the imprint of fear. Do not leave the windows open in the glittering, eerie night,  a little voice told me. Whatever you do, sleep with garlic in close proximity – preferably around the neck, the voice added. (I would have done so, if it hadn’t been so uncomfortable) So here we are – a decade and a half later – the week before Halloween, and we’re cooking Romania. All those old feelings have come back, jittering out from my psyche. To quell this nervous energy, I’m happy to report I found a recipe inspired directly by the cuisine of Dracula’s hometown: Transylvania. Perhaps the Count ate it himself. Dracula was a real man from the 1400’s (with an epic mustache), originally known as Vlad the Impaler because of the extraordinary punishments he doled …

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Romanian Stuffed Cabbage Leaves | Sarmale

Cabbage patch kids always seemed creepy to me when I was little. What kind of baby grows out of a cabbage? Could you still eat the cabbage once you harvested the baby? This doll raised lots of questions. Not to say this stopped me from wanting a cabbage patch doll more than Rainbow Brite leggings, because I did. The urge was major. Now that I am a couple (few) decades older, I know exactly what was going on – mostly because it’s starting to happen with Ava. I wanted those dolls because all the other kids wanted them. They were collected in the 80’s quicker than Michael Jackson gloves. As a rather “thrifty” family living in a “thrifty” part of Boston (I slept in one corner of our apartment’s living room while my brother slept in the other), I wanted nothing more than to play with these dolls that rich kids littered their deluxe playrooms with. It all seemed so fancy and grand. And I thought maybe having a doll would make me popular – like the kids who had them. …

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Menu: Romania (w/ Giveaway)

This weekend we bobbed for apples, did some yoga, and took a Sunday drive past acres upon acres of brown trees. They were mostly oaks, poised solemnly against the horizon, their branches nodding as if to say “It’s 80 degrees in October. We give up.” Other than a few spikes of golden yellow, fall seemed to have skipped over our annual 30 minute drive to the pumpkin patch. Considering we forgot to actually buy any pumpkins while there, I’m not sure what to make of our afternoon. One thing is for certain. Anytime I want to escape to the true crispness of fall, I simply have to whip this Romanian menu up. Designed for the fall and winter table, it has everything warm, gooey, and full of bacon. I’m not sure what else there is to life. Unless, perhaps, cheesecake baked into bread. All recipes and the meal review will be posted throughout the week. Transylvanian Cauliflower Casserole with Cheese [Recipe] Wave “Hello” to Dracula while you eat this favorite from his hometown. Steamed cauliflower is then enrobed in …

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About the food of Romania

Just two weeks ago our friend Marlin went to Romania, in a little spot near Transylvania. He came back with stories of a beautiful country working on unification. His words conjured up images of wagons, cobblestones, mud, and villages lost in time. In this country, one family might eat completely differently than another (surprisingly, there was no mention of vampire eating habits). Of course, it’s not all countryside – there are also stone cities which look out sternly upon the streets. Regardless of where you are, there are cultures from different backgrounds living side by side… trying to figure it all out. Later that night, as I lay in bed, it occurred to me that Romania is no different from the rest of us. From the smallest family, to the entire human race, this is our quest: how can we all come together peacefully? Some days go better than others. So let’s sit around the Romanian Global Table and see what we can learn. For starters, I noticed an old friend from our time cooking …

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