I have been living away from home for a while now, and I can say it is not an easy task. Having to deal with adulthood, alone in a different country with no one to really help you when needed is pretty difficult, but I believe each one of us can manage it in their own way.
I have first started with going abroad on a scholarship year when I was 17. First experience away from home for so long, as before this, the longest I have been away was a term. So there I was, in a beautiful small city in the Quebec Province of Canada, called Alma, barely able to understand what anyone said and longing to be home nurtured by my parents.
But I have succeeded, and managed to finish high-school there, and learn French, the language of my heart. I came back to my parents, changed, more independent and responsible than I ever was. My last year of high-school I was in a perpetual moving (I have moved 5 times in the past 2 years and I am not proud of it). I have often felt that I have lost the sense of home, until one day when I have received a beautiful quote from my boyfriend saying this: “Home is where friends are family and family are friends”. I couldn’t have agreed more and this sort of managed to restore my sense of belonging to a new city that I had no choice but to move in, and to a new home for my university years.
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This makes me say that I do find myself experienced on how to move your life around places, as I had started when I was 17, and I seem to never stop lately. However, the thing that ties me to home the most, besides the amazing people I have here are the traditions. I come from a simple, Romanian family, but, for both my parents, the traditions they have inherited from their own families have always been important, and what better way to celebrate them, than during the holiday season?
Since I was a little girl, Christmas was my favorite moment during the whole year. It had amazing food, great family time, the only moment when all of us were actually together and found time for each other in the hectic life we all had. I didn’t come to appreciate these moments until I have been away for so long, and this cherished celebration became a question mark of whether I will or will not be at home.
Lately, I have discovered that I am not alone in this world and that there are many others that feel the same way about being away. How did I find out? Well truly, through the great bank I actually make my money transfers with, Western Union. Surprising, isn’t it? I thought so as well, until I saw how much they care for their customers. The reason I am saying this is the fact that, they have released a wonderful video that truly touched my heart and opened my eyes. You can also watch it here !
Why did I say it was an eye opener, after the story I have just shared with you? It is because it has made me realize that one of the things that I miss most from home is nothing else than the well cooked food. It sounds hard to believe, but I don’t cook nearly as well as my mum and grandma do and holidays are the perfect moment to indulge into everything they could possibly create.
This article, is for you all who feel the same way as I do, but also, for me to share two of my favorite things from home, two things that my family cooks well, but I can’t seem to master yet. As food is what reunites most nations, it is a tradition in our family to cook together and spend this time to learn and try something new. So here they are…
Both quite traditionally Romanian, most certainly inherited from the populations that conquered our country in various moments in history, and well-adapted to fit our needs as a people.
One of my favorite deserts in the world and something I only eat at home, while spoiled by my grandmother. Find the ingredients and how to create it below.
First, you have to leave the cow cheese dribble, as it usually leaves a lot of liquid behind and that can damage the frying at the end. Fot this, you wrap it in very thin muslin and you leave it in a strainer to dribble for about an hour. After this operation, you put the cheese in a bowl and add the egg, the orange peel, the salt, the vanilla, the sugar and you stir it until the ingredients weld together well. After this, mix the flour with the baking powder and pass it twice through a strainer. Then, you add it gradually to the first mix you made, until you obtain a moldable, but compact concoction. It is very important for the ‘dough’ to have a rather fluffy and slightly sticky texture.
We lay the “dough” we have created on a wooden baking tray drizzled with flour so that it does not stick. Then we flatten it out with our hands and we extend it with a roller in a round form of about 4 cm thick. You then cut them in the shape of doughnuts- those ones with a whole in the middle.
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You then add the oil in a deep frying pan on low heat and, when it is hot you put each ‘doughnut’ in the oil. If the pan is big enough you can put two at a time. You fry them well on both sides and you fry the round middle you have left out as well. You are done with the hard work here. Put two of them on a plate, with the rounded middle on the smaller hole and add cream and jam over them. Pure perfection on a plate.
Both, the recipe and the photos, were taken from here. (I have translated it from Romanian, as my mom’s ingredient list is not that accurate).
#2 Aubergine Salad
An amazing salad that I absolutely love and that, each year I make with my mother for the guests to come, and each year I love it more and more. Easy to make and without the need of too many ingredients, here you have it:
First, the aubergines have to be well baked. You can put them in a pan or in the oven to cook and constantly turn them to be well roasted on all sides. You will know that they are well baked when their middle is mellow and their peel looks a bit carbonized. Make sure you prick them with a fork before adding them to the over or pan as they might explode from the heat and the accumulation of liquid.
After finishing this, you let them cool down for a very little bit and peel down their crust, until you have none left and there is only the mellow middle. Try to use everything out of wood or ceramics from now on, as metallic instruments will oxidize the eggplants and they will be bitter and turn to a dark color. After letting them cool down and peeling the crust off, hash them with a wooden or ceramic instrument. After this, you can proceed in different manners, but I will present only one, which is my favorite.
So, after hashing the aubergines, you add the oil, bit by bit, while mixing in at the same time. After finishing this process you add the hashed onion and the mayonnaise, which you can make yourself or simply buy it at any supermarket. A delicious salad to eat with home-made bread on holidays.
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Feature image: splitshire.com