Saturday, August 30, 2008

Shepherd / Cioban

A typical traditional Romanian portrait. I took this photo in Sapanta, Maramures, at a festival called "Radacini Fest". The man is wearing traditional black and white clothes. What I particulary like about this costume is the hat. It is a shepherd's costume from Sibiu or its surroundings reflecting pastoral Romania.

Lucretia Ciobanu-Pleaca oile la munte

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Traditional Romanian shoes - opinci (detail)

The so-called "opinci" are the traditional Romanian shoes. People used to wear them all over Romania before they started to be substituted with modern shoes. They are made of leather and they are also very confortable (believe me I tryed them on!).

The traditional Romanian shoes presented in this photo belonged to a woman. Although, apparently all the "opinci" look the same this detailed close up proves that each pair is unique. The beauty of each "opinca" depended on the talent and creativity of the person who made it. The "opinci" for women were more feminin (see the tiny little flowers on the traditional shoes in the photo) as compared to those for men, which were usually simple.

Doina de Jale - Gheorghe Zamfir
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Traditional Romanian food - sarmale

Mmmmmm....sarmale! Tasty!

This month I had more time to spend with my blog. We start to develop a kind of friendship... My best friend? My blog :)

So, since my blog became my best friend I decided not to ignore my blog readers as well. I know my blog is growing every day: more and more photos, more and more songs to listen to and text to read. That's why I thought that my blog readers got hungry while surfing my blog posts and TAAAARAAAMMMM!!!!! Here you are! Some sarmale for you! Too bad you can't feel the smell. But if you do want to feel it, here's the recipe:

1/4 cups long grain rice, rinsed
2 pounds pork loin roast, finely diced
1 pound carrots, chopped
1 pound onions, chopped
1 pinch salt to taste
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 cup sunflower seed oil
6 ounces parsley roots, chopped
1 medium head cabbage
Place rice in a medium bowl, and pour boiling water over it. Let soak for 15 minutes, then drain. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots, parsley roots, onions and tomato paste. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the rice. Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork, and cook for about 2 minutes, just until browned on the outside. Transfer to the bowl with the rice and vegetables; season with dill and black pepper. Stir until everything is well blended. Set the mixture aside to cool.
Carefully remove the leaves from the head of cabbage, and place them in a large pot with about 2 inches of water. Bring to a boil, and cook for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and flexible. Remove the cabbage leaves from the pot, but leave enough in the bottom to cover. On each of the remaining leaves, place about 2 tablespoons of the pork and rice mixture in the center, and wrap the leaf around to cover.
Place the stuffed cabbage leaves into the pot. When the pot is full, place a few boiled cabbage leaves over the top. Pour boiling water into the pot to cover the cabbage rolls, and place over medium-low heat. Cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the rice is tender.
Good apetite!

Gheorghe Zamfir - Invirtita
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Barsana Monastery, Maramures, Romania

Maramures is famous for its wooden churches(Unesco heritage sites). They are Orthodox churches. The wooden churches are a distinct feature of Maramures. Here the natives' woodcarving talent shows up in a display of beauty and creativity.They are high timber constructions with characteristic tall, slim bell towers at the western end of the building.

Every time I visit Barsana Monastery I am speechless. It's like entering another world, a world which is closer to God, it's like entering a corner of Eden. Barsana Monastery is a holly and peaceful place that is worth visiting!

Folclor Autentic - colaj Grigore Lese
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Flowers for my blog readers

This is a surprise for you, my blog readers: one of my favorite flower photos. I took this photo this spring. You can see the dead leaves, the fragile grass and those tiny delicate wild flowers. Simply adorable! That's the reason why I like to take photos: each photo reminds me of a special moment or of a special day. Flowers are beautiful today and gone tomorrow. I don't know why I like flowers so much all of a sudden. There was a time when I just left them unnoticed while passing by or stepping on them. It's strange how my camera determined me to discover or rediscover their beauty. There was a time when I loved them more than I do now, and that was the time when I was a child.

Stefan Hrusca - Nunta de flori
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Sacel pottery / Ceramica Sacel

George Enescu - Rapsodia Romana nr.1
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Sacel is a village from Maramures, Romania. This village is famous for its so-called "Dacian ceramics", one of the oldest types of ceramics preserved in Romania. This craft was preserved in Sacel for over 2000 years and was transmitted from generation to generation.

The potter Tanase Burnar, the son of famous Tanase Cocian, is familiarised with the potter’s wheel since he was 10, when he started to make the first objects. Now he makes with great skill pots (see photo) for sarmale (traditional Romanian food made of meat, rice and cabbage), ceramic plates, cups and jugs burned once in the oven. The oven was built by the craftsman and uses the wood fire so the color of the clay is preserved. The clay used is kaolin, a fine and dense clay taken from deep springs from Drobodeava Hill, Sacel.

The Sacel pots are manufactured in the same style as the Dacian style. They are manufactured and ornamented using mineral elements. The ornaments are simple and resemble natural elements ( the flow of water, the sun, the line of life, drawings of men, folkloric motifs ), motifs also used in the Dacian ceramics. The continuity of this craft will be transmitted to the next generations.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

May I come in?

It's so much fun taking photos sometimes! But I have to admit it's not easy to take pet photos. They never stand still.

With this photo I was lucky. There she was...eager to get in the house. She wanted to get inside my house and inside my blog! So, WELCOME her!

Cranberries - Animal instinct
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Photos by DANA GRAD ©All rights reserved.

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