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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Photos by DANA GRAD ©All rights reserved.

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