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My china collection: part 2 - ARPO

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

I wanted to share something else today, but I kinda like to mix things up and not talk about the same topic in consecutive entries. 

So, in this entry, I talked about the china items I have 2 of, as for couples. I promised i'd present to you my ARPO collection as well. 

ARPO used to be a Romanian factory manufacturing fine porcelain items - plates, sets for coffee or tea, and decorative items. The factory is now defunct and its demise was the fall of communism back in 1989. This is a short presentation of the company, by Wikipedia, in Romanian. You can easily translate using Google Translate (not sponsored) or any other translation service. 

If you click this link, you'll see a selection of items made by ARPO. 

Ok, so now let's talk about my collection. I remember that I saw a youtube video in which the creator was saying that if you want to feel good, you should surround yourself with items that you enjoy seeing. In another video, the creator was saying that we all have a set of good things we keep for special occasions

She was saying that we all know that those special occasions rarely happen, and we should just use those special items. And I realized she was right. 

I don't know how I decided that I really like the porcelain plates made by ARPO. I think I just looked up the brand once I had some items in my possession, to try and learn more about it. 

I think my collection started with this set for coffee. It currently contains 4 cups, 6 plates, bowl for sugar with a lid, tall coffee pot with a lid, and a cup to pour milk from. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

You probably think that i don't have the coffee pot and the other items I mentioned. But you're wrong. 

The thing is that at the end of 2020, an aunt of Anna's died. She had no children, so Anna's family is in charge of figuring out what to do with the woman's possessions, which are not many. 

As it happens, she also had a set of this coffee set, but with different flowers. I took the set and gave it a good clean, and put it in my collection. in a storage box because i don't have enough space to display them. And i have other coffee or teapots to use instead. 

Well, here are the remaining and doubles of this set, if this makes any sense at all. Obviously, the set with the smaller monochrome-blue flowers belonged to the dead aunt. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

This blue set is the latest addition to my collection, as you can imagine. 

Now I'll show you the plates I have.

i already shared these plates in my previous post. I had 2 of them back then. Now I have 3, as 1 came from MIL maybe around Christmas. 

These are shallow, almost flat dishes. They're for serving semisolid or solid food on. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO
My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

I also have this set of 5 plates I got last year from my friend's mother. These plates are a bit deep, ideal to serve soup in. If you click on the image, you'll see the plates better. 

I don't like these plates as much as the other items in the collection, but what can I do. 

My china collection: part 2 - ARPOMy china collection: part 2 - ARPO

I almost forgot this plate. This is my favorite and needless to say I keep it as safe as I can. This picture doesn't do it justice, in my opinion.

The stamp on the back is also barely visible. It says ARPO and then a name. I can make out "C. Beargee" or maybe "C. Bearger", all in capital letters. 

The flowers on this plate have a texture to them, while the plate is as smooth as it gets. This is a shallow plate, almost flat. I forgot when and where this plate came from. 

My china collection is not done. My next entry will have to be on the remaining items that are either random sets or one of a kind. 

Stay tuned for that! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Browsing Burda May 1996

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all! 

This is a pretty short entry as I want to present to you all, the Burda magazine for May 1996! 

I made a video browse-through of still pics with transitions and some notes, and even though it doesn't sound as interesting as it should, it did require some work on my part. 

I think it took me some 2 hours to put it together, without the taking pictures part.

Why is this issue important? No particular reason, This is currently the oldest Burda issue I own and I already made a pair of pants twice, in 2 different sizes. You can read more about the process here.

If you're wondering why i didn't post this entry on my Being Obscure reviews site/blog, is because I don't review the magazine. i just make a browse through. 

There's barely any commentary and all of it is written as captions. I think it fits more here. 

I hope you like the issue, and it's just in time for the month of May of this year. 

I have another browse through to prepare for June, but the year is 2013. Stay tuned for that! 

That's not the next issue I own, chronologically, but the one that fits with the time of the year. I hope you're OK with my choice.  

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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An all time favorite for Romanians - Polenta

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

I'm not sure I was supposed to post anything today, but I realized this recipe wasn't moved from my old cooking blog. I thought it might be time I moved it. 

Quite honestly, I almost forgot I still had recipes on that old blog. 

As you'll see, the pics are very bad, undated, but they're from at least 2015. That's why they're bad and I don't have a visual step-by-step of the process. 

Ok, below you'll see the "original" post. Enjoy your reading!

Coming to Romania you'll want to try some traditional food, even though I don't believe there is any dish that is exclusively "traditional Romanian." What you'll eat instead is food almost every Romanian knows how to make, especially in the countryside. Sadly, eating this in the capital, might not taste the same as it would in some forsaken village, but this doesn't mean it won't be tasty.

From my old blog. i need new pics.

Polenta seems to be every peasant's replacement for bread and therefore eaten mostly with other foods. However polenta is so popular it can be eaten by itself as well.. well sort of by itself. Mixing it with butter and some type of salty cheese will make it delicious and a dish that can be served as a stand-alone.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 liter of water (or less)
  • some cornflour, better known as polenta in some countries. [all i know its that it's dry, yellow, rough, and made of corn]
  • some salt
  • between 1 and 3 spoons of butter - margarine also works
  • some cheese - feta cheese is just an example. Make sure the cheese melts, you'll thank me later.
  • Optional:
    • black pepper
    • boiled egg
    • bacon or sausages
from my old blog. i need new pics.
METHOD
  • Place the water with salt on fire and bring it to a boil.
  • When it starts to boil, start slowly adding the polenta-corn flour. Make sure to mix in a circular motion with a wooden spoon. You're better off at mixing with its handle - it mixes better, trust me on this one. Make sure it boils well!
  • Cut the cheese into small cubes. Best size? about half your thumb finger.
  • Add the cornflour until the mixture thickens and sticks to your spoon. It is done when you have the impression you can form balls with it, without them falling apart. You'll want it rather thick and sticky than runny or soft.
  • Add the butter and mix well. The butter will soften the mixture - this is what you want.
  • Add the cheese and mix. The cheese will start melting - this is what you want to happen. ;)
  • Add some black pepper on top after you serve on a dish or in a bowl.

This dish is best served hot, especially in winter, but having it cold in summer is just fine too.

I like it warm regardless of the season, lol. You could say this is a type of comfort food for me.

Here I had it with some fried soy pieces and some bell pepper. You can have it with sauerkraut, sausages, fish, and almost any other food that has sauce.

Bon Apettit!

PS: yes, all these failed pics are mine -_-' I need to make polenta again and to take better pics of the process. 


© Charly Cross 2013 - present.

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Many people struggle

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone. 

This is a rather sad entry. I'm not in a very good mental state right now. 

I think I started battling depression a few years back. I haven't been to any therapists until this year. I will soon start some treatment for this. I just need to go wait until my next appointment in about 3 weeks. 

I also suffer from anxiety and I'm pretty sure I have some BPD traits as well. Click here if you don't know anything about BPD. In any case, from a social point of view and as far as employment goes, it's not a very good thing to have a paper saying you have BPD or any other issues that could mean you're not emotionally or mentally stable. ok, moving on now. 

Almost everyone struggles. And everyone who struggles makes an effort to hide it. of course, depending on the severity of the problem, some hide it better than others. Some simply can't hide it. Some lose battles with themselves.

pic from july 2017

For me, things went really bad in 2020, when the shit hit the fan with the virus and we were all confined in our homes, and businesses closed. When the martial law was implemented illegally, about a week in - I forgot how long it's been, maybe 2 weeks? a month? i considered jumping out the window. 

i was very close to doing it. Living on the 5th floor, with granite tiles on the sidewalk downstairs. But also some metal things for shade for the shop space on the ground floor. I'm not sure what survival chanced i'd have. i probably would have been stuck in a wheelchair if I did survive. 

Luckily for me, anna was here and I could call her and talk to her ... and she managed to at least calm me down. I'm crying again, now thinking of that evening. I'm truly blessed with her. 

i don't want to hear "oh, but others...." fuck others! I'm not others, and others don't think of me either. I'm not others- I'm ME! I'm tired of these hurtful comparisons!

when you compare a child to other children, you ARE ONLY HURTING your own child and boosting the ego of the other kid. 

pic from july 2017

when you tell your partner "oh, but the spouse of so-and-so...." you are HURTING AND INSULTING YOUR partner! you make them feel miserable! and they wonder why are you with them if you think the other person is better. and the thing is, you can't even know the real face of the other person who you think is better. 

Sorry, I went off a tangent here. but people do that when they try to explain their feelings. i suppose. it makes it easier for them. 

so, around Christmas, I started feeling a bit better, and it lasted for a while. Though PMSing started being too much like a rollercoaster. anna couldn't take my crap anymore and insisted I seek professional help. and so I did, and about a week or so ago I started taking Xanax, as the therapist prescribed. And my anxiety went down, which is great because it was almost crippling me. 

the downside of taking Xanax was that while I was no longer anxious, but i started feeling the depression more. and it was maybe more intense? blank mind, foggy brain... Actually, the fog was almost there, all white and fluffy, around not only my head but my torso as well. i could almost see it with my eyes. 

And then, this site i was playing, suddenly bans me for having multiple accounts! when they already knew there's 2 of us playing there, on 2 different accounts! they knew this for almost 11 years! it's just unbelievable! we apparently broke a rule about exchanging too many items... 

I didn't even know there's such a rule.... well, ok, there is, we broke it indeed. but this is not the point. the point is that the ban-hammer was triggered at a bad time when i was feeling very low and foggy, and that site felt safe in the morning when i was drinking my coffee.  

I've been talking to an admin, but i don't put my hopes too high for getting my account back. Now, i don't care so much anymore. I'll need another morning habit. or just use this as a reason to procrastinate less. 

To be continued...

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Very late Blog-march: Last 4 challenges

Publié le par Charly C.

Well, hello there.

We are well into the month of April and I know I haven't finished the March challenge. However, due to how this platform works, I can post this in March. ;) 

The thing is - I won't finish this challenge. Below we can see the remaining challenges.

March 27 - National cheese day

This is a French platform, run by French people. I suppose the stereotype that the French love their cheese is true if they dedicated a day to celebrate it. 

Personally, I don't live in France, so I have no idea if there is such a day celebrated, or if Cheese Day is every day. 

So, what is my favorite type of cheese? I do like cheese, so I have a favorite. 

I ate blue cheese a few times - I didn't find it bad, but also not something to eat daily, or even very often. I used to really like the Romanian telemea cheese, but not so much anymore. 

Of course, you may not or don't know what telemea is, so here is more about this cheese, from Wikipedia

Lately, I like Italian mozzarella cheese. Smoked yellow cheese is another type of cheese I like. This type of cheese is called Kashkaval and I can't recall seeing any that is white in color. Most of these are off-white or some shade of yellow.  

This type of cheese melts nicely on pizza, and any other dish you may want melted cheese on. 

March 28 - World day against endometriosis

I wish all women dealing with this problem, a lot of health. 

I wish everyone else who is not aware of this health problem, to learn about it. Also, please stop asking women "When will you get married?" "When will you have children?". 

It's none of your business. Unless YOU plan on being the 3rd wheel in the relationship or taking care of the baby with your own money and time. Not all women want to be wives or mothers. 

And women suffering from endometriosis may even have a hard time conceiving, even if they want to have babies. So, again, I repeat: Not your body, not your problem! You can ask questions and give advice only when you're very close to the person and you're concerned about their health and overall wellbeing. 

March 29 - Cinema spring

I have no idea what this means or what am I supposed to write about. 

In any case, keep an eye open and stalk my other site for at least one movie review, The Taming of the Shrew, an Italian movie. ;) I think it's a good movie for spring.

March 31 - World day of personal data protection

I think this is what it means. If this is what it means, I'll have to remind you to change your passwords often, keep them written down -in an agenda, diary, cookie jar, whatever. Do not share them with anyone under any circumstance. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blog-March: 7 Challenges

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

So, in my previous post, I told you about the challenge with the subjects to write about in March. 

This time, I have to update you on 7 challenges. However, some of them have no signification for me, so the entries would have been too short. I'm not particularly fond of very short entries, so here I am. 

First, let's see again which are the challenges or topics I'm supposed to write about, and right after that, I can start completing the tasks. 

March 16 - International day of being nice while driving

I don't really know how else to translate that. 

What can I say? I don't drive. I did notice how some drivers thank one another for being left in front, so I imitate that when drivers let me pass. 

What I appreciate more than anything, is silent cars. Please, if you drive, don't blast the music that can be heard a mile away. Also, you don't need a very upset engine with a loud exhaust pipe or whatever it's called. That's very disturbing for passers-by. 

If I ever learn how to drive and get a car, I'll search for the most silent car. 

March 17 - Saint Patrick's day

We don't celebrate this in Romania. I have no idea what this celebration is all about. All I know is that people like to wear green if they celebrate. 

-15 minutes later- reading about him, I learned he brought Christianity to the Irish people and he explained the Holy Trinity with a shamrock. 

Despite all this, I was prepared to celebrate it because the previous day I had just completed the following skirt!

I should probably retake the photos of this skirt because the color is blue-ish here. But the real color is a deep BEAUTIFUL green. And I should also press the skirt. 

On the upside, this picture was taken on this day, March 17. 

March 18 - World tourism fair

I have nothing to say about this day. Going on a trip is a bit difficult currently. Travel has more purposes - relaxation, helping one refind some inspiration, and discover places. 

I can't travel so I'll share 2 pictures instead. I think these pictures can help with discovering places and find some inspiration. 

This is a street in the heart of Bucharest. I walk on this street a few times per month. This is the view to home. The date was Nov. 2020. 

This picture was taken back in Aug. 2017 when we visited a cemetery near the city. 

March 20 - World happiness day 

I think this is what the French means. 

These days I can get at least more cheerful when seeing certain items. That I received as a gift for this past Christmas. They are actually 2 items.

The first of them is a plate covered in strawberries, made by CLAYRE & EEF. This is NOT an affiliate link. This is a link to the official page of the brand. I wasn't able to find the plate there anymore. 

While the above plate cheers me up while eating, it has nothing on the next item:

This picture doesn't come close to telling you how stinkin' cute these Christmas avocadoes are. They SO. FRICKIN'. ADORABLE!!!! I really have no words to express myself. 

And since these are socks, the avocadoes become larger on the feet, then they return to the original size. These socks are from H&M. I wouldn't have bought them if I were looking to buy socks. But, BOY AM I GLAD I got them as a gift! 

I hope you can cheer up seeing their happy faces.. I'm losing my mind over here... 

March 21 - Spring Equinox

Welcome spring! I really feel and think spring came when I can see these flowers in bloom - see below.

These are not cherry blossoms, but very similar. They have a faint, nice smell that I can't have enough of. 

March 22 - International Water Day

Water is important for life. Correct. But lately, I only had bad luck with water... I have nothing to say more about this. 

March 25 -World Procrastination Day

How ironic that precisely on this day I get to post such a long entry. But that's because I use almost the whole year to procrastinate. 

This is it for now. Most likely, the remaining challenges will be grouped in a single entry as well. 

See you then! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Blog-March: First 5 Challenges

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

I haven't posted in a while, and I really wanted to write since the first day of March, but somehow, like I always do, I procrastinated instead. 

The admins of the platform hosting my blog decided in February to launch another challenge, similar to the one for December. 

Like for Blogmas, we get several topics to write about every day. Or nearly every day. 

I'll borrow the official image from the staff's blog, and share it here, blow. Yes, it's in French, but I hope it's not very difficult to understand or figure out. 

I'll also share the translations for each day, as I complete the day's challenge, or task. 

not my picture, read above.

not my picture, read above.

DAY: MARCH 1ST - International Compliment Day

I personally never heard of this day or celebration, yet I think we all need it. And we shouldn't wait for a specific day to say something nice to someone. 

To you, my reader, I want to say YOU are a wonderful and unique person. You sure have your quirks and stuff, but that's OK. That's what sets you apart from the rest. 

To my fiance, I want to say that you are the best, and I could never ask for or dream of anyone better than you to be with. 

DAY: MARCH 2ND - International Tennis Day

When did we get an International Tennis Day? 

Many people disregard women's tennis, however, there are many female tennis players who made history. I should only briefly point to Steffi Graf who was number 1 for 377 weeks.

In recent years, the Williams sisters, and especially Serena, were at the top. They are relevant because there are few Black women in a sport dominated by white women (or people). 

In August 2020, there were 2 Romanians in the top 10 WTA: Simona Halep and Bianca Andreescu. This is relevant as I currently live in Romania, and this country wasn't particularly known for its tennis players. Especially not in WTA. 

Steffi Graf - Wimbledon 1990; found on tennisarchive Tumblr account

Steffi Graf - Wimbledon 1990; found on tennisarchive Tumblr account

DAY: MARCH 7th - Celebrating Grand-mothers

Or Grand-mothers' day. I also didn't know this day/celebration existed. 

I'm also a bit confused by this celebration because I find it redundant with Mother's day. The way I see it, you can't be a grandparent without being a parent first. And once you become a parent, you'll always be one. 

But let's indulge, as there's nothing wrong or bad about that. For this challenge, I want to share the pictures of 2 grannies and the teaching of one of them. 

Here we can see fiance’s great grandmother (Mrs. Serafim) holding fiance’s 2-year old grandmother (Marioara), surrounded by granny’s older sisters - Lenuta (6) and Viorica (3?). The photo was taken in 1933. 

I really wanted to share this very old picture, even if it's not a good representation of granny. But, most of the things granny knew, was knowledge she had from her mother. And in this post, Anna shared some of that.

Here we can see my grandma holding me and a cousin. A picture from 1982. I look more like granny these days than I did back then. 

There's just one thing i can say: Granny, i miss you.

DAY: MARCH 8th - International Day of Women's Rights

At least this is how it's known officially. We call it International Women's Day. 

However, the terminology is very important in this case. If we call it "International Women's Day" we celebrate one thing, and if we say "International Day of Women's Rights," then we celebrate something else. 

In the first instance, we kinda maintain gender roles and an old-fashioned lifestyle for women. In the second instance, we recognize women are also humans and they also have rights. They have the right to live their lives as they see fit, even if that is living an old-fashioned lifestyle. 

It means, they are free to choose and nothing is imposed onto them. 

DAY: MARCH 13th - National Sleep Day

This day needs to be an internationally celebrated day. 

And we need one every week, on the weekend, haha. 

I don't have much to say about this day, unfortunately. But I can recommend a Youtube channel with good music to help you sleep. 

The channel's name is Nemo's Dreamscapes and one of the songs I managed to fall asleep to can be found here. I must say, I can't usually sleep with sounds or music around me. But these old songs were so calming. 

And this concludes 5 challenges in a single entry. Because each entry would have been too short otherwise. 

See you in the next entry!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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My Matching sets of Chinaware

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all! 

I don't know what to make this entry. I might change the title in the future if I can find a better title. 

This blog entry is probably a boring one for most of you. Unless you like to see cups and plates made of porcelain. 

Here I want to somehow list my china collection. There's a  second part coming related to my collection of plates/cups made by ARPO Porcelain, a now-defunct Romanian company that was making dinnerware, decors, and other stuff out of porcelain.

I can make a 3rd entry about the plates and cups I have only 1 of. 

All these entries are designed more for me, I suppose unless you're curious and like porcelain collections as well. 

And it just occurred to me that I have some pairs of glass items as well. I'll include them here, as somehow one pair started everything. 

My Matching sets of ChinawareMy Matching sets of Chinaware

These plates are the oldest in the collection. 

They are modern, as the colors can tell. I'm not familiar with the brand and I don't know what else to say about them. They were given to us at some point. 

These cups followed at some point. I like these cups because they can go in the microwave oven, if I need a bit of water warmed up quickly. 

They came with a 3rd cup that has the same shape and size as these ones, but a different design and color scheme. 

These plates are rounded-squares if that makes sense. I believe they're from MIL. They might also have been received before the cups above, but who can remember anymore? 

These plates are larger. They're best used for putting a cake on, the Salad à la Russe, pancakes, or anything that you cook more of and can be stacked.

Currently, one of the plates serves as a tray on the kitchen table, for various smaller items to try and keep some order.  

These glasses were supposed to be 3 actually. One broke before I got them. I found them on the local Freecycle group. Here, people give away stuff they don't need or want anymore, and those who need or want them can just take them. 

These glasses are the ones that made me decide to have a collection of matching cups and plates since I already had a few matching stuff. 

My Matching sets of ChinawareMy Matching sets of Chinaware

These are my matching ARPO plates. When I took the pics, I only had 2 of them. Last week I received some food on a 3rd identical plate, which I will be keeping. Surely MIL won't mind. 

They are just so pretty in real life, these plates. 

These mugs are not identical. And I only just noticed when ii took the picture. My brain didn't realize this before. 

The thing is, these mugs were found in a box, packed together. They were an unwanted gift. I found it at a FreeShop event at the end of 2019 or the beginning of 2020 before the nonsense started. You know what nonsense I'm talking about ;) 

At this event, people brought whatever they didn't need, like, use, and took home whatever else they liked, from the others who came. so, it was like an item exchange, though the focus was clothes. 

These are big mugs: 450 ml. I can serve soup in them if I want to, and I even did a few times. 

These cups are from H&M HOME. I first saw them either in the summer of towards the end of 2019, but they disappeared quickly. I hoped they'd go on sale, as I didn't want to pay full price for them. Go figure. 

They returned only after the stores reopened after the quarantine. They were bought at separate times though. I REALLY REALLY wanted 2 and not just 1. I'm using them ALL the time. 

These cups cannot go in the microwave oven, but I think they can go in the dishwasher. We don't have one, so I'm not 100% sure. 

I bought these cups AFTER I saw the ones from H&M were gone. They're not matching 100%, but they have the same shape and size and were bought at the same time. 

Fun fact, they're from the same store as the Christmas ones. I only realized this recently, as I saw the red ones in that store. i entered the store out of curiosity, to look for something else which I didn't find. I can safely put these in the microwave oven as well. 

These are salt and pepper shakers. They were a bit dirty, but I o make sure to clean them regularly. We bought these last year I think.

These plates are not porcelain, but glass or opal. You could get these by buying 2 bottles of Coca-Cola, of 2L, from the participating supermarkets. Not much to say here. I used these in the microwave oven. 

They read something like "I like your cooking, but I prefer your loving" or something. 

I can imagine what you must be thinking: "These are not the same." No, they're not. Fiance bought the bowl and then i saw the tile in a thrift store. It serves as a coaster. 

I'm using the coaster ALL the time as it sits by my computer. The colors are more vibrant in real life. 

These are 2 glasses that came with a bottle of gin. And i have no more to say about them. They're the latest addition to the collection. 

I'm pretty impressed with how many paired items i have for the kitchen. 

This is it for now. See you in the next one!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Making salad "à la russe"

Publié le par Charly C.

Happy new year! 

I have no idea since when you guys read my ramblings here. But with a quick search in my past entries, you'll see that at the end of each year, for the past 2 or 3 years, i tried to post some "End of the year thoughts". See here, here.

This time i decided against it. I have more reasons:

  • All December I had work to do (my main job)
  • I tried to do/did blogmas (see my recent posts or the link)
  • I have this entry where i drew a bit of a line for 2020.

For blogmas day 10, we were supposed to talk about the Christmas menu. And I did. And i mentioned that, traditionally, in Romania, people like to make salad à la russe. 

made by mother and given to us for new year's

I looked through my shared recipes and i noticed that i haven't shared this one yet, despite having made it quite a few times already. 

Well, now's the time to share the recipe! 

INGREDIENTS

We wanted to make a lot of salad this time around because we really like it. This wasn't the best idea ever but we did it anyway, so here we go.

We used for the salad:

  • 2.5 kg potatoes
  • some 4 carrots
  • 4 -5? pickled cucumbers
  • some salt
  • 1 big jar of peas (already cooked, drained)
  • egg-whites from 1 or 2 boiled eggs

We decided to make our own mayonnaise, but to also buy some, in case I fail at making the mayo. I remember the first time I made mayonnaise - it was thick, yummy, and I was proud of myself. 

Most likely, after that, I was over-confident, as the next other times I made it, it didn't turn out quite the same. Oh, well, we live, practice, and then we become better. 

For the mayo I used:

  • 1 egg yolk (from a boiled egg)
  • 1 raw egg -whole
  • some mustard 
  • some salt
  • oil (as much as needed)

For decoration: (you can use what you have on hand, these are the most common things you'll see in Romania, on this dish)

  • black olives - pitted
  • pickled red peppers
  • pickled cucumbers
  • pickled carrots
  • fresh parsley (not other herbs)
  • hard-boiled egg(s)
METHOD

For this salad, we have to boil the potatoes and the carrots, then dice them. The dice shouldn't be too small, nor too big. You want the dice to be actually smaller, rather than larger, so that the salad would have a smoother appearance. 

If the dice are larger, the salad will look as if you made it with rocks and boulders instead of potatoes.

We decided to boil these 1 day ahead. And as you can see from my pictures, i boiled the potatoes for far too long. They shouldn't crack like that. The potatoes should be cooked, but firm for this salad.

Maybe I should have used red potatoes? I have no idea, but almost every time I try making this dish, I overboil my potatoes and they're far better mashed than diced. 

As you can see, I used larger pieces of carrots. I think by weight, the carrots are half the weight of the potatoes, maybe even less than that.  

Given the quantities, you'll need a very large bowl in which you'll throw everything for mixing. 

I suggest that on the day you want to prepare this, you first make the mayonnaise. If you don't want to make it, you better buy 2 bigger jars of mayo. 

To make things better, get the fancier, more expensive brand. It should taste better. The type and taste of the pickles, as well as that of the mayonnaise, are the secrets to this dish.

These 2 ingredients will make or break the taste of the whole thing and will decide if you like it or not. 

So, to make mayonnaise, you have to mix the hard-boiled egg yolk, the raw egg yolk, some salt, some mustard, with plenty of oil. 

The best tool for mixing, I noticed/learned to be the vertical blender part of your mixer. You add the oil bit by bit, and you might also need to add some salt and mustard from time to time. 

If you think the mayo looks too thick (almost like cream cheese) you can add the raw egg white as well. Try not to add it all at once as you could ruin the result, or it may take some time for the mayo to re-gain a decently thick consistency (yogurt-like). 

Once you figured the mayo out, cover it and put it in the fridge to rest. Now you can start dicing the potatoes, carrots, and pickles.

You throw these in the large pot/container along with the drained peas. For reference, I used the pot in which I boiled the potatoes after cleaning it.  

At the end, you can also throw in a hard-boiled egg you diced. This improves the taste of the salad. Don't forget to add some salt in with everything, or this will be a bit sweet and tasteless. This is not something you want.

As you can see, I diced my potatoes in sizes that are a bit too big. They should have been half that size, thus slightly larger than the peas. I also forgot to add the salt. And that's not the only thing i forgot to add. 

Now, it's time to add in the mayonnaise and to get your hand dirty. Mixing with a spoon is fine, but I feel I have better control over the mixing process if I use my hand. 

Once you're done, you can transfer the salad to other containers or plates, for decoration. I used 2 plates and a big soup bowl - i forgot its name. 

 And then, you'll need to use your imagination on decorating these. Nature-inspired decor (like flowers, or the sun) looks the best - somehow it balances out the heaviness of the mayonnaise. Red, orange, and black give it a nice visual contrast.

Above, you can see the decor I came up with. I had black olives in the fridge, but i forgot about them at first. I added some after, but i didn't take pictures anymore. 

Like i said, this is best eaten the day after you prepare it, so that the flavors mix in a bit more. We eat this usually on its own, but with bread. Extra pickles also work, as there is plenty of mayonnaise to make one nauseous. I think it's served before dishes with meat. 

I hope you can give this salad a go and that if you do, you'll enjoy it as much as we do. 

Bon Appetit! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Making Victorian-inspired pantaloons - Sewing with a vintage Burda

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello.

In November I had some time to make something and to even finish it. YAY!

Disclaimer: Well, I'm not sure they're really called "pantaloons" but this is what I'll call them in this article. I say they're Victorian-inspired because they have frills and lace. 

INSPIRATION

My inspiration came from 2 places if I can call them that. 

The first place is Subeta's (that is a referral link to this online pet and dress-up game) Magical Pirate Pantaloons of Sweet Love - you can see them here (This is a fan-made and helpful site for those playing Subeta).

The above image belongs to Subeta - used for informational purposes.

The second place is Bernadette Banner's video in which she makes a pair of Victorian underwear or combinations. You can watch the video here. She uses historically accurate fabrics and methods, including or especially hand-sewing. 

The end result is closer to the Pantaloons of Sweet Love mentioned above, as you'll see from the pictures. 

WHAT DID I USE

Fabric: As for fabric, I used some blue and very thin polyester fabric I had. Despite it being polyester, it feels quite nice against the skin. 

Pattern: For the pattern, I had nothing "historical" or something made for a (Halloween) costume. I had this May 1996 Burda magazine that had a pattern I could use. 

I needed some loose trousers with the simplest pattern possible. This one had just 2 pieces and was very loose. What else can I ask for?!

Other supplies: a pair of shears, matching thread, sewing machine, some elastic (not included in the picture), hand-made lace, and chord that i just had on hand. The lace and chord were either given to me or i may have found them at the trash

The white lace is the remaining piece from what i had. Because it didn't occur to me to take pictures BEFORE i use it. Click here to see a close-up of the lace and the chord thing. 

WHAT DID I DO

As you could imagine, first I had to trace out my pattern pieces and to cut the fabric. As a matter of fact, i wanted to make these Burda trousers for Anna, a while back. So i had the pattern already traced out and cut. 

I only needed to cut the fabric. I folded the fabric in half, placed the paper on it, and cut with no seam allowance. This design is quite loose, therefore cutting with no seam allowance is fine. Otherwise, Burda patterns require you to add 1 cm (about half an inch?) of the seam allowance. 

The next step was to sew 1 front piece to a back piece, then to sew the crotch. And at this point, you have a pair of trousers. I made a channel for the elastic at the waist, out of the pants - the design has a quite long crotch area, and therefore, you have plenty of fabric to just roll the top inwards twice for this purpose.  

As you can see, my seam allowance is pretty small, but enough.

You can use elastic or a chord. This depends on whether you just want to pull the pants on or you want to bother to knot the chord, as the line drawing suggests. For me, the elastic was just SO easy! 

And now comes the part where i made my first mistake which made things a bit more difficult for me. I constructed the trousers BEFORE i added the lace or formed those ruffles or channel for the knee elastic.  

If you ever sew something, you would know it's easier to put ruffles on something when the item is flat/2D and not in a 3D shape. I think i would have been more accurate as well. 

My next steps were as follows:

I measured about the place where i want the elastic to be, made the channel for it, eyeballed the place of the first ruffle, eyeballed the location of the hem, and completed the first leg. 

I assumed that finishing 1 leg and then doing the second one would be easier. I'm not sure if it was or not, but it did feel that way.  

Another mistake was not to measure the white lace, to ensure i have enough. From my eyeballing, it looked as if i did have enough. By now, you already know my guess was correct.

However, while I was working on the project, i had my doubts when time came for me to complete the second leg. I suggest you measure everything ahead of time, unless you trust your eyeballing guess. I'm pretty good at guessing, and this is why i didn't do the sensible thing of measuring. But I shall in the future. 

Once the ruffles and the lace were installed, the pantaloons were done! YAY! Now (as I type this), they're packed and hidden, as they're a gift for Anna. You'll be reading this after she gets her present, sorry. 

 

Previous Experience

What i want to also mention is that i actually worked with this pattern once before. 

I made a pair of trousers for myself, last year in October. Back then, i used this pinkish silk fabric, that only later i realized it could be silk and i nearly fainted. I was either brave or decided to just go for it, and make myself some trousers. 

That being said, this is how my pair turned out. There are many mistakes to be seen up-close. From further away, you can't tell. 

For Anna, I used size 36 -the smallest available and for myself size 44, the largest available. I chose the sizes based on our measurements, but i didn't measure the pattern pieces themselves to see how large the finished garment would be. 

For my pair, i tried leaving 1 cm of the seam allowance. My pair is a bit too roomy. It's because of this previous experience with the pattern that i knew not to cut with a seam allowance this time around. 

As you can see, the expectation VS reality hits again, hahaha. Don't ask about what i'm wearing - at the time i thought it looked OK. The top is also hand/home-made, but it's a hand-me-down, so i don't know the pattern nor fabric. 

Yes, sadly, the picture with me is not complete, therefore you can't see these pants are a tiny bit short on me. But this is because I'm taller than most and the pattern is for regular-height persons. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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