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Blogmas In January? - days 7 through 11

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all! 

Today we continue with the blogmas for 2021. As you can see, I'm a month late with this. I was very busy back in December, and i couldn't finish it on time :( 

I'll try to catch up now, in January, as I'm not inspired to write about anything else. 

Without further ado, here they are!

Day 7

Giving a second life our entries. Hmm, this is something I'll need to think about and possibly write a separate entry. 

I guess, revisiting the entries and re-editing them to sound closer to our current writing style, yes? 

I probably should do this with some. This action is good when considering re-branding. Speaking of rebranding, this entry will tell you more about some other things to consider if you want to re-brand your blog, site, or whatever.

Day 8

For the 8th day, we had to create a wreath. If you remember from 2020's blogmas, on December 15, we had to do this. Except I'm not doing that sort of thing. We don't really care about Christmas in this house, except the gifts.

Instead, I arranged some magnets in a circle. Of course i repeated what i did the year before. This year I have different magnets I found at the dumpster (next to it). I got rid of the old ones, except for 2. The little doll with blond hair is not a magnet.

magnets Dutch clogs Colorful Ladies San Francisco green house blond doll

My favorite magnets are the pink Dutch clogs, the green building, the flamenco dancer, San Francisco Colorful Ladies, and the blue door from Morocco.

Day 9

For the 9th day, we had to enter a contest for a premium account.

I didn't win because I ddin't even enter. I checked the challenge too late. The next day, late. 

There's nothing more to say about this event. 

Day 10

For this day we were asked to write about "zero waste." I wrote something similar in July, called "why isn't all single-use plastic banned" or something among this line. You can read it here, if you haven't seen it yet. 

 I do want to say that i can't see "zero waste" being possible, at least not yet. The idea is actually to reduce the amount of waste we produce daily or weekly. Additionally, we should also reduce the amount of stuff we buy, and buy only if:

  • we really need it 
  • we really like it

Buying less means less waste and more money in our wallets. This is great!

Day 11

For this day, we were asked for Christmas gift ideas. We could also share what we bought to give away as gifts. 

Obviously, back then, I couldn't post what i bought. But now i can. Well, everything i bought was decorated with birds. The majority of the birds i got were flamingos. 

The most spectacular gift was the paper gift bag itself. This is red, with some sparkles. Then, I also got a set of 2 plates. These are also red, decorated with some flowers and birds. I think these 2 were the 

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Making an American Apple Pie and Recipe

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello World~~~

Happy new year as well!

It's been a long time since I last shared a recipe with you. The last recipe i shared here is from June '21.

In fact, i haven't made this pie in a very long time. This recipe was originally posted on my cooking site/blog in 2014. That's where it all this obscure blogging journey started.

This recipe was first shared in May of 2014, but now i re-share it in mid-winter, aka January 2022. 

Sure pies are best enjoyed in autumn with fresh, local fruits. However, I find it a shame not to enjoy an apple pie at any time of the year if you think the apples are affordable enough. Plus, a homemade pie is better than any other sweet, isn't it?

If you want a Romanian apple pie, you might be disappointed. I know I am, unless some relative of somebody I know makes it. 

I knew the recipe for some time now, I even tried it out a few times before posting it. Why didn't I share it? To be honest, i have no idea why. my original reply was due to its square shape. This sounds very silly right now. 

I'm not sure why many places sell squared apple pie slices, most likely because they bake rectangular pies. I asked my friend to take a picture of a slice of pie, so I can share "my own" picture.

I'll have to make this pie again, to take more and better pictures of it. 

apple pie slice with cream on top on a white plate

Brown sugar is rather expensive here, and I didn't have it on hand. Maybe I will in the future if anyone will ever want me to cook for them and to pay me. ;) I may have altered the recipe a bit, but in my opinion, it only added to its taste. 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1 Kg apples
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 1-2 pinches salt
  • 1-2 teaspoon(s) lemon juice
  • 1 spoon of (all-purpose) flour
  • 145 g (1 cup) raisins
  • some cinnamon
  • pie sheets (or crust)
  • 1 small to medium egg

EXTRAS

  • any type of whipped cream
  • some vanilla sugar
METHOD:

Peel and remove the core from each apple. Slice them. Mix them with the raisins.

Mix the sugar, salt, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice well. Include some vanilla sugar for more flavor.

Preheat the oven. Prepare your baking tray, however, you are used to. Place the pie sheets or crust onto the tray. Make sure you have some left to cover the top of the pie.

Pour the mixture over the apples, or the apples on top of the mixture. Make sure all slices get well coated with a sugary mixture.

Nicely place the coated fruits on top of the pie crust in the baking tray.

Beat the egg. Pour the egg on top of the pie and spread it well to cover the top using a kitchen brush. Sprinkle some sugar or some more vanilla sugar on top.

Place the pie in the oven and bake for 35 to 40 minutes. I baked mine for some 37 minutes on really low heat.  When it's done, remove it from the oven and let it chill. When it's chill enough put it in the fridge till you're ready to serve.

When you serve, decorate with some whipped cream or ice cream, maybe some cinnamon, and whatever else you think might taste good. And, of course, don't forget to slice it up as well. 

NOTES:
  • I use a gas oven, with real fire. The fire was on its lowest, but I preheated it for a longer time than I intended.
  • I used whipped cream powder that I had to beat with milk. Water is also good, as it makes the cream lighter and less nauseous.
  • For me, many sweets and foods taste better when they're cold. The pie is one of them.

Bon Appetit!

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Blogmas - days 3 through 6? ooops

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

I promised I'd post more often, but one makes plans and God laughs. 

So, on Saturday the 4rd i had to finish a project, and i focused all my efforts towards it. 

Let's complete the challenges!

Day 3

The challenge was to create a playlist for Christmas. 

If there's anything i dislike more around this time of the year, or in general, is Christmas music or songs. All of them. 

Instead, i prefer calming music, the type that allows you to relax and make you feel cozy, warm, and that generally puts me in a better and calmer mood. 

Lately, i listen most of the music the youtube channel "Cappuccino" puts out. I play the songs for autumn the most because .... see above. 

I have no more words. to add here. 

Day 4

For the 4t of December we had to decorate our Christmas trees. I'll just attach a picture of mine. 

It is placed UNDER a table because the space is small and there was no room. In the other room there are cats and i don't trust them NOT to ruin the tree. 

Since it's a small tree, i can't add too much on it. I also removed that santa or snowman thing. It was overbearing the tree and the other decorations. 

Day 5

For the 5th day, the challenge was very easy: we were supposed to relax with our families. 

This is just what i did, since i had just finished a complicated project and I was mentally tired and stressed. 

Day 6

We were asked to redesign our blogs in the colors of Christmas. 

Clearly, this is impossible for some people out there who try hard to keep a steady image. 

Personally, i like my blog the way it is, i don't want to change it for any celebration. I'm not even sure how to do that. Should i write this part in several colors? LOL

 Stay tuned for the rest of the entries tomorrow!

 

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Blogmas 2021 - Day 2

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello!

It's already December, and this means it's Blogmas time! if you don't already know, last year i participated in the blogmas challenge that my blogging platform set up. :D You can read last year's blogmas at this link

If you're wondering why I wasn't present for the past few months, I'll clarify (a bit) after i complete the challenge for the day. 

As you can see, this is day 2. For the first day, we had to enter a contest for a premium account. Which i did but did not win. It's OK, I hope there will be other occasions. 

For the 2nd day, our "challenge" is to write a list of ideal gifts for this year's Christmas. This should be really easy, for anyone. 

Including for me. Or is it? Well, here it goes, in no particular order, though some are more important than others:

  • A new phone
  • The laptop's back to be repaired
  • A bottle of Chanel no 5 perfume
  • To fix my first sewing machine
  • A pair of old/vintage tailors shears
  • A premium account for my blog and site {will be live again starting January ;)}
  • My geraniums to bloom more, the ones in water to grow roots
  • My kalanchoe to bloom again

If you're curious if last year i had a wishlist challenge, I did. You can read it here. And for the curious, I had 5 wishes, and 3 of them came true :) Spoiler alert, not the serger or the "enough money to buy a house," but it's better than nothing. 

 And if you were curious as of why I went MIA ... I was extremely busy. and depressed. I started therapy and treatment.

I'm getting better and i hope to be more active from now on. 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Toasting Bread [blog entry]

Publié le par Charly C.

Hi all. Long time no sign. Sorry about that. 

This entry appeared back in 2015 on my first ever blog that i deleted. 

It's a very short entry, and most of the story is told through a drawing. We all know that a picture speaks a thousand words. 

This is a true story. It was quite normal back then for this to happen. It didn't happen i recent times anymore.  This is because I started using a timer to avoid this from happening. 

Whenever I want to toast some bread I have to be really careful. Or else my bread will turn to ashes.

i drew this in paint back then in 2015

I don't own a toaster and so I have to toast my bread in the oven. My oven works with gas and real fire, but the machine itself is so old it's not even funny.

At some point after that, we changed the cooking stove. But it still works with gas and fire, and I still managed to burn the bread meant to be toast. 

I also often forget I'm making toast, so I have to set up an alarm for when I think the toast might be done. When using this method, my toast is under-done. Basically, this means the bread is not golden-brown the way you see in commercials and stuff.

This was a rather upsetting event at the time. I even manage to burn water, if you know what i mean. 

Can anyone else relate to this?

My eyes are supposed to be green. [in case you were wondering]. Because that's my real eye color. 

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Two Museum Visits

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello, everyone!

As you already know from this entry, Bucharest is currently opened for business after last year's mess that leaked into this year as well.

This meant that museums also opened, and honestly, since we don't have any Louvre or other similarly popular museums, i see no reason not to visit some of the ones we have.

One of the museums in the city, Antipa Museum, holds temporary exhibits on a regular basis. This year it held at least 2 temporary exhibits. One was dedicated to butterflies and the other one to the Moon. 

Butterflies

We first went to see the butterflies first. These were tropical butterflies and they were alive. This exhibit will still be available for 1 month or so.

We decided to go early on a Saturday morning, hoping to be alone there. This didn't go as we had hoped since several families with kids also came. Most likely because it's a bit cooler in the morning than later in the afternoon. And that day was quite the hot one.  

the queue behind us

Luckily for us, not everyone came to see the butterflies. However, access into the museum [where the tickets are sold] was allowed to only small groups. The rule was to allow the groups to be decently distanced. 

The butterflies were not held inside the museum, but in its garden. We did have to walk through the museum to get to the special greenhouse built for them. 

follow the butterfly road, Dorothy!

We had to follow a special protocol to go in and out of this greenhouse:

  • show the tickets [to go in]
  • wait for the employee to let us in or out through the special curtains.
special tickets

The exit from this exhibit was separated from the entrance. of course, all due to "lovely 'rona." 

As i mentioned, the butterflies were alive, so we had to watch our steps, as not to step on one by mistake. 
Besides us, there was maybe a family or two more. 

The majority of the butterflies were blue when the wings were opened and brown when they were closed. The brown side seemed to have a pattern with eyes. The picture below is a bit blurry and doesn't do the butterfly any justice, sadly. There are actually 2 of them eating. Can you spot the 2nd one?

Most of these insects were resting with the wings closed, to show the eye (or perhaps scary side) of their coloring. See an example below:

The greenhouse was small, so the visit wasn't very long. An interesting corner of the enclosure was the box in which they showed the various stages of an insect that turns into a butterfly.

Even more interesting was the fact that some of the pupae were alive, especially those in the later stages. 

There were many stages, and i couldn't capture them all in a single picture, if i wanted to understand something from the image. hello to my reflection and of random people in there, hehe.  

Despite having a short visit, the butterflies made me really happy. this happened perhaps because they're usually associated with hope. they were also very colorful, and colorful stuff is cheerful. 

When we left, we bought this stone tree. I'm not sure what most of the stones are, and thus what's supposed to attract. 

Unfortunately, after we left, Anna started feeling bad and we couldn't continue our plans for the day.

Here are a few more pictures with the butterflies:

Look how beautiful this black butterfly is!

The Moon Impact Exhibit

As mentioned, the 2nd collection we went to see was dedicated to the Moon, and called "The Moon Impact."- link This exhibit will still be on until January. 

This was a presentation with large images and some text, everything from the point of view of a billion of years globe Earth. If you believe in the Creationist theory or in the Hollow Earth, you're probably laughing at me for going to see this exhibit. 

The presentation started with the Big Bang theory, and who is not even a bit familiar with it? 

I didn't take pics at this exhibit, so, here are the tickets instead. 

special 'moon' tickets

I didn't take pics because i found this presentation rather disappointing. I think it was meant for kids who lose their patience rather easily. It was a small one, just like the one with butterflies. 

We also had to show our tickets before getting in, and the person checking them was sitting in such a dark corner we couldn't even see him. 

Anna and i were the only ones there, though a family tried coming in as well, but they didn't have tickets for this expo so they weren't let in.

There were 3 or 4 large cases in which various rocks and/or minerals were held. This was the only interesting part of this exhibit. 

Worth noting that the written presentation was both in Romanian and English. i completely recommend you go see something similar in your city, or even in Bucharest if you're in town until January. 

see ya!

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Why aren't all single-use plastic bags banned?

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello everyone!

A few months ago I came across a post on Instagram, that made me think of this issue. I'll share the post with you later, in a different entry. 

Well, i thought about it before, but I somehow didn't have the right muse around me to write about it. I think the time is better now. 

Many types and shapes of plastic

I won't dive into what plastic is made of. We all know there are many different types and forms of plastic out there, and i believe this wiki page is only an opener for a whole can of worms on the topic.

Here, in the images below, you can see some types and shapes plastic can take:

  • the hard shell of a mouse and of a regular pen
  • the soft-cover protecting the wires of a mouse, 
  • the faux-leather cover of an agenda (that i use as a planner AND mousepad),
  • my home-pants made of 100% polyester that you get a small snippet of as well (flowery blue, in the lowest part of the image) 
  • a pencil - the green one (the blue pencil is made of the traditional wood)

In these images, most of the mentioned plastics can be used just once. Granted, they can be used for a VERY long period of time. I have to find a recycling program for the mouse, and I'll most likely keep the agenda -as I recorded some memories in it as well. 

The plastic pencil is both useful (when writing or drawing) and wasteful (when sharpening), but it has just 1 life as well. When it becomes too short to still sharpen/write with, I'll have to somehow discard it. 

I got the pants as already worn, but they were still in a good shape. When I'll be done wearing them, I can turn them into something else, until the fabric can no longer be used. 

Speaking of clothes, I have 2 more types of plastics to show you. Well, one is a repeat, while the other is not. 

The vest is made of faux-fur and the coat of faux leather and has a polyester lining. These items too, can be used for an extended period of time. Additionally, they can somehow be reused when they can no longer be used as clothes. 

So, overall, this type of plastic is a tiny bit less problematic.  

Soo ... single-use plastic bags?

I'm not sure where in the world you live, and what the situation is with single-use plastic bags over there. In Romania, these are seen everywhere, especially when you go do your groceries. just look here:

This is a typical plastic shopping bag. It used to be free of charge, now it costs a few cents, depending on the store. They say this bag is single-use. Well, it is not really, unless it breaks. 

I often reuse these when shopping and sometimes as trash bags, when they become a bit too worn out. This particular bag is filled with other plastic bags, and many households across the country have a big plastic bag filled with other (smaller) plastic bags.  

The irony is that most single-use plastic shopping bags of certain compositions have been banned. They have been replaced with "bio" single-use plastic bags. I'll show you one below:

This bag is for fruits and vegetables. it's very soft to the touch, breaks easily, and I'm not 100% sure, but i think it disintegrates quite rapidly once it gets punctured. Currently, shopping bags are very similar to the touch to this 'bio' bag. I still re-use these for lightweight trash, if they didn't already break. 

I made 1 bag for fruits and vegetables, but as you can expect, I forget to bring it with me when shopping. And it's not even guaranteed I'll buy such goods. 

Now, the biggest offenders

I'm not even done, because these previous items can be re-used or have prolonged use if you care to spend less and have a creative spirit. 

Now, I'll show you the biggest offenders of plastic products. 

Cling film!

Cling film is indeed a pretty decent invention for covering foods when putting them in the fridge, or for the sandwiches you make for your lunch break. It probably has other uses that I'm not aware of. 

Regardless, this item should be banned! Or people should stop buying this product altogether! It can be replaced with at least 3 other items:

  1. casseroles with lids: These can be used to store food in the fridge and to take your lunch in. These can easily be washed and reused. I wouldn't recommend the ones made of hard plastic, but it's not very convenient to carry glass stuff around. Maybe metal containers can do the trick here, but I'm not sure they still exist. 
  2. lids or plates used as lids: These can be used only in the fridge. These are more accessible to those who don't always have a fridge full, and they can occupy more space. 
  3. zip-lock bags: Yes, they're still plastic, not great, but if we carefully handle these, they can serve for a long(er) period of time compared to cling film. 
Plastic bottles!

This bottle held apple cider vinegar. When you walk into any store, you'll see hundreds if not thousands of plastic bottles: for beer, oil, sodas, milk, laundry and dish wash, and on and on. 

These are BIG one-time plastic use offenders. Granted, some of these products cannot be sold in a different type of container. 

I think that all stores should request buyers to come with the old/empty bottles when buying a new product of the same type (regardless of brand), or else be forced to pay more. The empty bottles should be collected and recycled. 

I know some people re-use plastic bottles for various things, mostly instead of a traditional pot for plants. This is great, but not everyone has a green thumb or is creative enough. 

Packaging!

There are SO many items packaged in plastic! Above you can see a bag of frozen mixed vegetables and 3 small containers (I'm not sure what to call them), for milk for coffee. 

The bag above is a single-use bag that should be banned. it's too small to be reused and breaks quite easily when not careful. The only re-use i can think of is for the above-mentioned lunch if it comes as a sandwich. I must admit, I'm not sure what can it be replaced by, and therefore it can be spared for some time. 

Trash bags!

I saved the worst for last and i don't even know what to say here. We literally buy these bags to throw them away! Make this make sense because it doesn't make any sense to me!  

As far as i saw here, these rarely have a 'bio' version. And even then, they're way more expensive than 'regular' trash bags. It's also not a guarantee those 'bio' bags last for less time in nature. 

P.S.! 

I know there are also single-use plastic plates, glasses, straws, and cutlery, however, i don't own any such items anymore. Precisely because of their single-use attribute. Additionally, it's not healthy to eat out of re-usable plastic plates either - plastic can leech into the food. This is akin to slow poisoning.  

I don't think paper is a good alternative to plastic, especially not the plastic/paper combo we see on some products. We need to cut trees to make paper, and we need trees to breathe cleaner air. Also, many animals rely on trees to survive. 

I think that paper could be recycled easier than plastic and it decomposes faster when left out in the open. Maybe we could make packaging out of bamboo instead? 

I didn't watermark these pics as I didn't see the need to, but they were taken by me in june/july of this year (2021).

See you next time! 

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Going out for some drinks when the restrictions lift

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello all!

It's been a while since i posted. Well, i do blog for fun, not really for money, and I'm a freelancer, so this makes sense. 

We all know what happened in 2020. the lockdown wasn't easy and hit Romania in mid-March.
I don't think I need to explain what the lockdown means - we all know at this point. The only open places were supermarkets, drugstores, hospitals, along with some restaurants that do deliveries, such as pizza places. 

Walking the dog, taking a short stroll around our buildings, especially those with dogs, and helping the elderly were the main activities that we were allowed to partake in. It goes without saying that buying groceries, meds, or doctor appointments were also allowed but had to be restricted to the minimum. Going to work, for 'essential workers' was also allowed, of course. 

The times were hard on everyone. How hard was it for me? read here -link to post 1 of struggles. 

We also had to write a document stating where we went and why. This was a nightmare in itself. Why couldn't we just send a text or something to some call center or I don't know, somehow make things easy like in South Korea? Those without the paper risked heavy fines. 

When restrictions lifted, things became more bearable. clothes stores opened later than restaurants and cafes, of course. Even these places opened only if they gave food/drinks as a takeaway. 

the streets were eerie and empty the first time we ventured further away from home for a coffee:

The city looked beautiful, despite it being deserted. It looks as if the zombie apocalypse just hit or ended. The messed-up sidewalk is a sight to behold. Welcome to Bucharest, baby!

These two images are the 'entrance' so to speak, of the Old Town. Everyone gathers here during the weekend, but not only. When there's no pandemic or restrictions, of course. 

Of course, not everyone dared to go out just yet. I like the image above the most. It is also in the BEST area in the country to own property (aka an apartment). Some 5 years ago it used to look different. The blue building on the left didn't even exist.

This is another area of the city, across the street from the University of Bucharest. There are maybe 4 statues there? of various important historical people. 

These 2 images are from the Old Town. It'd obviously the same street from 2 different points.

The coffee we got was from Tedd's. I remember it as being just meh, but after 2 months of confinement, it felt like some sort of luxury. 

That's not the only place where we could find something to drink. Somewhere close to the University of Bucharest, there's a small bar called Rainbow. It serves cocktails and coffees, and not only. Most of the stuff they serve is take-away. 

I believe this is the first time we found it and we had to order something. A frappe, a fresh fruit juice, and a mojito, i believe. Drinking in public is allowed in Romania. You could get in trouble if you're getting very drunk/wasted. Besides, it's difficult to tell what the transparent drink is - perhaps some tonic water with lemon/lime, ice, and some mint for kicks, haha. 

The fresh juice is of catina (Seaberry?). It's apparently rich in Vitamin C and this helps fight this virus that messed up our lives. It' one of the best fresh juices I tasted, and it's amazing on a hot summer day. 

We couldn't sit at any table, just on benches or wherever else we could. 

I remember ordering some food from this fancier restaurant, Van Gogh. Here are some pics of the place:

Cases started increasing as soon as people were allowed to go places and do things, due to the rules relaxing further. 

One of the first things we purchased after the lockdown, was a VERY cute backpack. It's cute in my opinion, at least.

In July, we were allowed to sit at terraces with appropriate distancing. We had a raspberry gin tonic i believe and a very traditional Romanian dish.

The dish is polenta mixed with cheese, bacon, and eggs. I forgot if it had anything else added. It was delicious, rather a large portion and I was barely able to finish it. Polenta is rather filling, to begin with. 

Going out for some drinks when the restrictions liftGoing out for some drinks when the restrictions liftGoing out for some drinks when the restrictions lift

Over the winter, most restaurants were again closed for the most part, as well as the theatres. There were no events taking place either. Especially not the Christmas market. We thought we might have it at first, but then it was confirmed they canceled it. 

As the weather improved this year, the authorities started allowing more and more businesses to restart their activities as well. Even events started to slowly take place. 

We finally went and sat at cafes this year, after getting vaccinated. We had both cocktails and coffee-based drinks, just like before.

I missed this matcha latte! I only found one other place that makes it, Handsome Monk. I did order it from there once, but it sucked. :( 

I just don't understand why they don't bring napkins anymore, now that they started having customers again. The napkins you can barely see in the picture above with our drinks? I had to ask for them! 

One of the most exciting things we did this year after everything opened, was going to see a movie! 

The movie we saw was The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

At the movies, there was just one more couple. This place didn't run any ads before the movie, and it was pitch black. Also quite cold inside. I started shaking and not out of fear. I was actually not really scared.

There are a few other things I want to share in the (hopefully near) future, such as the visit to the City Hall. OOOH!

The entry will come maybe next week or in 2 weeks. 

until next time, bye~~~

©Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved. 

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Cat-shaped "minciunele"

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello, world! 

Today I'll share with you my results trying to make a common Romanian dessert, called "minciunele." This word means little lies and they're a type of donuts. 

As you can see from the pictures, this recipe was supposed to appear quite some time ago. In fact, i had already posted this recipe on my first blog, before i rebranded for the first time. 

When I first started blogging, I thought i'd have a cooking blog and another blog for other stuff. As we all know, things changed, and now i have this "general" blog and my site/blog dedicated to reviews, called Being Obscure, hosted by WordPress. 

The recipe goes something like this, and you can see the original recipe and results here. This is the blog dedicated to recipes for Romanian foods. The post shows you how these are supposed to look like, and you can clearly see my cats don't look as nice as the original. 

If you want to know why i chose to shape my donuts as cats, I'll add the story AFTER the recipe. I recently realized people don't appreciate too much talking BEFORE the recipe. So, without further ado, here we go!

Ingredients:
  • 500 g flour (1lb?)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 yolks
  • 2 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
Additional ingredients:
  • some powdered sugar for coating
  • some sunflower oil for frying; whatever other type of oil you use for frying food should also work. 
Method:
  • Beat the egg whites until they're fluffy.
  • Mix the egg yolks with the sour cream and gently fold this mix into the egg whites. 
  • Sieve the flour and the baking powder on top of the mix.
  • Gently fold these also into the mixture above, until you have a smooth dough. 

The original recipe doesn't say to let the dough rest and raise a bit, so I didn't do that. However, I think it should be done, and i think it should be at least 30 minutes. 

Roll the dough onto a sheet on the work table (about 5 mm or 2/8in thick) and cut your shapes. Of course, you can cut whatever shapes you want - i also did that. 

To cut shapes you can use cookie cutters, a glass, or directly a knife. The difference is that with the knife things will be easier and much faster, while with the cookie cutters/glass you'll need to reroll the dough. You don't want to waste all that yumminess. ;)

Fry your shapes in hot oil, over medium heat, and on both sides. If you have too many donuts and you run low on oil, add some more oil, and make sure it gets hot before you fry more donuts. 

When they're brown on both sides, remove them and place them on a plate or a bowl covered with some paper towel or (unscented, dry) paper handkerhiefs. The paper will absorb the excess oil. 

In the picture above, you can see I'm frying donuts in other shapes than cats. 

Once you're done frying all the dough, sprinkle some confectioner's sugar on top. These are always better with some of that on top. 

I never tried, but these could also be good with some chocolate or cream on top. 

Bon Appétit! Enjoy!

Why cat-shaped?

I believe that at some point in 2017, the butter we usually buy came with a little cutter. There were 3 shapes: cat, car, and i forgot what else. They were meant to help mothers make cute sandwiches for their kids, to entice them to eat and enjoy the food more. 

I got the butter that had the cat-shaped cutter. I never really used it since, but one day, when i made these donuts, Anna jokingly challenged me to make them look like cats, thinking it would be impossible for me to do so. 

The expression on her face when i pulled out the cat-shaped cookie cutter? PRICELESS! 

So, this is how you make another type of easy doughnuts. i hope you liked the story about the cookie-cutter shaped like a cat as well. 

As a reference, i have 2 more cutters for cookies: one shaped like spectacles and another shaped like lips. These are from H&M Home. I got them on sale, i think right before the SHTF last year. 

The yellow disk is a cookie or cake decorator i found in the lid of a jar of Nutella. I forgot the year. maybe 2019. 

See you next time! 

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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Many people struggle - part 2

Publié le par Charly C.

Hello. 

This is a continuation of this post here. I didn't want that entry to be too long, so here we are.

I also wanted to talk about this relative of Anna's. She was the cousin of Anna's mother, on her mother's side. 

This poor woman is no longer with us. She died at the end of 2020 from some heart-related issue, in a mental hospital. She was diagnosed with schizophrenia years before. Her mother had also died earlier in 2020, in the same mental hospital. 

The mother was 91 years old or something, and the daughter 60-something. The daughter was so out of touch with reality, she had no idea where she was or why. :( Of course, she also had no idea her mother was no more either. 

This is the daughter with her adoptive father, sometime in the 1980s maybe, by the style of the photo. 

What is left of these 2 women is literally not much. There's an apartment and a studio that will be sold by the family at some point. 

There are little to no other valuables they left behind. From the mother, there are the Chinaware i talked about in this post and a few pots i took from their apartment. There was a family photo album as well, that we gave to Anna's mom, since it belonged to her relatives.

We also managed to salvage these 2 coffee table books:

The book on New York sells for around $2.5 on local sites, as it's by a Romanian author. The text is both in Romanian and English. The art book on Chinese prints is written by a Russian woman, and I saw it selling for various prices, starting at some $26 and up to $126. 

We like both the Big Apple and Chinese culture/art/history/traditional clothing. It goes without saying, these books will stay with us. We wouldn't have bought them if we saw them in a store, to be honest. But like this, for free, why not?

Everything else had to be discarded because they lived with bugs literally crawling everywhere, in an unbearable smell of feces, bug spray, dust, and only the Lord knows what else. 

Of the daughter, Anna kept these 3 notebooks. She wrote many notebooks. The ones we found/kept are dated 2013-2014. 

These notebooks have been used as planners, a diary, and somewhere to write her wishes, hopes, and random thoughts, basically. 

Many people struggle - part 2Many people struggle - part 2
Many people struggle - part 2Many people struggle - part 2

These are a few pages taken from 2 of the notebooks. The diary's name is "Anca". 

I like her handwriting. It shows her pain and hopes at the same time. I think she got bored or tired fast. Most likely, suffering from schizophrenia, this is normal. 

I myself try to write neatly when I put my hopes up for a change. It's like a prayer. Also, a meditation at the same time - writing neatly requires more effort and concentration. 

On some of the pages, The aunt was writing "we will get married." I believe that was more like a manifestation, her greatest wish. I think she also wished for her mother to live as long as possible. And, well, she did. 

In one of the notebooks, Anna read how the aunt was asking for some treatment that she never received. But she wanted it. She was asking for some sort of help that nobody gave her. 

Their apartment is on the 4th floor. All the windows had bars on them to prevent the aunt from jumping out the window. She must have felt even more like a prisoner, not only in her body/mind without proper medication, but also in her house, though it was for her own safety. 

That poor woman (her mother) lived for so long because she probably felt that nobody else could take care of her daughter. And she was most likely right. Though she was also in no condition to do so either. Not anymore. She lasted in the mental hospital for like half a year. I think she either realized she no longer has to worry about her daughter, or she finally gave up. It's hard to tell. 

If you read thus far and you see someone struggling, try to help them. Remember that not everyone shows their pain the same way

Until next time, stay safe!

© Charly Cross 2013 - present. All rights reserved.

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