Those of you who read this little blog (and it is, alas, a little blog) have seen me mention my Romanian grandmother. The truth is, I have two grandmothers, both Romanian, and both wonderful cooks. One excels at simple, light food, and the other is a master of the most elaborate concoctions, including desserts that would make any New York pastry chef weep and then launch himself off of a high rise. (I love simple, homemade North American desserts -- pies and crumbles and carrot cake and such -- but the stuff that's retailed is a disaster. We'll leave a discussion of the tasteless cakes I would have in Toronto and the abomination that is the NYC cupcake for another post.) Still, I refer to both ladies through the mythological composite, my "Romanian grandmother."
And this weekend, my Romanian grandmother made it into the New York Times Magazine food issue.
If you click on the fourth box, "Share," you will see the advice on portion control my maternal grandmother always gave me. Of course, my father was quick to point out that Romanians don't eat like this at all. We typically eat big dinners, and, as he put it, the only breakfast worth mentioning is the giblet soup served after an all-night bender. (Don't hold your breath waiting for that recipe to appear here.) I recognized the truth of what he said about dinner, but I've also enjoyed a breakfast while visiting the mountains near Baia Mare that included salami, ham, fried fish, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, and cheese, all washed down with tuica (plum brandy). After eating all of this, my travel companion and I could do nothing but lie on the grass on one side of a mountain and look at the mountain opposite until lunchtime rolled around.