Europe's Bread-Basket: The Romanian Food I Still Crave

little baby Rachel in Arad, Romania, circa 2013. how has it been this long???

"For we have been there in the books and out of the books - and where we go, if we are any good, there you can go as we have been." -Ernest Hemingway, Green Hills of Africa
It seems like not that long ago since I wrote about "backward travel" and the strength of being able to see your hometown like you'd see an exotic destination. I still believe those things, but a month of watching friends and family travel Europe, seeing other friends go on-mission to Africa and Romania, seeing favorite bloggers touring Paris together...it's so difficult to be home! All those movies like Mamma Mia and books like Hemingway's Green Hills of Africa are reminding me that places as beautiful as Greece and Kenya exist. It's like all these things have conspired to turn me into one big mass of "I miss the big, wide world."
"Today was shaorma day! We found a corner place in downtown Bucarest and got the fulfillment of our dreams of two years back and had amazing shaorma. He double-wrapped in plastic bags my shaorma and then paper and still it leaked all the lovely juices onto the table and all over my hands but it was delightful. Shaorma. Mmm."

Lemon and Elderflower Mini Cakes


When I heard that Meghan Markle was engaged to marry Prince Harry, I felt a twinge of sad-happy. Of course I would never marry him myself, but I always felt as sort of distant affection for him - my favorite of Diana's sons. However, the real winner in the entire wedding situation is anyone who cared what sort of wedding dress she'd wear, which tiara would grace the head of the newest princess, and above all, what their wedding cake would be like. That gown-veil combo was the ideal cross between Grace Kelly, Maria Von Trapp, and Modern Taste. The tiara was amazing. And when it was declared that Claire Ptak of Violet Bakery would be creating a lemon and elderflower cake decorated with fresh flowers, I knew I wanted in!

Backward Travel: The Strength of Truly Seeing Home




Sometimes you're actually able to travel far afield and see new sights, visit places that have always been on your bucket list, and meet strangers whose un-exploredness makes your heart thunder, swell, and leap toward a shy, "hello," in a language you're absolutely no good at, not even a little bit.

These experiences are truly like no other and even one trip "abroad" furnishes one's mind with more memories to thumb through during "boring" days later on than almost anything else of which I can think. But other times you are land-locked, held in your own place and your own habits for what seems like too long.
That's me this month. I crave to be up and away and going someplace new. I always get to this stage because for three years in a row, I left the country this time of year and spent two weeks in Romania on a missions trip. This will now be the third year in a row that I have not been able to spend time with those friends I made across an entire ocean and a significant part of me feels like being in America during the month of May is just unbearable.