Recipes from Romania

chimney cakes

chimney cakes

St. Margaret’s Potluck in December will be a fest of Romanian specialties (and, of course, anything else that anyone wants to bring). The dinner will be Saturday, Dec, 14th, and we expect another group from the Re-Entry Center to join us.

“The central characteristic of Romanian cuisine is its great variety,” writes Nicolae Klepper in “Taste of Romania.” “It is a cuisine influenced by repeated waves of different cultures: the ancient Greeks, with whom Romania traded; the Romans, who gave the country its name; the Saxons, who settled in southern Transylvania; the Turks, who for centuries dominated Romania; as well as Slavic and Magyar neighbors.”

The main ingredients used by Romanian chefs are pork, beef and lamb, fish, vegetables, dairy products and fruit. The Romanian Tourism website, http://www.romaniatourism.com/romanian-food-wine.html, details dozens of special dishes and products from the region. Some of those recipes are in the folder on the Time and Talent Table in the Parish Hall. Help yourself.

One unusual offering, what they call a “Transylvanian Treat,” is a pasty: “A long rope of sweet yeast dough is tightly wrapped in a spiral around a wooden form, something like a rolling pin, and dusted with sugar. It is then baked, slowly turning, on a rotating spit above an open flame. Carefully edged of its wooden mold after baking, each chimney cake is a whimsical-looking, soft bread with an addictively crunchy caramelized sugar crust and an airy open center.”

Perhaps one of us will be bold and try to bake a version of this. Next week we’ll read about an odd cheese they make and about how they form their stuffed cabbage rolls.