Reviews

Sea kelp noodles with almond and mustard seed sauce

Part of the fun of being the husband of a raw food chef is that I get to eat interesting things. For example, our lunch yesterday was this: sea kelp noodles, with a sauce made of almonds, mustard seeds and tomatoes, and with assorted sea vegetables and sliced tomatoes on the side. The taste might have been a bit exotic for some, but I assure you it was delicious, nutritious, and 100% raw, which meant that all of the original nutrients in the vegetables were left intact.

Now I feel bad that I didn’t take the plate into our studio and photograph it properly. I was hungry, so I snapped a few pics with my smartphone and dug in. Shame on me.

If you’d like to learn more about raw foods and you can read Romanian, my wife Ligia writes about the raw food diet on her website at ligiapop.com. She’s writing a book of raw food recipes (also in Romanian) and I’m photographing each of those recipes for her — much better than I photographed our lunch…

For those of you who don’t understand Romanian, don’t worry, there are a TON of resources in English on the internet. Just search for “raw food diet” or “raw food recipes” and you’ll see what I mean.

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A Guide To A Good Life, Places

The Flagler Museum – Part 2

This is an article continued from Part 1, containing photos from the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum in West Palm Beach, Florida. Part 1 featured photos from the exterior, the Grand Hall, the Drawing Room, the West Room, the Courtyard and the hallways. Now let’s go inside the rooms, to see how the New York firm of Pottier & Stymus did things in there.

Here’s the Dining Room, with its richly ornamented walls and ceiling. It’s a place that looks as if you won’t get up hungry from the table. Indeed, it looks as if you’ll be getting several courses every time you sit down.

Continue reading

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Events

Charity Christmas concert at Sala Traube, Medias

Yesterday, the Seventh-day Adventist Church of Medias gave a charity Christmas concert at Sala Traube. The entry was free, but a call for donations was made halfway through the concert. All proceeds went to U.A.M.S. (Unitatea de Asistenta Medico-Sociala), a charitable institution run by City Hall, which provides medical and living assistance to the poor and the needy.

A large, 54-person choir, in which my wife participated, sang Christmas carols accompanied by piano and violin. The repertoire was as follows:

  • O, ce veste minunata
  • Crestini din toata zarea
  • Noaptea de vis
  • Spre Betleem treceau pastori
  • O, Betleem din tinutul Iuda
  • Intr-o iesle colo jos
  • Dinspre stele
  • Niste soapte
  • Pentru noi veni
  • O, Betleem
  • Musical Bells
  • Azi avem Mantuitor
  • S-a nascut azi Domnul Sfant
  • Cantati-I popoarelor
  • Tatal nostru

I am happy to announce that over 200 people were in attendance, and over 5,000 RON were raised for UAMS. (That’s about $1,700 USD at the current exchange rate.) That’s a really good sum considering it was raised in a small city, and in Romania.

You can watch the entire concert below, on blip.tv, or on YouTube in five parts (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5). Merry Christmas!

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Events

Christmas program at church

There was a nice little Christmas program at our church this past Saturday, December 19, 2009, and you can watch a video of the three groups which sang in it below. My wife planned the program, in-between planning her own art show, directing our church’s choir, and taking part in two separate choirs that each gave Christmas concerts this past week. Can you tell she’s had a busy agenda lately?

A children’s choir sang first, followed by the church choir. Then she read a short story, which she wrote the night before, and handed out Christmas sweets, prepared from her own recipe following raw food methods, with the aid of a friend. After that, it was a mix of carols from the church choir and a women’s group, plus a musical bells group (which I didn’t record, but which you can watch in action here).

http://blip.tv/file/2997419
Watch this video on blip.tv

You can also see me singing in the video, as part of the church choir. Given how different the photo on my about page is from the way I look now, I wonder how many people can spot me. Should be fun to know that.

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Events

Ligia’s first art show

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This past Thursday evening, on December 3, 2009, my wife, Ligia, had her first art show, at Casa Schüller, an art gallery in the city of Medias, Romania. This is the same show she talked about during her interview on Radio Ring. She was also interviewed about it on Nova TV last week, and I plan to post the video from the TV interview after I get it sometime this week.

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We were very happy with the turnout. There were over 100 people in attendance, all of them thrilled to see her art and to attend the opening. She displayed 36 original large-format quilling creations, and 70 greeting card-format pieces.

The show was hosted and critiqued by Adrian Matei, a local artist, art critic and writer of international renown. The mayor of the city of Medias, Teodor Neamtu, came by and gave a wonderful speech congratulating Ligia, which you can see and hear in the video clip posted below. We had a short Christmas concert, where a choir from our church sang Christmas carols, and a group of youth played musical bells. Unfortunately I didn’t get to record everything on video, as I was part of the choir and was also taking photos of the event (you can see the whole set of photos here). I’ll see if I can beg some video segments from someone, and once I get them, I’ll put together a more complete video of the event.

Until then, enjoy the photos and video clip posted here, and if you’d like to congratulate Ligia directly, please head on over to her blog and do so. You can watch the video on blip.tvSmugMugYouTube and Vimeo.

Updated 12/6/09: Got more video clips this afternoon, and pieced them together for a 30-minute video which you can see below or on Vimeo. Many thanks to Claudiu Ciucor, a 7th-grade journalism student from Scoala Generala Nr. 2 in Medias, for providing me with the footage. All of the 16:9 format video from the following clip was recorded by him. The 4:3 format video is recorded by me.

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Events

Ligia on Radio Ring 90.2 FM

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My wife was a guest on Radio Ring (90.2 FM, Medias, Romania) yesterday evening (12/2), on a show called “Lentila de Contact“, run by the station’s Program Director, Mircea Hodarnau. Ligia talked about her art, her education and her life. This was in preparation for tonight’s exhibition at Casa Schüller, which was attended by over 100 people. She’s showing 36 original large-format quilling creations, and 70 greeting card-format pieces. It all went better than we planned it, and we loved meeting all of the people that came to see her hard work. I’ll have video clips and photos from the gallery processed and posted at some point tomorrow, but I wanted to point you to the recording of the show tonight.

I’d like to thank Adrian Matei and Mircea Hodarnau for offering my wife this wonderful opportunity, for treating her so graciously during the radio program, and for providing us with a publicity photo and a full recording of the show, both of which you can see and hear here.

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Events

Ligia featured in Romanian magazine

My lovely wife’s blog is featured in the October edition of “Pe Tocuri“, a popular Romanian magazine written for women. Since my knowledge of women’s magazines is virtually non-existent, I don’t have an American counterpart that I could use for a comparison, but I was certainly impressed with its thickness — each monthly issue is about 100 pages, and it’s not chock full of ads like the thick American periodicals, either.

Ligia was selected because they found her all-natural, raw recipes to be delicious and interesting. My photos of her culinary creations appeared in the magazine as well, which made me happy. Of course, there had to be a fly in the ointment — they spelled my name wrong on the photos, even though I spelled it correctly in an email to them. Just how do you spell a 5-letter name wrong when you have it right in front of you? Is it that difficult to copy and paste? It looks like Americans and Romanians alike seem to have trouble with my name…

If you speak or read Romanian, you’re welcome to check out the magazine. You can even download each issue as a PDF. I enclosed a couple of screenshots of the page where Ligia appears below. She’s on page 82, along with a few other Romanian cooking blogs of note.

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Thoughts

My wife's ratatouille

My wife made ratatouille for us yesterday. We’re big fans of the movie Ratatouille (2007), and we wanted to see what the recipe tastes like. She looked up several on the internet, picked one that she thought would be good and made it, only to find out it didn’t taste all that great. No problem — being the great chef that she is, she changed it on the fly, and in the end, it came out unbelievably delicious. It may not have looked like it did in the movie…

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… but let me tell you, my reaction was just about the same as Anton Ego’s when I took the first bite.

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If you’d like to see how she made it, the recipe’s posted on her website. Enjoy!

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Thoughts

You can do better

A couple of weekends ago, I was walking on the quay near the Casino in the city of Constanta. There was this girl sitting on one of the benches with a guy, supposedly her boyfriend. Her curly hair reminded me of my wife, so I watched them for a bit, to see how they fit together as a couple. I was disappointed.

The girl seemed nice, but the guy, a classic douchebag if I’ve ever seen one, kept forcing her to kiss him, pulling her toward him, and fondling her. She tried to resist, to keep a little distance and admire the view (it was a beautiful spring day) but all this douchebag wanted to do was to feel her up. Finally she gave in and let him have his way. That’s when I turned away, disgusted.

There are so many girls who simply give in. They’re pressured into relationships they don’t really want to have, into sexual acts they don’t really want to perform, into marriages where they’re not happy, and the list goes on, ad nauseam. They think a douchebag is all they’re entitled to in their lives. They think they’ve got to put out in order to get the relationship started and keep it going. They think abuse is normal.

None of that is normal. You can do better! Have a little self- respect. You will get the right guy, and he’ll be nice to you. You just have to be pickier, and have a little patience.

Have a look at my wife. It goes without saying that I think she’s hot. She could have had plenty of guys. But when she dated, before we met, she demanded respect from all those guys, didn’t fool around, and kept herself for her husband. You know what? Instead of being scorned for not putting out, she was respected all the more for her decision.

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So really, it all comes down to how much self-respect you have for yourself, and what you choose to do with your life. If you’re not going to respect yourself, no one else will. Don’t put out. Don’t be like the girls in this other post. Wait for the right guy, or even more, look for the right guy. Don’t give up along the way. Don’t let every stranger that enters your life have dessert before they get through the main course. Put them through plenty of tests before they get to the goodies. Don’t cheapen yourself. Each and every one of us has a God-given capability to be more than we think we could be. I say reach for the sky, and see what happens.

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