Easter menu

This Easter’s menu included, as usual, “traditional” Romanian dishes and English ones. We’ve got hot cross buns from the supermarket, as I didn’t have enough time to try to make them at home.

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Drob, it’s a Romanian terrine with lots of spring onion. As I am vegetarian, I’ve made it with soy instead of the usual components.
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4 pastes, all homemade: black olives, green olives, sundried tomatoes and avocado paste.
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Homemade loaf with white flour and cornflour, this time made as a big flat loaf instead of an usual bread.
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Cupcakes with lots of cacao, cheese cream icing and chocolate eggs and bunnies.
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Another Romanian dish, polenta with cabbage, sour cream and picked chilli on the side.
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Mushroom cream soup, made from mushrooms, onion and some veggies. I love this type of soup.
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Cozonac, it’s a romanian sweet bread. I planned to do only one, but it grew bigger than expected. Not that I’m complaining.
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The end result:
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On the 2nd day, we went for a nice day in the park. Some play with Festus’s new toy, a ball he got as a Easter present and a walk in the park.
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York

We’ve visited York during our holiday. I loved the wall with daisies.
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In two towers there are 2 museums: Henry the VII experience and Richard III experience. We’ve been to the 2nd one and it was interesting. It’s not much to see, obviously, but there are a lot of info panels. We didn’t take the medieval pass as we were in York only for a few hours.
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York Minster, a very impressive 800 years old cathedral. We didn’t visit it as it was so crowded and I’m not sure there were any spots left at the guided tour. I don’t like to queue.
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This commemorates the place where Constantine was proclaimed Roman Emperor. He was Christian and he had a very important role spreading the Christianity by making it legal. Having been proclaimed emperor in York, this means the city was very important in the 3rd century.
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The Minster is undertaking refurbishment and these are some stone carved on site.
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The treasurer’s House is a NT property in the city center. It was very interesting to visit and we’ve took a ghost cellar tour. Loved the ghost tour!
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This is a small part from the roman wall.
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Goddards, another NT property in York. It was home to the Terry family, the ones that were making chocolate. This chocolate with oranges was made in the UK from the 18th century, until a few years back.
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Clifford’s Tower is an English Heritage site, close to York Castle Museum. This tower is the only building that remained from the castle built by William the Conqueror.
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Fountains Abbey and Ripon

We walked Festus before visiting the Abbey. We took a lot of pictures, see here on his blog.fountain_abbey_01

Fountains Abbey is an old Cistecian monastery, built over 800 years ago, during the reign of Henry I. We’ve learned a lot about it’s history during the guided tour. It was very enjoyable and the lady told us a lot of interesting things. I learned a little bit of history from the period of the William the Conqueror and the role of the monasteries.

In the car park we’ve admired the pheasants and hares.
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We had to walk on the logs, as we do every time we can.
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The abbey is now a ruin. It was closed during the Dissolution in 1539. Henry VIII’s people took out all the lead from the roof and left to the wind and rain, it soon became a ruin. The guide explained how the architecture differs considering the era it was built on.
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It was so interesting to learn about Cistercians and Benedicts. About the everyday life in the abbey and their rules. As I watched a few TV programs about the impact the monasteries had in the life of the people during Tudor period, it was quite interesting to learn how and why they become so powerful before the Tudors.
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Fountain Hall, an elegant mansion built in the early 17th century. It was built partly with stone from the ruined Abbey.
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The old bridge, built 800 years ago. It was used to bring supplies to the mill.
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The only Cistercian corn mill still surviving today. It was built in the 12th century and it run up to 1927.
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This door is from 1787, as it says on the carving.
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The original doors survived only because they were used for other purposes.
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This is how the abbey looked in it’s heyday.
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After visiting the Abbey we went to Ripon, a small town nearby.
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The Ripon Cathedral looks amazing. It’s lovely and it was interesting to discover that the 1st place of worship was built here in the 7th century by the Saxons. In 672 (if I remember correctly) they built an underground place similar to the one in which Jesus was buried. Quite interesting, I’d say.
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This shelter is from 1911, donated by a mayor’s daughter for the cabmen waiting in the market square.
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This is the workhouse museum, a Victorian building designated for the poor and workers. It is one of 3 museums in Ripon. It was too late to visit, so it will be on the short list for next time.
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Fair in Harrogate

At the beginning of April I’ve been at a trade fair in Harrogate. It was the 2nd time we’ve been to Harrogate, but this time we’ve stayed for a week and we had a few days of holiday. Festus enjoyed himself the whole week, pictures here.fih_01

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The fair was interesting, different than the ones at NEC. Loved the organization and I’ve met lovely people. We’ve rented a self catering cottage. It was a lovely old cottage, lots of original features, amazing views. It was 10-12 minutes away from Harrogate and there were less than 10 houses in the village. We’ve seen lots of birds, hares and pheasants in the area. I can easily call that perfection. We had a great time.

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In the next picture, on the corner is Betty’s Tea Rooms. It’s a lovely cafe-restaurant with a lot of history. The first one was opened in 1919 in Harrogate. We’ve been there twice during this week and it was lovely every time.

The citron torte is perfect! After my grandmother special cake, this is my favourite dessert. The tart has light pastry and lemon butter and lemon curd on top. I could sense the difference between the butter and the curd, without having overpowering flavours. It was such a treat. This is another recipe I’ll have to try. Today I’ve bought 2 bags of lemons and hopefully, I’ll have time to try my first batch of lemon curd next week.

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On our second visit we had a great time in the lower room, where a pianist is playing. Considering we’ve been there at around 6 in the afternoon and that the prices reflect the history of the place and the quality of the service, it was lovely to see it very busy.

I don’t particularly like eating in chains of restaurants and I avoid them if I can. The food tends to be too salty, the waiters less friendly and I feel the restaurant lacks the charm that the small restaurants have. It seams that a lot of people from Bettys would agree with me.

Harrogate was a spa town during the Victorian era. The only spa still remaining in business is the Turkish Baths.

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The Royal Pump Rooms; we’ve visited them and we weren’t impressed. The entrance fee is almost £4, the spring can’t be seen and there are only 2 rooms and a corridor. There are a few interesting facts and it was a special exhibition, but there aren’t that many stories about Harrogate’s transformation from a small hamlet to a spa town or, at least, more details about the cures.
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I’m in front of Bettys with my bag of desserts we’ve got for home. I was pleasantly surprised to be able to buy a slice of the (now famous) citron torte even if it wasn’t for sale at the in-house shop.

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On the next few days I’ll post pictures from other interesting places that we’ve visited this week.