Anul trecut in iunie am avut placerea sa vizitez Suedia cu ocazia nuntii Principesei Mostenitoare Victoria. A fost o experienta unica ce mi-a facut o impresie deosebita. Stockholmul este un oras frumos, plin de istorie, iar evenimentul a fost pregatit cu grija si bun-gust.
Intamplarea a facut ca in dimineata zilei de 19, inainte de inceperea festivitatilor, sa ma intalnesc cu ASR Principele Radu, la cativa metrii de resedinta monarhului suedez.
Pot sa spun cu toata sinceritatea ca a fost una dintre cele mai placute intamplari din viata mea. Principele este un om de inalta clasa, din toate punctele de vedere. Intreaga sa atitudine emana rafinament, o politete desavarsita, un grad inalt de cultura, dar si un adevarat talent de a comunica cu oamenii si a-i face sa se simta in largul lor.
Vazusem prima data pe Principe cu ocazia vizitei la Universitatea Babes-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca in 2003. A tinut atunci o cuvantare excelenta cu ocazia lansarii unei carti despre Familia Regala a Romaniei. M-a impresionat mult acea ocazie, in special pentru ca vedeam pentru prima data si pe Majestatile lor Regele & Regina. Revederea a avut acelasi efect asupra mea. (De asemenea, tin sa mentionez ca nu exista poza care sa faca dreptate Principelui!)
|ALR Principesa Mostenitoare & principele Radu la nunta Principesei Mostenitoare a Suediei, Stockholm|
Dupa intoarcerea in tara, am scris un scurt mesaj Principelui Radu:
Cosmin Alexandru Moldovan”
Paste cu scoici
Cand am locuit in Statele Unite, m-am bucurat tot timpul ca sunt pe coasta si, ca urmare, aveam acces la fructe de mare proaspete. Georgetown era la o aruncatura de bat, iar Charlestonul putea sa satisfaca si pe cel mai dificil gurmand. Imi aduc cu drag aminte cum, impreuna cu prietenii mei buni si Mama am savurat un pranz delicious, format din toate fructele de mare care existau pe meniu in acest minunat oras.
Reteta din saptamana aceasta e, din nou, simpla, dar de efect. Pentru mine a insemnat o binevenita rupere de realitate: am tendinta, asa ca Proust, sa ma las dus cu gandul atunci cand simt un miros sau gust!
Am pus intr-o tigaie mare un pahar de vin alb sec, pe masura, impreuna cu niste apa si ulei de masline. Am fiert acest amestec la care am adaugat o mana de catei de usturoi intregi, iar dupa cateva minute, la indemnul aromelor, am introdus scoicile, la foc mare. Nu trebuie tinute mult. Odata amestecate toate aceste arome, se scot scoicile deoparte, iar zeama se lasa pe foc pana scade putin.
In final se adauga la sosul obtinut pastele strecurate si scoicile, impreuna cu patrunjel verde, proaspat si se amesteca totul. Nimic mai simplu! J
Fiecare imbucatura o sa va duca cu gandul la sunetul si gusturile placute de la mare - o combinatie excelenta intre paste, fructe de mare, vin alb, ulei de masline, usturoi si patrunjel proaspat… Intr-o zi rece de iarna, efectul e cu atat mai patrunzator!
Reteta detaliata se afla in “Cartea regala de bucate”, Ed. Curtea Veche, Bucuresti 2010, pag. 195
Last year, in June, I had the pleasure of visiting Sweden for the wedding of Crown Princess Victoria. It was a unique experience that left a great impression on me. Stockholm is a beautiful city, full of history and the event was organized with great care and good taste.
Chance would have it that on the morning of the 19th, before the festivities were set to begin, I met HRH Prince Radu, a few yards from the Swedish monarch's residence.
I can honestly say it was one of the most remarkable events of my life. The Prince is a man of high class in all respects. His whole attitude exudes refinement, an exquisite politeness, a high degree of culture, but also a real talent for communicating with people and making them feel at ease.
I had seen the Prince for first time during his visit at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, in 2003. He gave a great speech at the launch of a book about the Royal Family of Romania. It was a very special occasion, particularly as I saw their Majesties the King & Queen for the first time. The second meeting had the same profound effect on me. (Also, I must mention that there are no photos that do justice to the Prince!)
I spent a lot of time thinking of this meeting, but mostly I reflected on how I felt about Romania being represented by the royal couple on such a grand occasion. I was so proud to see them stepping toward the cathedral in the procession of all the royal houses of Europe.
After returning home, I wrote a short message to HRH Prince Radu:
"Your Royal Highness,
Please allow me to express my great pleasure in having met You on the morning of June 19th, in Stockholm, during the festivities marking the wedding of HRH the Crown Princess of Sweden. It was a real honor for me to be able to exchange a few words with Your Royal Highness.
I want to take this opportunity to thank You for the dignified way in which Yourself and Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess have represented Romania.
There are, unfortunately, few occasions in which we can be proud of how our country is represented, and June 19th was one of those rare occasions.
We were all moved to see Your Royal Highnesses taking part in the procession of the royal families present and I want to assure You of our full support.
We hope that Your Royal Highnesses had a pleasant stay in Sweden and send You our best wishes.
Cosmin Alexandru Moldovan"
Pasta with mussels
I love seafood! Maybe because most of my life I lived inland, it has always seemed a more exotic kind of food, almost like a treat. I remember when I first tasted mussels: it was the early 90s when, along with my family, I was in Turkey at the Aegean seaside. There were at that time peddlers on the beach and they were selling pilaf stuffed mussels. Superb! A special taste, which combined with fresh lemon, left a strong mark on my culinary preferences.
When I was living in the U.S., I loved the fact that I was on the coast and, therefore, had access to fresh seafood. Georgetown was at a stone's throw away and Charleston can satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. I still remember fondly how, together with my best friends and my mother, we enjoyed a delicious lunch consisting of all the seafood on the menu in this wonderful city.
This week's recipe, again, is very simple, but delicious. For me it meant a welcome break from reality: I tend, just like Proust, to daydream when I smell or taste something familiar, that brings back memories.
I boiled a pack of spaghetti pasta according to the package instructions. Considering that it is a bit difficult to find fresh mussels in Cluj, I had to turn to what the supermarket had to offer. The price is a little on the “spicy” side, but I think it's worth splurging from time to time, especially when it comes to a good meal!
In a large skillet, I put a glass of dry white wine to match, along with some water and olive oil. I boiled this mixture to which I added a handful of whole garlic cloves and after a few minutes, once the flavors have merged, I introduced the mussels, at high heat. They do not need to be cooked for long. Once all the flavors are blended, remove the mussels & put aside, while continuing to boil the sauce until it is slightly reduced.
Finally, add the pasta and mussels to the sauce, along with fresh parsley, and mix everything. Nothing could be easier!
Each bite will make you think of the pleasant sounds and tastes of the sea – this dish is an excellent combination of pasta, seafood, white wine, olive oil, garlic and parsley ... On a cold winter’s day, the effect is even more poignant!
The detailed recipe can be found in “Cartea regala de bucate”, Ed. Curtea Veche, Bucuresti 2010, pag. 195.