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Posts Tagged ‘NYT’

Digging NPR and NPR Music

I am really digging NPR. I grew up listening to NPR. That’s National Public Radio in case you’re interested. And recently I’ve found myself listening to it once again.

I guess this shouldn’t be much of a surprise. My MoM regularly listened to NPR driving around town when we were little and in fact she still does today. When I lived in DC, I’d listen every morning while I was getting for work and pretty regularly on the weekends.

I fell out of the habit when I moved to Bulgaria two years ago. However this summer every time I borrowed my MoM’s car the radio was set to NPR and I once again found myself hooked. NPR is great. (more…)

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It’s pretty impossible to be a foreigner in Bulgaria and not notice the huge number of Bulgarian Rose products from rose oil to lotion, soap, bubble bath and even rose rakiya. These are it seems a staple of tourist shops. Heck, I too have brought back rose perfume in little carved wooden containers.  Kitch but still pretty great.

So today, a quick short article in the NYT Style section caught my eye.  It’s on cooking with rose water.  The article is apparently part of an ongoing discussion of power ingredients for cooking.

The headline grabbed me because of the rose water but the writing was pretty good so I kept reading.  Then I poured over the four tasty sounding recipes especially the Grilled Rose Water Pound Cake. Holy smokes.

Rose water sounds amazing. Check out these great ides:

You can also just start freelancing. Taking a cue from 18th-century bakers, substitute rose water for the vanilla in cupcakes, puddings or scones. Or (a personal favorite) add a teaspoon or so to your next batch of French toast batter. Put a drop or two in a glass of lemonade for a remarkably refreshing summer drink — or make a rose martini in the same manner.

Rose water matches uncannily well with many fruits, drawing out their shy aromas. Try adding a bit to a bowl of strawberries, or sprinkling sliced melon, plums or peaches with rose water mixed with a bit of riesling.

And if you make a salad of bitter greens dressed with a vinaigrette that has been barely touched with rose water, you’ll quickly change your mind about the versatility of this ingredient.

Sure, I already know that I like it. Enter rose lakum (Bulgarian Turkish delight–can I even say that? Well I just did). But I’d never considered all of the other dishes and drinks that I could spice up with some rose water. (more…)

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How Far Would 100 Leva Go?

In some ways, all I think I’ve done this month and last month is think about money. How much money I have, how much money other people have, how much the average Bulgarian makes and if it’s even possible to save given the salaries that 20-somethings make.

I’ve been keep track of my spending and wondering will I make it? Can I stick with my budget? Will I go hungry? What choices will I have to make?

The experience, though totally contrived, has gotten me thinking. It’s made me pay attention to the places I was and am spending money. It’s made me aware. And I am not even halfway through this experiment.

This is probably why a recent article in the NYT caught my eye.  The article “Seeing how far $100 can go” is a story about small acts of philanthropy in New York City. Basically, an artist-author after receiving a large advance for a book gave each of her 9 friends $100 and instructed them to give it away and that they would meet a month later to share what they’d done with the money.  Effective? Maybe not. Creative? absolutely. (more…)

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The Clock in Skopje

Number 21 on the NYT 31 Places to go in 2010 is Macedonia specifically Lake Ohrid.  I was really excited to see this show up on the list.  Bulgaria didn’t make the list but maybe next year. Fingers crossed.

A street in old town Skopje

It reminded me of a great trip I took this last spring/early summer to Macedonia.

Me in Macedonia

My friend D. and I went together for a long weekend in June. We took the bus from Sofia to Skopje and spent a day there and then we went from Skopje to Lake Ohrid.  It was easy-peasy.  Which is good because that’s how I prefer my travel to be–easy-peasy. (more…)

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Today’s post is for anyone who might have ever thought: Bulgaria-smulgaria.  Or even worse wondered to themselves: where’s Bulgaria?  First, Bulgaria is in Europe and it’s sandwiched in between Greece, Turkey, Romania, Serbia and Macedonia and boarders the Black Sea. We’re part of the EU and the country is changing rapidly.

As if these things alone aren’t enough to change your mind about this country, maybe this New York Times article titled: A Lost European Culture, Pulled From Obscurity will.   It’s a sexy article–for those of you who like culture, history and art.  Oh, did I mention that Bulgaria is at the heart of this article? Here’s the first paragraph to get you excited:

Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade.

Um, this–the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills–is Bulgaria, Romania and parts of Serbia.  And in case you can’t read, or maybe just read too quickly, I’ll repeat the fact that the people living in these areas were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade (there’s also a great slide show if pictures are more your thing).  Not bad for a set of countries and people who have been relegated for years to the back burner of Eastern Europe, hidden behind the iron curtain and who are struggling to make it as a post-communist countries.

If you didn’t know it before now, Bulgaria’s got plenty of history both recent and ancient.  (more…)

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I just read a great article on the NYT which helps get at the heart of the natural gas issue. Seeing as I am not an expert on the area, I am only living here for a year, it’s hard to know where disputes like this get started. It’s been clear that what’s at stake here in the gas conflict is about much more than just the gas what’s not always been clear is what’s motivating the two parties–Russia and Ukraine. So if you want to know about the background and what’s motivating Russia and Ukraine you should check out this article: Gas dispute runs deeper than pipes.

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Baby it’s cold outside.  And the New York Times is finally writing about Bulgaria.  We’ve been without gas since last Tuesday.  That’s January 6th for anyone counting and so it’s official we’ve been without gas for seven days.  Early on Bulgaria had a small gas reserve and we may still but the huge problem is that our country is 100% dependent on Russia for natural gas.

This morning the New York Times (NYT) finally decided to write about what it means for Bulgarians not to have natural gas in the article Memo from Sofia: Without gas, Bulgaria turns icy to old ally.  (The article made the front page of the online edition with a photo and everything and when I saw it I thought, it’s about time.) (more…)

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