Friday, November 30, 2012

Gangam Style!

Yes, PSY has reached Moldova.  To start the informal, dancing part of the Marine Ball, the detachment was led by Gunny in the dance from Gangam Style.  They had a great time and were having fun.  By the end of the dance, a lot of others were on the floor doing it with them.  Great way to start off the dancing!  Thanks MSD Chisinau.

About A Quarter?

What do you think?  About a quarter of the background is done?  It looks that way to me.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Marine Ball Food

The Chisinau Marine Ball was held at the Leogrand Hotel earlier this month.  I think the reason it's held there is because it's the only hotel with a large enough convention hall.  It's certainly not because of the food. The salad course was a choice of two different kinds of seafood salads - tuna or shrimp.  The tuna was very strong smelling. I did not taste either, as I don't like tuna or shrimp.  Soup was a tasteless bisque.  It was very smooth, but could have used some flavor.  My main course was a chicken breast in mushroom sauce, rice, and sauteed vegetables.  The chicken was much, much better than the soup, but was barely warm, as were the vegetables.  The rice was cold.  I know it's hard to serve three hundred people hot food, but they could at least try.  It was obvious the plates were not heated for the food, which would have kept it warmer.

Andreas had the beef.  His was also just warm, and there was a lot less food on the plate. It looked almost empty.  Dessert for me, the crepes, was pretty, at least.  The orange crepes would have tasted better warm, but the raspberry coulis was good.  Andreas' brownie with ice cream had half-melted ice cream when served.

I know this isn't the fault of the Marines at post: no matter how much they try, they're not in charge of the kitchen at the Leogrand, and they do try to keep costs down for ticket prices.  Nevertheless, the charges amounted to $85 per ticket this year, and the food was mediocre, at best.  The Leogrand is supposedly the premier hotel in Moldova's capitol.  This event is -the- event of the diplomatic and military social season.  You'd think the Leogrand would get the hint to go out of its way to give a good impression.  Unfortunately, most Moldovan businesses look to the short term and rarely worry about things like long term reputation.  This was the second Marine Ball I've attended there.  I'll go again, but it's emphatically NOT because it's at the Leogrand.

Next Marine Ball post will be more upbeat, I promise!

Some Done

A bunch of the little flowers in the bouquet are finished, and the large ones are getting there too.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Notta Dragonfly

The small branch on the left toward the middle is not a dragonfly, even though it looks like one.

Draw Your Own Conclusions

It's a grooming salon in the basement of MallDova....

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fill and Outline

More outlining and a bit of fill on the bottom.  It at least looks less bare than last time.

Dinner For Four At El Greco

 In mid-October, four of us went to dinner at El Greco.  I had soup; Andreas had a gyro,  Kent and I had chicken shish, and Jenn had something that I forgot the name of, but was good.  As usual, the zeama was full of white meat with a flavorful and full of body broth.  No dill to be found, either!  For some reason, they put french fries in the gyros here at all the restaurants.  I think they do it because it's a cheap filling.  Other than that, the gyro was good.  The chicken was not dry, but well cooked and flavorful.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Three Of Four

Three of four boring squares done!  Maybe I can start the fun parts soon.

Great Fabric

I now have four yards of this fabric.  It's beautiful.  Now to figure out what to do with it!

Chisinau Wine Festival

 In mid-October, Chisinau held its wine festival over a weekend.  Very many vintners and wineries set up booths, and some even had free samples.  That last probably explains the huge crowds.  We didn't stay long, as Andreas hates crowds, but I would have liked to explore more.  Also notable, Purcari set up a stage on one side and a dining area for VIPs on the other, creating a major choke point.  Maybe next year I'll just leave Andreas at home and explore at my own pace.

Rural Moldova From A Russian Viewpoint

This link is to a Russian view of Moldova that's definitely biased.  On the other hand, there are a lot of beautiful pictures and very little commentary.  The photos are of rural Moldova, which I don't show often here.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Definitely Halfway

I am finally working on the upper half of this motif.  I'll be so relieved when it's done!  I've been working on this sampler nearly every day for the past year.

Mitten For Tara

Yay, my mitten made it to Tara in Canada!  I sent it at the end of October, and it was for an exchange sponsored by Brooke's Books' Yahoo group.  This is how it turned out.

Concert At The Mall

 Moldova had its harvest (wine) festival in mid October.  During that time, we got to hear and see this local orchestra playing folk tunes at the mall.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Lunch At Caravan

 Lunch with a couple of ladies at Caravan.  I had soup and salad.  The soup was a lamb-based one, and the salad was a bit weird.  Soup was very good with a thick broth and light spice.

Straight Across

The background is caught up to the design and I am about five rows from the last page.  Yay!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

New Outlines

Lots of building skeletons to fill in.

Random Ferrari

Ferrari found at the airport VIP lounge.  It evidently belongs to a local real estate mogul, and he has several of them.  Not only did the Ferrari come to pick him up, so did two SUV's and a wannabe model and a few henchmen.  Can we say "living down to your stereotype"?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Back To Buffalo

Our Friday night dinner group went to Buffalo Steakhouse last month.  Andreas had his usual Greek salad, and I had my usual zeama - here with the sour cream already in it.  John tried the chicken wings.  They came with three sauces, but I think the portion is really small for the plate.  Andreas' (junior) hamburger was huge, and the steak and potatoes could have been presented better.  Theresa and I split a grill platter, which was more than enough to feed us.  John approved of the dessert, and I had cappucino.  Overall, a successful night.

Feels Sloooooow

More bits of green and peach on the left.  This thing is so big and I'm so in the middle of it that I feel like I'm making no progress at all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Gaguz - Ethnic Food In Moldova

Moldova does have a few different ethnic groups.  One is the Gagauz, a Turkic Christian people who have their own language and whose second language is Russian.  They live in the region around Comrat and have an autonomous zone in the area.  We went to a restaurant here in Chisinau that specializes in Gagauz food called Ga-Guz.  This top dish is pickled red cabbage and onions, served cold.  No beets, although it looks like it!  The flavor was tart and crunchy.  I liked it; Andreas did not.  It's served no matter what you order.

The obligatory shop salad came covered in dill, but the cheese on it was wonderful.  The bread was fried and fluffy!  This is so unlike most Moldovan bread, and I loved it.  My soup was somewhat fatty, but full of meat and vegetables.  The meat was lamb. 

Andreas had the lamb kavurma, which is basically tocana but with lamb instead of pork.  It was also spicier and served with mamaligia.  I had a very tender and moist chicken dish that reminded me, spice-wise, of chicken cacciatore.  We will definitely be back!