Living in Romania challenges you in many ways. Some simple, some more complicated. There are things you don’t have that you want – maple syrup, Reese’s peanut butter cups, brown sugar…. There are some that you can make on your own that work – the first two are also examples. And there are things that can’t be substituted that you have to bring like the last on my list. There are things that you forget to buy when you are in the states – like enough peanut butter. And there are things that you wish you had because they are so time consuming to make.
But today I am going to focus on some of those things that I miss that I have made. Last year in the fall I stocked up on potatoes. See, potatoes are sold on the side of the road, last year it had been a great year and so they were around $ .10 a lb! I told my husband I needed him to get some if he saw them somewhere. One day I was out and they were there! I turned around and went and got what I thought I needed for winter. Then I called my husband and told him not to buy anymore because I got them myself. All well and good except….. he had already gotten them! So I had TONS of potatoes. At the end of winter they started growing sprouts, it was time to do something with them. but WHAT? then I had a revelation, I had started freezing boiled shredded potatoes for hash browns and we use them. a lot! and it saves a lot of time in the long run (well, not necessarily, but it makes it seem so!) So in 2 days I made hash browns. This ended up being a much greater undertaking than I was expecting. I boiled 4 huge pots of potatoes and I baked an oven full of potatoes….. TWICE. then came the peeling, shredding, packing!! I wound up with 15 large bags and 8 small bags of hashed browns ready to make! It will feel nice when it is time to pull some out!
Then I realized we were out of peanut butter! oh no! They have some you can get at the store here but it is a small container, fairly expensive and so far I haven’t found one that is very good… So I make my own. I will saying making peanut butter is MUCH more fun than making hash browns! 😉 It is super simple. You put peanuts (I like choosing a kind that I already like the taste of) into a blender or food processor and you let it blend. the more you blend it the smoother it is. This time I made it very smooth! Once you have the base then all you have to do is to store it… and if you want you can add in things to make it different. Sometimes I make Nutella peanut butter, a favorite in our household!
So there you have it. Sometimes living in other countries stretch your imagination. I have to say Pinterest is extremely helpful for inspiration as well! 😉