Jonathan Harker's Journal - Bistritz - May 3rd

Dracula - Bram Stoker  
To My Dear Friend Hommy-Beg

Dracula in Real Time...

Way back when I was on LiveJournal, there used to be projects that tracked dated books in real time. My favorite was Dracula. So, this year, I will read Stoker's horror classic by the day, on the day.

Of course I'm not going to post all of his book here on my blog even though it is in the public domain. You can read it online here at Project Gutenberg.


Or buy any number of versions from the bookstore.

So we begin....

Left Munich at 8:35 P. M., on 1st May, arriving at Vienna early next morning; should have arrived at 6:46, but train was an hour late. Buda-Pesth seems a wonderful place, from the glimpse which I got of it from the train and the little I could walk through the streets. I feared to go very far from the station, as we had arrived late and would start as near the correct time as possible. The impression I had was that we were leaving the West and entering the East; the most western of splendid bridges over the Danube, which is here of noble width and depth, took us among the traditions of Turkish rule....


I love how simply the book begins. Jonathan is simply on a business trip and he tells the journal all his preparations to visit Count Dracula's home country. What I found amusing was how he thought Chicken Paprikash was so exotic when nowadays, it is merely common place. He goes on to describe more dishes Mamaliga and Impletata. Of course, he notes that he will get all the recipes for his beloved Mina. I wonder does Mina enjoy cooking?

Harker notes that he is already suffering from strange dreams. But nothing so horrible...yet. He notes that travel schedules in the country are very lackadaisical. According to the Count's advice, he stays at the Golden Krone Hotel. This hotel was completely fiction at the time Stoker wrote the book. But now, due to Dracula mania, Romania has completely recreated the hotel in reality. The caretaker of the hotel has a letter for Jonathan from the Count and so ends the day's account.

For extra fun!

Chicken Paprikash Recipe from

Mamaliga Recipe from
note: Mamaliga is a kind of polenta dish.

Impletata Recipe from Romanian Cuisine blog

Eggplant Stuffed with Spicy Sausage
Makes 4 servings

4 baby eggplants (about 1 ½ pounds total)
1 ½ cups mititei (see recipe) or other spicy sausage, casing removed
1 tablespoon olive oil (divided)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 

1 shallot, finely chopped (2 tablespoons)
¼ cup tomato sauce or reserved juice from canned tomatoes, from Paprika Chicken recipe above
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Remove flesh from each half, leaving a lining ¼-inch from skin, to form 8 "boats." Set boats aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Chop eggplant flesh into ¼-inch dice. Set aside.
In skillet, over medium heat, cook sausage, breaking up large pieces. Cook until well browned, about 7 minutes. Remove sausage with slotted spoon. Set aside.
Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to sausage fat. Heat for a few seconds on medium. Add chopped garlic and shallot and sauté for about a minute. Add chopped eggplant, stirring until well coated with fat and oil. Return sausage to skillet and stir well.
Add tomato sauce or reserved juice and cook until eggplant softens and most of the liquid evaporates, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper. Divide sausage mixture evenly among eggplant boats. Place in baking dish. Drizzle boats with remaining olive oil.

Cover lightly with foil.
Bake in preheated oven until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.


If you are ever in Romania to see the sites both historical and Dracula fan based...Stay at the Hotel Corona de Aur or the Golden Krone Hotel.

“My Friend.—Welcome to the Carpathians. I am anxiously expecting you. Sleep well to-night. At three to-morrow the diligence will start for Bukovina; a place on it is kept for you. At the Borgo Pass my carriage will await you and will bring you to me. I trust that your journey from London has been a happy one, and that you will enjoy your stay in my beautiful land.
“Your friend,

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