Mucenici is a traditional Romanian dessert that is always served on the 9th of March (it celebrates the memory of the 40 Martyrs of Sebaste). My family always prepared the boiled version presented here (the other variation involves baking and is typical for the northeastern region called Moldova). It is a refreshing recipe that combines dough, walnuts, vanilla, and sugar - serve chilled, and it's a great way to cool off on a warm spring day.

For the mucenici:
 - Four to five cups of flour
 - One cup of water
 - Two or three pinches of salt
For the soup:
 - Two liters of water
 - Two tablespoons of lemon peel (I always use orange marmalade: it's cheaper and easier to find)
 - Spices: 1 teapoon each of ground cinnamon, vanilla essence, and rum essence
 - Half a cup of sugar
For serving:
 - Ground walnut kernels
 - Honey or brown sugar

 - Put one cup of flour in a mixing bowl, and mix in the salt. Slowly add the cup of water (a couple of spoonfuls at a time), and mix until uniform. The composition will turn out a bit watery. Start adding the remaining flour (a bit at a time), and keep mixing. Repeat this until you end up with a dough that does not stick to your hands (you don't need to use all the flour, or you may want to add some more as needed).
 - Now to the preparation of the mucenici. Pick up a bit of dough and roll it into a long thin string (a few times thicker than pasta, but as thin as you can manage). Roll the string around your fingers to form "8" shapes (tear the string as appropriate once each figure is completed). Smaller leftover pieces can be rolled into "0" shapes as well (the "8"s are just more common, but they both taste the same :) ). Place the finished pieces on sheets of wax paper. Repeat until you run out of dough. Leave everything outside to dry overnight, turn over in the morning, and let dry a few more hours on the other side as well.
 - Add about a cup and a half of mucenici to two liters of water, and boil for about 20-25 minutes. Add the lemon peel (or orange marmelade), one tablespoon each of ground cinnamon, vanilla essence, and rum essence, and half a cup of sugar. Stir, cover, and let cool for a few hours.
 - Serve at room temperature or slightly chilled (particularly if it's warm outside and your guests would love to cool a bit).

 - Choose colorful bowls to present the recipe (the dish does not have much color in and of itself).
 - It is traditional to top the mucenici with ground walnuts - either place them on a plate nearby, or generously sprinkle them over each bowl.
 - Given that some people might like the dish sweeter, have some honey or brown sugar handy for who needs it.