Posts Tagged ‘domestic duties’

Just my luck

Разумеется, как только я помыла окна, немедленно началась гроза – гром и молнии, ветер хлещет струями по стеклам, кондишены дребезжат и практически полу-апокалипсис
А ведь я и прогноз не забыла посмотреть, и даже планы наметила на-после-обеда, пройтись в багетную, заказать рамки для картинок. Одна – оттиск гравюры, привезённой из прошлогоднего отпуска: чесночный натюр, сербский художник, куплено в Словении. Вторая – собственный, выкопаный из закромов рисунок углем: надо же, и я когда-то могла!
Ну вот, теперь сижу-тоскую…варенье, что ли, сварить? Клубника с ревенем?

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Host[ess] gifts

Planning  my trip, was looking for ideas of a housewarming gifts for my hosts. And concluded that food appears to be the less risky proposition.


Think of it. I don’t know the style of their new home, so decorative items  are out. Hobbies? My friend is a South history buff, the type of guy who spends vacation going from battlefield to battlefield – but I am not; what I can find within reach of typical lay-person, he left way behind 30 yrs ago. He is also an avid gardener, but garden stuff tends to be either bulky (tools, pots, illustrated books) or might be inappropriate for his landscaping scheme (seeds). Since I had my own garden 15 yrs ago I remember how annoying other people’s idea of a good gardening gift might be. He is rather a good home cook, too – and has his own favorite tools, like all good amateurs. It would be presumptuous to make a choice gift for his kitchen.

I can’t think of what his wife likes to do – in all years I’ve known her, she had little impact on their home here in NY – her husband is a nesting kind of bird, she is the receptive and managing-behind-the-scenes one…

So food it is, then. Everybody eats.


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Buckingham Palace during the start of Queen Victoria’s reign, was one.

Listen to this, especially 29:50 – and further


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From the beginning of the year


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Speaking of old soviet strawberry joke*, here’s today’s loot from my local KeyFood:


-Star fruit

-Bunch of rhubarb

-Blood orange

-Nameless cross between lemon and plum.

I say: Hurray for global trade!

Even if the taste is not as good as when they all are in season.






*-When does first strawberry appear in Soviet “gastronom”?

-In June

-When does first strawberry appear in American supermarket?

-At 7am


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В картинке, найденной на просторах, нету важной строчки: муравьи замучили.
2 недели тому, во время первой в этом году духоты, открыла окошко в спальне. Через часок-другой обнаружила муравьиную цепочку – с подоконника под кровать, где она распылилась на составляющие неуловимые боевые единицы.


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Let’s pick up where we left and resume talking about the Star of Ukrainian Cooking, borsch.

It is one of my favorite soups, not because I invented it or have particular attachment to Ukrainian kitchen, but because every time I make it it feels like a tribute to my beloved grandma: she taught me how. After years of practice I can finally say without false modesty that I cook it well -although not as well as her, in my memory. I’m not ashamed of it: she was a champion.


As with any great classic dish you will find endless variations on a theme: “the meat for stock should only be out of a pork shoulder” – “no, a 1/3 of each of beef, pork and ham” – “no, only based on bone with marrow” – “no meet at all!”-, etc etc etc.

It’s all fine and good – within reason. What’s reasonable? What products are likely for Ukrainian countryside. Pork is reasonable, mutton – no. Purely vegetarian is reasonable, as long as vegetables are cabbage, potatoes and beets – and not avocados or yams.

A disclaimer: I’m giving you the recipe as it evolved in my Jewish family; which means: no pork and no “salo” (fatty bacon), and we don’t add vinegar or lemon juice.

Yield: 10 bowls.


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