I’ve Got Some Explaining to Do

Our gracious host Renard of https://renardsworld.wordpress.com has kindly published my guest post that features the Indian Goddess Lakshmi and my recipe for stir-fried lotus root. In my post, I have neglected to explain the link between the two, and anyway, why is Lakshmi always depicted sitting on a lotus flower? Here is the answer, Beautiful…

Falafel Frida Defies Pharaoh

The fault is entirely mine! A timely reminder about an International Falafel Day (what will they come up with next, I wonder) had been issued by lovely and efficient Carol of https://carolcooks2.com, but between holidays, work, boat, and visiting grandchildren, I missed it. Perhaps you can forgive me, Beautiful People, if I bring you this…

The Real Treasure of the Caribbean: Haiti, Part 2. Fried Accra.

Slavery started in Haiti with the arrival of Columbus. Met with friendliness, welcoming gifts, and delicious local fritters called Accra or Akra, he described the native Arawak Taino people as “tractable, and easily led; they could be made to grow crops and build cities” (Mellzer, Slavery: A World History, 1971). And the gentle, helpful natives were…

The Real Treasure of the Caribbean: Haiti, Part 1. Baked Fish.

May is the National Haitian Heritage Month. To honor my Haitian students, I am repeating this three-part series, culminating on May 18, the Haitian Flag Day. I love my Haitian students. Make no mistake – I love all my students, and I reveal in having “the United Nations” environment in my classroom. However, students who…

Light the Bonfire of Love with Chocolate Logs!

Happy Mother’s Day, Beautiful People! Our sages said, “Who is wise? One who learns from every person” (Ethics of Our Fathers, 4:1). The first person in our lives we have a chance to learn from is MOTHER. From her we learn kindness, caring, and most importantly, unconditional love. Sometimes, it’s not a biological mother who does…

Hello, Stranger, Have Some Soup!

Passover starts tomorrow night, and the most important part of the celebration is called a Seder which means order. The order is prescribed in a little book called Haggada that we read at the table. The most important part of that is called Maggid which is the actual story of redemption and exodus from Egypt.  And the most important part of…

Eggplant Caviar Odessa Style

In the midst of the war, despite the tragic events described in my post Hello, Ovid! Я вам не скажу про всю Одессу… (war edition), the inimitable quirky Odessa sense of humor keeps the spirit strong. The following photos were taken in Odessa a few days ago: “Tossing trash on the street, don’t forget to…

The New Boat and the Old Recipe

Our great adventure took a lot longer than intended; instead of a few days, we had spent almost two months driving to Key Largo and back, occasionally staying in hotels overnight, until we finally brought our new boat home. She is not brand new, but new for us, as our old boat had been gobbled…

Florentine Salad

We were supposed to go to the opera today, to see Rigoletto. My husband, AKA The Boss, and I are both from Odessa, which means we are huge opera fans. When The Boss hears Verdi, he becomes ecstatic, and Rigoletto is on top of his favorite Verdi operas. You can imagine the anticipation building after…

Ukrainian Borsht for Sultana

I usually post this recipe around Chanukkah because having Ukrainian borscht on the table around Chanukkah has been our family tradition. I am breaking my own tradition, repeating it today, first of all, in honor of the International Women’s Day, and secondly, in memory of an extraordinary Ukranian girl, sometimes called a sixteen’s century celebrity….

Catherine the Great Needs a Diet (The Tsar Blini)

We are starting the Women History Month with an International Pancake Day. If there is a deep philosophical meaning to this coincidence, I fail to discern it, but here is a great woman who loved her pancakes. Well, she loved Tsar Blini, but blini is but a Russian version of pancakes, right? A petite, slender…

Raisins in the Pudding

I am repeating this post in honor of the Black History Month. Over forty years ago, as I landed in the U.S., I came across a short poem and was stunned by the powerful images: What happens to a dream deferred?Does it dry upLike a raisin in the sun?Or fester like a sore–And then run?Does…