Smashing Cucumbers

Once again, our gracious host Renard of https://renardsworld.wordpress.com published my guest post: This marvelously smashing story starts in the very beginning of twentieth century, when a U.S. naval officer Pinkerton, stationed in Nagasaki, Japan, temporarily marries a lovely fifteen-year-old Japanese girl Cio-Cio-san. Her name means Madam Butterfly, and Giacomo Puccini’s opera is called, in Italian, Madama…

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…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 8, Quinoa Pomegranate Salad.

This post takes us to the last two of the four holidays: Sukkot (Sukkos) and Simchat Torah (Simhas Torah). It also concludes my story with the celebration of Simhas Torah in Moscow Synagogue. *20. Leader of All Peoples – one of the multitude of epithets Stalin constructed to refer to himself. *21. The Big Brother of All Workers – see *20. *22. Expert of All…

Hello, Ovid! Я вам не скажу про всю Одессу…

I am only doing a bi-lingual post twice: as they say in Odessa, “the first time which is already the last.” I am only doing it because of a phenomenal blogger and a wonderful blogofriend Brigitta Moro who magically blogs in Russian and Ukrainian and who has shared very thorough, research-based information about April 1 right…

Ponce de Leon, Diamond Lil, and the Secret of Eternal Youth

There is a quaint little town on the East Coast of Florida called St Augustine. It is considered the oldest continuous European settlement in the continental United States. But that’s not what makes it famous. Tourists flock to St Augustine because they are dying to stay young forever. According to the official Fountain of Youth…

Vinaigrette – a Russian Winter Salad

He is called Father Frost or General Frost. He lives in Russia, and he could be very cruel, especially to those who do not show proper respect to him. He has defeated many invaders, from the khans, to Napoleon, to Nazi Germany. He likes to decorate fields and forests, covering them in pristine snow and…

Anything You Can Get Away With, Including Quinoa and Kale

When Oscar Wilde, at the age of 36, published his one and only novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, society was disturbed and the press was outraged. “Unclean”, “poisonous”, and “heavy with the mephitic odours of moral and spiritual putrefaction,” pontificated The Daily Chronicle. In the midst of the strait-laced Victorian age, Wilde calmly responded,…

Mangold Pasta – Feel Like a Roman

I like browsing through recipes online, especially Russian and Ukrainian ones where I sometimes derive comfort from finding old favorites and often learn something new. That’s how one day I came across Mangold Salad. It looked interesting, so I googled it – in English. According to Wikipedia, it was simply Swiss chard. Back to the…