Alex’s Hobbies and Sushi Making

As I’ve mentioned before, Beautiful People, logistical considerations have prevented me from creating new posts. All will be revealed soon, I promised. Meanwhile, my funny and extremely creative son Alex stepped in with his own short story. Hobbies“When was the last time you had your eyes checked?” – Slava, my doubles partner, shouts at me.(And…

Secret Mango Flower Pie

Today is a National Mango Day, Beautiful People, so I am repeating one of my favorite dessert recipes. Flowers are not only pretty; they have meanings.  The language of flowers, sometimes called floriography, has been used throughout the ages to express messages of love, longing, happiness, desire, pity, and sometimes even suspicion and sarcasm. Although…

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…

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…

Leonardo Was a Blog-aholic (Sweet Potato and Spinach Bisque)

No, not Leonardo di Caprio; the real Leonardo, born in the little Italian village Vinci, the Renaissance Man. Since Internet did not exist, and neither did the blogosphere, he wrote – a lot, and on a multitude of subjects, including food. Had he thought of inventing it, together with a bicycle and a helicopter, he…

Let Them Eat… Potatoes!

From the Inca Empire to Queen Marie Antoinette of France, to the Russian patissiers (pastry chefs), traveled a simple vegetable, to be transformed into a delectable pastry. Here is this civilization which, starting in the early 13th century, in three hundred years grew into an immense empire and, by the time it was conquered by the Spanish,…

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…