My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 7, Strudel.

This Sunday we start celebrating a series of holidays commonly called The High Holidays. In Yiddish, we simply say Yontoivim – The Holidays,  and everybody understands which holidays are meant. That’s because there are four holidays that follow each other not only on the calendar, but also in meaning and significance. In this chapter, you will see the…

My Grandmother’s Recipes: Part 3, Appetizers.

We are up to holiday appetizers and Part 3 of my story, Beautiful People (click for Part 1, Part 2, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7). 3. Hassidic Jews – from Hassidism, a religious movement originated in Southern Poland in 18th century 4. Reds – supporters of the Red (Bolshevik, later Communist) Army 5. Whites – supporters of the…

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…

The Scone of Stone

Again, I almost missed International Scone Week, and if not for lovely Carol of Retired? No one told me! I would not have known. Thank you, Carol, for keeping me informed! For reasons you already know, Beautiful People, this is yet another repeat. The Scone of Stone was stolen! It was stolen from the most…

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…