Clarissa’s Organic Ratatouille

The ingredients in this ratatouille are without an exception fresh and organic (including the herbs). Here they are:


Young carrots, tomatoes, rutabaga, a couple of young potatoes, a pattypan squash, English peas, a baby turnip, butternut squash, a head of Boston lettuce, a kohlrabi, basil, chervil, oregano, savory, cilantro, garlic.

Dice the vegetables and add them to a pan with some olive oil beginning with the least soft vegetable. Add some water to cover the bottom of the pan. Gradually add the shredded herbs. Salt to taste. Everything should be sautéed very slowly for about 90 minutes.


It tastes phenomenal. And if somebody tells me this is unhealthy, I give up because I can’t do anything healthier.

Putin’s Anti-Semitism

So Putin decided to do something good and give a unique collection of books and documents called “Schneerson Library” to the Jewish Museum in Moscow. The Library represents a unique collection of Judaica that was nationalized after the 1917 revolution. After decades of state-sponsored anti-Semitism, this was a very positive move in the direction of acceptance of the few Jews who still mysteriously remain in Russia.

Of course, Putin wouldn’t be Putin if he didn’t spoil the moment with something egregiously stupid.

“Let’s remember,” he said in a speech that accompanied the gift, “that the first Soviet government was 85% Jewish anyways. Those Jews persecuted, killed and tortured everybody: the Russian Orthodox people, the Muslims, and fellow Jews.”

This is obviously a lie because out of the 15 members of the Soviet government that nationalized the¬†Schneerson Library only one was a Jew. But the old anti-Semitic trope of the October Revolution being a product of a Jewish conspiracy remains alive. Spain’s fascist dictator Franco loved this myth, so Putin is in a curious company on this issue.

Globalization Reaches the Midwest


N and I have this admittedly strange hobby where we stare at different kinds of alcohol and make fun of it. I know, it’s bizarre but everybody has some quirk or another.

So today we discovered this beer with a logo in Russian. And this is in a regular supermarket in a small Midwestern town.


A student writes:

I don’t think we will ever achieve any greater gender equality than what we have now. I’m not naive enough to believe that full equality can be possible. It is useless to expect women ever to enjoy an even playing field. Even what we have at this point in terms of equality is very likely to slip away.

This is very sad coming from a very young woman.