Merry Christmas!


This is how we do elegant dining. Stay tuned for a Soviet – style pig out on New Year’s.

11 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!

  1. Well, I said, “Merry Christmas!” last night — it’s a reasonable expression for this silly season, but I don’t want to wear it out.

    You want an elegant holiday recipe? 1. Take a 1 -1/2″ thick frozen filet mignon out of the refrigerator. 2. Put it in the George Foreman grill for 15 minutes. 3. Put it on a cheap plate (I only have two in the entire house — one for me and one for the cat). 4. Smother the steak in salt and pepper and A1 Steak Sauce. 5. Eat!

    Okay, for this last time this year: MERRY CHRISTMAS!


  2. Seems a suitable place to mention a book I just finished reading:

    “Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing” by Anya Von Bremzen

    It is not a classic, but a nice light read on the topic of interest to me. Of course, you know more about food in USSR, but she tells a story of her family too and some details could be new even to you. So, may be, you’ll be interested too:


    Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, naively joyous, and melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.

     Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR. Wildly inventive and slyly witty, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.


    1. Oh maaan, Juicy Fruit. I’m a ’90’s kid so Juicy Fruit was physically accessible, but I’ll forever have a soft spot in my heart for the Finnish dude who went on a seaside holiday in the same place my family did that one summer, and saw me staring at the icecream I wasn’t allowed to have because what if I get sick, so he told the waiters to tell my parents that I could have any icecream I wanted and he’d pay for it. I wasn’t allowed to go stare at icecream at all afterwards, (shaming the family and all), but I can still remember the taste of that one particular Juicy Fruit lemon ice I chose that one time.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.