State Department 

The State Department is being dismantled. Putin hates the State Department. 


Day 5 of Spring Break 

1. Successes: snoozed happily on the couch and finally came up with the proposal for an edited collection.

2. Failures: couldn’t resist the Soviet food and overate.

3. Read a ton.


I was so excited about all the food that I bought for the International Women’s Day that I decided to try a bit of everything to see what I wanted to serve during the celebration. 

Six hours later I still feel so stuffed from that “small” tasting that I can’t think about food. 

Happy Women’s Day!

I’m celebrating the International Women’s Day by sitting on the verandah with a book and a jug of orange juice while Klara sleeps in her pram next to me. These international women are having fun!

Don’t forget to celebrate today, even if it’s only a small celebration. 


Every time I approach the Global Foods store, I promise myself that I’d just get a few things. . . and then proceed to drag out half the store. Here are some of the things they have that I can’t resist:

1. Global Foods has the only kind of bread that I like. It’s black, very hard and chewy. It’s the only bread I could eat without giving myself an attack of hyperglycemia when I had diabetes and the doctor was making me eat bread. 

2. Huge and luxurious bunches of dill. It’s only here and at the Russian store that they have these fat and beautiful dill bunches. 

3. Gigantic choclos. The look of intense happiness on N’s face when he sees these choclos is worth taking the long trip to this store. 

4. Four varieties of Soviet marshmallows  (again, for N).

5. Tvorog for me. It’s a sort of an unsalted hard variety of cottage cheese, I guess. 

6. Pickled cabbage. I could easily make it at home but it stinks to high heaven for the 3 days you are making it, and at $2 a pound, it’s easier to buy it. 

7. The favorite Soviet staple called “Korean carrots.” I have no idea if Koreans actually eat it but there’s no Soviet feast without it. And N adores it. 

8. And, of course, a bunch of things our doctor would kill us if she saw us with them: all kinds of Soviet bologna (high cholesterol!), salted herring  (hypertension!), smoked fish (more hypertension!!). 

9. And since I was going completely nuts, I also got kilki and tushonka. 

10. I was extremely lucky this time around and snagged 3 jars of Ukrainian canned peas. They get bought the second they are brought in because they are so much better than local canned peas. They are not soft and mushy but of a harder kind. Perfect for Soviet recipes. 


“The Russian government is savoring the severe damage to America’s international image as a result of the tumultuous first weeks of the Trump administration’s tenure,” said Andrew Weiss, a former Clinton White House National Security Council official for Russian affairs.

“Savoring” is putting it mildly. Anybody with an ounce of warm feeling towards the US would cringe when seeing the explosions of joy that accompany every Russian newscast on “chaos” in US government. 

“And so the Republicans rolled out their own version of Obamacare but guess what? There is no support for it even within their own party!”

The newscaster laughs heartily, and a group of “experts” sitting in a circle around him say things like, “And this is their vaunted democracy! They can’t agree on anything! It’s nothing but chaos. And that’s the kind of system they wanted to impose on us? No, thanks!”