Menu: Russia (with Double Giveaway)

There's a Russian proverb which states "The appetite comes with eating" (Appetit prikhodit vo vremya yedy). Sometimes, when trying new foods, we just have to dig in (especially - oh goodness - when it comes to trying caviar the first time). Only then can we know if we have an appetite for the new dish. Thanks Russia! We definitely used this advice this week. All recipes and meal review will be posted throughout the week. Pumpkin Olad'yi [Recipe] This is Russian breakfast at her best. Think … [Read more...]

About the food of Russia

River Angara at Talzy close to Lake Baikal. Photo by octagon.

Ava's been pointing to the giant orange mass on our world map lately and asking "are we eating that country tonight?" Each time I know without looking that she's pointing to Russia. She always is. To her little three year-old mind, there's nothing more enticing than the biggest country on the map (Russia is literally 1/8th of the world's landmass!). This week I can finally  tell her "yes." Russian food is simplicity itself. We're talking cozy staples designed to get people through … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Romania

httpv:// THE SCENE Pleasure is spread throughout the earth in stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find. (William Wordsworth) I spend hours daydreaming about other countries - about how beautiful they are, about the incredible food they eat. Every week I take my family to one of these countries via stovetop travel and we imagine the joy we'd have living life in those countries. But I'm increasingly uneasy with this set up. I've had trouble pinpointing my … [Read more...]

Recipe: Romanian Easter Bread | Pasca

In my dream Romanian house I am surrounded by tall, sunny windows overlooking cobblestone streets and green, leggy hills.  As I sit in a velvet window seat, I nibble copious amounts of Pasca, a traditional sweet bread enjoyed on Easter morning. The bread is filled with sweet cheese (think something like cheesecake) and sometimes raisins. Between bites, I sip a cup of steaming, hot tea. The nearby oven radiates gentle heat that drifts through the house and takes the chill out of the … [Read more...]

Recipe: Transylvanian Cauliflower Casserole with Cheese

I don't usually give a lot of thought to Dracula, except for that one era in the nineties when several movies came out and I read "Interview with a Vampire" in two and a half late-night sittings. For a long time afterwards my brain bore the imprint of fear. Do not leave the windows open in the glittering, eerie night,  a little voice told me. Whatever you do, sleep with garlic in close proximity - preferably around the neck, the voice added. (I would have done so, if it hadn't been so … [Read more...]

Recipe: Romanian Stuffed Cabbage Leaves (Sarmale)

Cabbage patch kids always seemed creepy to me when I was little. What kind of baby grows out of a cabbage? Could you still eat the cabbage once you harvested the baby? This doll raised lots of questions. Not to say this stopped me from wanting a cabbage patch doll more than Rainbow Brite leggings, because I did. The urge was major. Now that I am a couple (few) decades older, I know exactly what was going on - mostly because it's starting to happen with Ava. I wanted those dolls because all … [Read more...]

Menu: Romania (w/ Giveaway)


This weekend we bobbed for apples, did some yoga, and took a Sunday drive past acres upon acres of brown trees. They were mostly oaks, poised solemnly against the horizon, their branches nodding as if to say "It's 80 degrees in October. We give up." Other than a few spikes of golden yellow, fall seemed to have skipped over our annual 30 minute drive to the pumpkin patch. Considering we forgot to actually buy any pumpkins while there, I'm not sure what to make of our afternoon. One thing is … [Read more...]

About the food of Romania

Maps and flag courtesy of the CIA World Factbook. Photo of Beiuş, Romania by  Vertigoro.

Just two weeks ago our friend Marlin went to Romania, in a little spot near Transylvania. He came back with stories of a beautiful country working on unification. His words conjured up images of wagons, cobblestones, mud, and villages lost in time. In this country, one family might eat completely differently than another (surprisingly, there was no mention of vampire eating habits). Of course, it's not all countryside - there are also stone cities which look out sternly upon the streets. … [Read more...]