Month: November 2012

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Pumpkin Olad’yi

Sometimes it’s hard being a mom. Take this week, for example. People I don’t even know have been throwing candy at my daughter from giant parade floats. They call it Halloween, but I call it “the reason why my daughter is still awake an hour and a half past her bedtime, thrashing around like a junkie in withdrawal.” You see, I don’t let Ava eat all her candy in one sitting. She gets a couple of pieces at snack time for a few days in a row. That’s it. Any candy that remains gets donated to the Laura Dester Shelter, for kids in crisis situations. Ava’s reward for sharing? A fun adventure to either Incredible Pizza or the Zoo. Her choice. All this to say that Ava clearly hasn’t consumed a ton of candy but what she has eaten went straight to her crazies. Now is the time for something wholesome. Something nutritious. Something unabashedly Russian to sort her out. Enter Pumpkin Olad’yi. It’s practically science: whenever I mention Russian food, 9 out of 10 people suggest we try …

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Russian Potato Salad | Olivier Salad

Winter doesn’t just bite in Russia. It eats you alive. In the far east of this great nation, temperatures can actually drop to -95F. In the west, things are nearly so dire – winter might only drop to -22F (!), with occasional warm spurts in past years reaching 50F. 50F isn’t so bad. But the rest? Yikes. By the time New Year’s Eve comes, Russians are ready to break up the monotony with a blast of soul-warming comfort food. Major. Everyone tells me New Year’s Eve in Russia wouldn’t be complete without a scoop of Olivier Salad (and the same goes for weddings, Christmas, and just about any other festive occasion). It’s the “go to.” And by New Year’s Eve, I mean both of them. There’s the classic December 31/January 1 New Year’s Eve. Then, two weeks later is round two, a.k.a. “Old New Year’s Eve” on January 14th, which hails from the Orthodox calendar. P.S. Between the two? Russian Christmas falls on January 6th. Don’t think of it as complicated. Think of it as …