Monday Meal Review: Lithuania

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THE SCENE: We start off with twelve Lithuanian deviled eggs, more than enough for two adults and a toddler. We each eat one. Mine is gone in 2.8 seconds. Ava takes a minute to nibble on hers. Keith, a.k.a. Mr Picky, barely makes it. He shudders a little and holds his nose while he eats his egg, all in one bite because he simply can't bare to make it last any longer. This is serious work for him; hard-boiled eggs and mushrooms are two of his least favorite ingredients. Watching him … [Read more...]

Recipe: Roast Beet Slaw with Spicy Horseradish

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It may have happened when you were five. Or maybe, just maybe, not until today. Either way, this much I know for sure: there comes a time in every person's life when they come face to face with the mighty beet. Some will cower or run away, while others - like the Lithuanians, will chow down with enthusiasm. In this traditional slaw, roasted beets blend with tear-inducing horseradish and vinegar...creating a spicy, sour accompaniment that goes particularly well with beef and fish. P.S. Start … [Read more...]

Recipe: Pork Roast with Boozy Prunes

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Remember the Sunday afternoon roast? How, as it slowly sizzled and crackled in the oven, the most wonderful smell crept throughout the house until there was nowhere to hide, and you were so hungry you almost couldn't stand it? Eventually, playing outside was the only possible distraction. Even then the smell snuck out, through cracks in the wall, enticing you until you mysteriously found yourself infront of mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, just about anyone who would listen, asking "Is it ready … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lithuanian-Inspired Deviled Eggs with Mushrooms (with poll)

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Once, when I was in my first decade of life, I stared at a platter of chilled, "eyeball eggs," as I called them, and vowed to never, ever eat one. A temper tantrum may, or may not have been involved. Now, two decades later, here I am, on the other side of the fence, albeit somewhat mystified how it came to be that I now scan buffets for the little suckers. I think the name says it all; like the neighborhood bad boy, the deviled egg is a love-it or hate-it treat. And, as with wine and coffee, … [Read more...]

Recipe: Lithuanian Honey Spirits (Krupnikas)

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The holidays are over. We stuffed our wrapping paper back into the closet and swept the confetti into the trash, right on top of the party hats that say 2012. The cookies and the friendly buffets of family favorites are long since gone, replaced by soulless detoxes and way-too-skinny drinks. I know some of us are even thinking about spring - scanning the frozen ground, vainly hoping to see some stray spot of green, willing a warm gust of air to come our way, instead of a moveable wall of … [Read more...]

Menu: Lithuania

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The other day we took Ava on a hike in the woods and pretended we were exploring Lithuania. We brought a backpack to carry her when she got tired, which I expected to be about three minutes down the trail considering she's only 2 1/2. Fortyfive minutes later she was still happily scrambling over the trails. That day, Ava walked more than a mile; clearly I've been underestimating her tiny baby legs. Now she gets to walk a lot - I let her walk the half mile to the library, school and grocery … [Read more...]

About the food of Lithuania

Lithuanian town. Photo by E.Giedraitis

Every country is special. And I don't mean that in a trite way. Time and time again, this Adventure has shown me how every country has it's bragging rights. Well, it turns out lil' ol' Lithuania is literally the center of Europe. Not too shabby. Some French researchers figured it out (read more about how they determined this). So, this week, while we dive into the food of Lithuania, let's imagine ourselves perched atop a picnic blanket on that grey compass which marks this nexus of … [Read more...]