This summer party was a group effort – a beautiful backyard provided by our hosts, menu by A Global Garnish and food/drink contributions from all attendees. Don’t confuse this group effort with a potluck, which has the emphasis on luck. If you’re lucky, a potluck party will have a good distribution of appetizers, main dishes and desserts as well as a mix of ingredients/flavors. But why leave all this to chance?? If you give out menu assignments, you KNOW the final meal will all come together. Further, you save your guests the trouble of wondering: “what should I make?”. Continue reading
Summer solstice – time to enjoy the glorious evening daylight, the early summer climate, lush gardens and early seasonal produce. Could there be a better time for an outdoor party? My clever friends thought not. Continue reading
Memories can be tricky. My sister and I recently compared childhood memories only to find that, while some matched, many did not and a few were completely contradictory. So, when I returned to Morocco after a 40-year hiatus, I feared the food would not live up to my seemingly indelible memories of magical scents and flavors. I was wrong. It was better. Continue reading
“My Mojito in La Bodeguita, My Daiquiri in El Floridita.” … Ernest Hemingway.
La Bodeguita and El Floridita were favorite Ernest Hemingway haunts in Havana. If you’ve read anything by or about Hemingway, you won’t be surprised that he lingered as regularly as possible in the proximity of his favorite drinks. La Bodeguita was his place for Mojitos. Continue reading
Perhaps because it is so difficult for Americans to go there, I am fascinated by Cuba –with its rich history and culture. To gain access, Americans must get a license from the U.S. Treasury Department, and that license requires a specific purpose (e.g., journalism, charitable work, government business, etc). I haven’t applied for a license since I don’t think writing a food blog would qualify 🙂 Continue reading
Countries steeped in Eastern Orthodoxy celebrate Easter with glorious painted eggs and a traditional Easter buffet feast.
The eggs (pysanky) are quite an art form. The style of egg-painting is different in each country (Russia, Ukraine, Belarus et. al.), but perhaps the most beautiful are the Ukrainian batik (wax-resist dyed) eggs. Continue reading
Growing up in a Belarusian family, we always had Russian-style “fresh ham”, or Buzhenina, for Easter. It didn’t look or taste like most Easter hams, because it was a “fresh ham”. In which case, was it really a ham??? Continue reading
Most people who visit Ireland go to see castles, explore pretty coastal villages and eat hearty Irish meals, all of which was exactly what I had in mind on my first trip to Ireland. But I made the colossal error of asking my husband to plan our trip. So, we flew into Dublin and drove straight across the island to climb on rocks at The Burren. I was not entirely sure about all this. Continue reading
In the years before World War I, social unrest was escalating in Belarus, Russia. The Bolsheviks (precursor to the Communist Party of the Soviet Union) were gaining traction, and the economy was failing. Continue reading
Cooking lessons are so much fun. I still dust off some of my old lessons when asked or, occasionally, as donations to charity. So, when a friend asked to sell one of my lessons at a live charity auction, I was delighted. The lesson, “Stocks and the Five Mother Sauces”, was from my repertoire of tried and true lessons. I could teach it in my sleep. Piece of cake. Sure, I would be happy to donate the lesson.
Then came the surprise from the buyer: Continue reading