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Stumbling into Syrian cuisine while searching for a Soviet-Russian seder tradition

April 7, 2017
Soviet-Russian seder traditions - Syrian Roasted Lamb Shanks recipe

It starts, as these things so often do, with food. My (non-Jewish) partner and I, recently reunited after a short separation, in the sad bachelor apartment where he had temporarily landed. Where familiar, lonely kitchen things still glared at me woefully, bereft of their mates that had landed up in my kitchen. Where we bumped into each…

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Russian Kompot: I’m probably doing it wrong (with recipe)

November 25, 2013
Russian kompot recipe

I finally made the kompot. What’s kompot? Russian kompot is essentially a homemade fruit juice. It’s been around for centuries and is popular in Russia and the former East Bloc. I only recently learned that what I always thought was kompot was actually compote, which is also made with cooked fruit, but has less liquid…

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Operatsiya Y: A Soviet movie flashback. With kompot!

November 21, 2013
Operatsiya Y Soviet movie - Operation Y with Shurik

Park yourself at a dinner table of Russians, and inevitably, as the eating part winds down and the drinks are doing their thing, someone says “And the kompot?” And everyone else laughs uproariously and the kompot rarely, rarely ever appears. It’s a line from an old Soviet movie. And, since it’s a line from every…

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When all is fleeting anyway, food becomes everything (Immigrant Decor Part 5)

August 4, 2011
Russian Salad Olivier - Russian version of potato salad

If I had a Russian food blog, it would be something like The Gastronomical Me, by Katrina K., a transplanted Russian who lives in London. And, if I loved in London, I would be crashing her monthly Soviet brunch club. As it is, I may have to start my own version in Toronto. In the…

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A suitcase full of matryoshkas and salami (Immigrant Decor Part 2)

July 15, 2011
Russian Matryoshka nesting dolls at the Ottawa Children's Museum

Today’s peek into the immigrant home comes from Anna Tarkov, a journalist and blogger from Chicago. She’s been published in the Chicago Tribune, Time Out Chicago, and others, and her blog, THE OUTSIDER… and the rueful dilettante, is full of insights on the state of journalism today. Though she left the USSR much later than…

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Soviet Georgian soup is reclaimed as Shabbat meal

May 9, 2011
Soviet soup pot for kharcho, a Soviet Georgian soup

Please check out my recent post on the Forward/Jew & Carrot blog, as part of their Shabbat meals series. Previous contributors include Claudia Roden, one of my kitchen heroes, and Joan Nathan, so I was very flattered to have my kharcho, a Soviet Georgian soup, included among such company. If you are Russian, then you…

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Still keeping your coffee in the freezer? Tut, tut

April 10, 2011
Map of Tim Hortons in Toronto

Breaking news, people. That coffee you’ve been storing in your freezer is really what’s wrong with society today. According to Coffee Common, a coalition of coffee roasters and farmers, based out of the US: Once more consumers understand that coffee shouldn’t be stored in their freezer like a bag of corn; it opens up the…

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Study says… "Blame mom!"

February 9, 2011
Obesity studies blaming mothers

Someone once told to me that denial is the cornerstone of civilization. Being a “glass is actually three-quarters empty” kind of person, I’m inclined to agree. And when denial meets obesity meets well-meaning studies, that glass is woefully empty. We are blessed to live in a time and place where we don’t have to scramble for every…

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Blah, blah, authenticity, blah, blah, shtetl

November 25, 2010
Food poverty and authenticity - woman on a bike in a modern-day shtetl in Ukraine

*This post has been updated.* Things recently noted on the food front, all courtesy of the New York Times… (The short version, if you don’t want to scroll down – we have issues around food poverty and authenticity.) Exhibit A GROWING up in Montreal, Noah Bernamoff had an issue with his mother’s kasha varnishkes. “My…

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Refusenik Documentary Screening Part 4: The Dinner, or Sausage Nostalgia

August 31, 2010

This is the last of my posts on the Refusenik documentary screening until I have video to post. Catch up on the earlier posts: Part 1: Defining Moments; Part 2: The Rescuers and the Rescued; and Part 3: We Weren’t All Refuseniks. To give you a sense of how this little event happened, it really…

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