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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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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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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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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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Women! Chefs! Sexism!

May 11, 2010
Lego woman chef figurine representing female chefs and sexism

Tired of hearing about gender bias (read: female chefs and sexism) in professional kitchens? That’s too bad, because the problem isn’t going away. Amidst the hubbub over the recent James Beard Awards, more than a few people noticed the nearly uniform lack of women on the winners’ list. Three out of 24, to be precise.…

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The kitchen-bot revolution 2—And a robo-chef in every kitchen

March 24, 2010
Cover for The I Hate to Cook Book by Peggy Bracken

(This is the second of two posts on “Mombot.” In my first post, I talked about the gender dynamics of kitchen-bots and found that there was surprisingly little to say about it, compared to other models of service robots that have been developed.) The New York Times headline that first grabbed my attention—“Just Like Mombot…

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The kitchen-bot revolution 1—this ain’t your mama’s kitchen

March 18, 2010
The Jetsons with their robot housemaid

(This is the first of two posts on “Mombot.” It may not be quite the gender apocalypse that is the catwalk fembot, but the possibility of a kitchen robot raises some interesting issues about who is, and who should, be doing the cooking in our sustainability obsessed food culture. The next post will be up…

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