Trip to Russia. Day 5. Motley Crew Hits the Road. The Golden Ring  Fragments — Sergiev Posad, Kalyazin, Uglich,  Myshkin

Trip to Russia. Day 5. Motley Crew Hits the Road. The Golden Ring Fragments — Sergiev Posad, Kalyazin, Uglich, Myshkin

The business of renting a car in Moscow is not for the faint at heart. Last night, we tried so many different places, even Charlotte without much Russian found a few numbers to call. It seemed like car rental offices in Moscow did not have…

Trip to Russia. Day 4. Moscow. Down through the Underground to Not a Good Apartment

Trip to Russia. Day 4. Moscow. Down through the Underground to Not a Good Apartment

Fourth day was the day to take care of business and renew my papers. Most of it was spent in Soviet style offices waiting on line, curtsying, smiling, providing champagne and candy to grouchy officials who didn’t even notice me. Nothing changed in that department.…

Trip to Russia. Day 3. Moscow. Up North to the Soviet showcase. Back to the Boulevard Ring

Trip to Russia. Day 3. Moscow. Up North to the Soviet showcase. Back to the Boulevard Ring

When someone asks me about my roots, it feels odd to say I am from Russia. I am Russian but from the Soviet Union. To me, Russia before the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union, and Russia after the Soviet Union are three different countries. My…

Trip to Russia. Day 2. Moscow. Off to the left, through Sparrow Hills to the City.

Trip to Russia. Day 2. Moscow. Off to the left, through Sparrow Hills to the City.

“If you want to see a city like a local and understand it, visit a market, a train station, and a cemetery.”                                              …

Trip to Russia. Day 1. Moscow. Off to the right and through Gorky Park.

Trip to Russia. Day 1. Moscow. Off to the right and through Gorky Park.

“In Moscow, you’d sit in an enormous parlor of a restaurant where you don’t know anybody and nobody knows you and you don’t feel that you’re a stranger. And here, you know everybody and everybody knows you, and you’re a stranger, a stranger… and a…

Trip to Russia. Departure Day — Arrival Day. From Ridgewood to Moscow.

Trip to Russia. Departure Day — Arrival Day. From Ridgewood to Moscow.

We did get a few sympathetic words from friends about night flight hardships but it was our firm plan to fly a red eye. Direct. JFK to Moscow. Nine hours and some. Our plane was scheduled to take off after midnight NY time and land…

My way with beans

My way with beans

Ever since my first days in the United States, I have not been comfortable with food packed in bags. Not that I did not like it — I actually loved it.  But that food was intimidating — so new and different. When we were out…

That time we went to taste Queens

That time we went to taste Queens

— Did you tell her she can eat!?!? It was a little after 8 AM on a sunny April Sunday of 2009. I was upstairs in the bathroom getting ready. Downstairs, Tom caught our nine-year-old Lizzie sneaking cereal in the pantry. No, I didn’t tell…

CHILI VERDE AND J. KENJI LOPEZ-ALT

CHILI VERDE AND J. KENJI LOPEZ-ALT

My culinary romance with Christopher Kimball and Lynn Rosetto Kasper was going strong for years. We connected via podcasts during my morning runs on Saddle River Trail. Then, Christopher switched from America’s Test Kitchen to Milk Street and stopped talking for a while and Lynn retired…

A Taste from the Soviet Past: Salad Olivie

A Taste from the Soviet Past: Salad Olivie

As long as I remember, my mother made this salad for every New Year celebration. Even during late 80’s and early 90’s, when there was nothing in the stores besides cans of seaweed. And she made it for my birthday, and for my brother’s birthday,…