Book Review – Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya Von Bremzen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI picked up this book, like many of my book selections, thinking I could learn a bit more about Soviet food, culture and history than my limited Americana knowledge. This book might actually be even better to read if you have more than the basics on Soviet history. I’ll admit, I have read some Tolstoy, Anna Karenina and probably a cliff note or two on War and Peace, but many of the references might have more relevance if you’re past Soviet 101. The author dives very deep into history here, creating dinners with friends in the U.S. around meals that would have been served during a specific decade, an often around the leadership that was in place at the time. I felt like it was taking each leader by leader, history, food, personal memories and bread lines one decade at a time. It’s certainly was an interesting read, hard to follow at times and more than just a food memoir. It even prompted me to cook the beets that I photographed here. They didn’t turn into anything interesting though given the strong smell, that’s for a later date. Pirochki might have been the tastier option!

 

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Grandma’s Blackberry Pie – Brother’s version

My grandmother was known for her fresh berry and apple pies. She spent many hours in the woods just next to her NW home picking wild berries. The smallest blackberries were her favorite, with smaller seeds and a tart taste. We spent many years watching her in the kitchen making, not just one pie, but… 

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Book Review – The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

There is nothing better than finding a superior book. I felt like this when I finally discovered and read, The Help. It was on bestseller lists, but not yet a book that had reached the masses and “everyone” was reading. I picked up The Help several times at a bookstore and then set it back… 

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Book Review – My Berlin Kitchen: A Love Story (with recipes) by Luisa Weiss

How a hardback book turned into a paperback. Let’s just say, “I have a puppy.” He discovered “My Berlin Kitchen” on the counter one day and decided it was good enough to eat. In fact, this blog photo was taken with my iPhone, as I’m waiting for a new lens to arrive for the real… 

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Book Review – Travels with Myself and Another by Martha Gellhorn

Can you love and hate a book at the same time? I really love aspects of this memoir and yet, there were times I wanted to pull my hair out. It’s written by Martha Gellhorn, who is traveling to the far reaches of the world before travel was common and comfortable. She goes to China… 

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Scalloped Potatoes

Scalloped Potatoes   Print This is certainly not Gluten or Dairy Free which is more of the cooking I’m doing these days, but it’s a fantastic accompaniment to a celebration dish, especially Ham! I halved this recipe for the hubby and I, but this could have been just fine for four as well, we had… 

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Steamed Artichokes with Curry Dipping Sauce

    Steamed Artichokes with Curry Dipping Sauce   Print I have tried many times to steam artichokes with multiple failures. Finally, I can say that I have successfully conquered the artichoke! It took the right set up and a higher temp simmer. Maybe this is a minor victory in life and some of you… 

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Book Review – Food & Cooking Memoirs

I don’t think you have to be a “foodie” to love a great food or a cooking memoir. There is just something about food and how it connects us to life, culture and travel. From memories of grandma’s perfectly baked blackberry pie with flaky crust, to someone trying spicy Asian noodles from a street vendor… 

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