I am fascinated with Russian cooking and have MANY cookbooks in Russian. I study Russian as well as Russian culture, art, history, and humanities. I am aso a musician and play some good Louisiana Cajun music and love the food. I have been in Europe for 7 weeks in museums and eateries! From there, I learned to love to eat fresh mussels boiled nicely in large pots with a nice mixture of Belgian spices. I learned some French, Dutch, Belgian, German and Swiss cooking while I was there. I also learned to love pates but I can't eat much of them any more. I also spent 4 weeks in Phuket Island, Thailand and LOVE to cook and eat Thai food. I am also diabetic and have learned to modify my favorite wonderful foods with ALL of the flavor and texture of the original.
My favorite things to cook
In the winter, my favorite meal is good Russian borshch and pirozhki (beet soup and small hand held meat pies). It is warm, sticks to the stomach, and has a way to act like "comfort" food. I love to throw together traditional Irish scones ad tea (or even lattes) when people come over in the early morning or mid afternoon. I was raised by mid-western parents from southern Illinois (very close to and North of St. Louis). The food never was interesting and vegetables were way overcooked. However, my mother's potato salad can't be beat (made with sweet pickles and Miracle Whip) and I know how to make it. She also made a "hamburger pie" from scratch. Biscuits made by hand and hamburger in a cream sauce with spices and onions and the biscuits set on top fo the hamburger mixture in a large iron skillet and baked in the oven until the biscuits were "just right" and the hamburger in a nice, thick sauce.
My favorite family cooking traditions
My cooking triumphs
I prefer to just enjoy food day by day. I have not had any failures and mostly triumphs.
I did prepare an 8 course Russian dinner for 12, taking 2 days to prepare and to cook. Lots of vodka at the end. I did offer vodka before dinner, but I train people to drink it the "Russian" way and they would get drunk and not eat anything and pass out! What is the Russian way? Lots of vodka and zakuski (Russian appetizers that become the meal if eaten with vodka before dinner!). Vodka cooled for 24 hours in the freezer, small glasses filled for each toast. After the toast, one takes a deep breath first (so as not to aspirate on the vodka itself), tosses back the WHOLE glass, and then follows it with a zakuska. Takes only a few toasts of 100 proof Stolichnaya vodka to be at the "end of the line"!
My cooking tragedies
Had one Russian dinner for 6 that was my first at which the zakuski and vodka was the first course and I drank my guests and spouse under the table. We had 2 bottles to start and bought 2 more when the first one was gone! No one ate dinner at all!