Monday, August 22, 2011

I'm Cooking Again

When I was in Ukraine, living with Luba on Panfelova, I didn’t cook at all. She was queen of the kitchen, a great cook. She always served fresh produce from her garden, and made wonderful soups, borsch, varenyki,
Easter bread, salads. In winter we had her wonderful preserved fresh vegetables and fruits.

I did try cooking a meal once. Thought I'd surprise Luba. Alas, my attempt at lemon chicken was less than splendid. Neither she nor her son Sergei (at home at the time) liked it much, though they were polite. I think it just confirmed to them that Amerikankas can't cook! That was it for my cooking debut.

When I moved over to Natalia’s on Kyrova, in the center of town, I told her I'd do my own cooking. She just looked at me and smiled. My efforts didn't last long. Maybe a few weeks. Natalia always had food in the fridge and on the stove, enough
to feed an army, and urged me to eat it. How could I refuse? I remember the fresh pork from those cute little pigs that Tonya raised on her farm. Best pork ever. So I hardly ever cooked
at Natalia’s either.

Now it’s a different story altogether.

I am shopping and cooking a lot, mostly for my kids and grandkids. Doing some gardening, too. Michelle and Chase got home from the hospital yesterday (at last!) and I brought over a meal. Good excuse to see the baby! The grandkids pop in frequently, so I always have something for them, pasta salad is a favorite, and spaghetti. I have meat in the freezer. Always have milk, cereal, bread and snacks. I even bought ready-made cookie dough, just in case. The kids love baking.

I am cooking again. Taking a lesson from Luba and Natalia, I go to our little apartment household garden and pick tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. The basil, parsley and rosemary are fantastic. I mix up a good meal. I’m checking out new recipes. My granddaughter Alli saw a PETA documentary on cruelty to animals, burst into tears, and has become a vegetarian. I went to Borders (going out of business sale, sadly) and bought some vegetarian cook books. I’m cooking up a storm. Luba and Natalia would be surprised!

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