From day one here we have had the pleasure of Aunt Baccha’s cooking. She is a dear woman who does not speak any English but we get by with the resources we have.
I have lost, temporarily, the choice of what and when I eat and for that reason the thrill we normally experience with eating a meal is gone. I do not want to diminish how delicious it all is, but our enjoyment has started to feel like pure gluttony at this point.
We are served 3 meals a day. Big meals. Let me elaborate ………
Begins with a huge, hot bowl of mush-- either oatmeal, pastina, wheatina, purina, rice, corn, or barley. All made with boiled milk and sugar.
Then there is always bread & butter, sometimes a big plate of sliced salami and cheese on the table or 6-8 pieces of French toast instead, made from day old bread.
We have had fried eggs a few times as well.
Chai (tea) at every meal.
Usually a hot bowl of soup with cabbage, potatoes, or barley and either chicken or beef thrown in. Then always another meat dish served over pasta, rice or barley. Each of us given a steaming plate that could easily serve both of us, with leftovers, and yet we usually finish our own plates because it’s so good.
A big plate of the tomatoes that Tom described yesterday at every meal, sliced with parsley, dill and salt.
Bread, again, a full plate.
Is a continuation of lunch, usually a new dish of the same quantity as lunch, with additional elements like meat dumplings or fried Kazakh breads stuffed with potatoes or egg salad with herbs. All very delicious.
A lot of onions are used in everything and the most popular dish is a brown rice dish with shredded carrots, oil and meat – called “
For all the other epicurians out there –I am just amazed at how many different dishes and tastes are created with the same simple ingredients. Foodies in the US are always searching for new elements to add to enhance flavor – where here it is almost always the same: Cabbage, carrots, onions, garlic, eggplant, potato, pasta, barley, meat. The use of oil as essential. Fresh breads bought daily, and dough made every few days for the specialty dumplings and stuffed breads. A few versions of what they call fresh salad and we would call a "slaw," each of which starts with shredded cabbage and then different ingredients are added to make the different varieties.
As for snacks – there is always a bowl left on the table with dried fruits, nuts and chocolates. I think fresh fruit is more of a treat and specialty. We have had oranges, apples and pears. At a party we had the other night the neighbors brought a watermelon which was a treat and devoured by all.
By the way………Veronika loves raisins and bananas but could care less about cookies. Takes one bite and puts it down. When I told that to Aidan – her reaction was simply—after a long pause-- “whoa.” It was if she was shocked at the very thought. Let’s see how long this lasts.