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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Food

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Diet Soda is Out

I knew it, I just knew it. After my doctor revealed that my new portion size is one-half of one carrot, with perhaps 1/4 of a brussel sprout thrown in for good measure, I could not find the most likely culprit hindering my Slim Jim makeover. A pile of spinach? A tiny tub of Greek…

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Monday Mottoes – #77

Food is a funny thing—can’t live without it, sometimes can’t live with it. Every other physical dependency one can kick either gradually or cold turkey. Food—not so much. It always amazes me concerning the regional proclivities of foodies. If you’re around the Boston area, there’s a Dunkin’ Donuts on every corner. In the southwest, you…

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Candy Store Mafia

My husband is Sicilian, not that he can help it. He’s not dark and swarthy, more brown hair and hazel eyes, and an all-round nice guy. But stereotypes die hard, as the rest of us from Russian backgrounds understand. He walked into a candy store the other day with a couple of our kids and…

sahleb

Steaming Sahleb

The mysterious hot sahleb drink is served on Middle Eastern streets throughout the freezing winter months. Often served in outdoor kiosks from large, silver, samovar urns, the drink approximates a pudding-like dessert created out of ground orchid root. You heard right. Orchid root. It’s a thick, fragrant drink that will warm you from the inside-out….

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Happy Italian Holiday Foods

Just when the family is deep into Hanukkah jelly donuts and potato latkes, Benedetto is directing us toward his compadre culture. It’s not like we celebrated any Italian Christmas traditions for the first 25 years of our marriage, however, the children may be spurring his walk down memory lane in the last decade. So here…

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Kitchen Heat at Hanukkah

I get it, I really do. Hanukkah, the Feast of Dedication, celebrates the cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem after foreign occupation. When it came time to light the menorah, oil that should have lasted one day lasted eight until more holy oil could be produced. So most every food during the eight days of…

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Where Have All Our Old Haunts Gone?

It’s the holidays and I’m feeling nostalgic. My kids are teens and old enough to understand that I had youthful traditions with my own mother once upon a time. I call a local department store that’s had an in-store café since the 1950s known for sky-high club sandwiches, delicate tea sandwiches, and luscious pies and…

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Monday Mottoes – #63

Cultural norms vary across the globe. Having lived a lot of life in foreign airport clubs, I can assure you that business people from different countries dress, behave, and follow alternate formats for getting to the bottom line: the making of a deal. I recall explaining to two colleagues at a “business lunch” how I…

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Sashenka Turns 14

Our youngest, daughter Sashenka, turned 14. It was a week fraught with giddy highs and skipping gait, along with sullen lows. Birthdays never used to do that to her, but as a Russian adoptee, I had heard of this behavior in so many others before. They rued the day they were born because apparently, it…

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Out to Tea

It’s been awhile since I took my two daughters out to a proper afternoon tea. This time, we decided to invite the whole family. Note to self: do not undertake a proper tea with white tablecloths, white-gloved wait staff, and gleaming silver serving pieces unless everyone is first properly rested. (Not a given in our…

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