There’s a very enjoyable read on The Bedside Table right now. Here’s a line or two to whet your appetite:
Men often treat women worse than animals: in ……. where women travel by car more frequently than by donkey, I once saw a man first stuff two sheep into the back seat of a taxicab and then stuff two women into its trunk.
And appetite is important, for there are recipes; it’s how our author remembers the people and the places, making the food she enjoyed in their hospitality. And she’ll make that food in her mother’s dacha outside St Petersburg, or at home in Massachusetts. Here’s the ingredients for one memory:
For the dough: 8 cups all-purpose flour; 3 teaspoons salt
For the split-pea sauce: 1 cup dried yellow split peas; 2 teaspoons ground coriander; 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; 3 cups water or broth
For the yogurt sauce: 1.5 cups plain yogurt (non-fat, any style); 4 teaspoons chopped fresh mint; 4 medium cloves garlic (crushed)
For the stuffing and meat sauce: 1 tablespoon olive oil; 2 pounds minced beef (or 1lb beef and 1lb lamb); 4 medium onions (chopped); 2 carrots (peeled & grated); 2 tablespoons salt; 1 teaspoon black pepper; 1 tablespoon ground cumin; 1/2 cup chopped cilantro; 1/2 cup chopped parsley; 2 tablespoons tomato paste; 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
So, you’ll be salivating then? I know I am, just typing the list. But then I’ve read the instructions as to what to do with these assorted goodies. And more importantly I’ve read the context of how our author enjoyed the food, and who served it.
I’ll tell you more of the book soon, and finish the recipe for you. Before you do I may even have attempted to make and enjoy some Mantwo.
Our author is one whose work I enjoyed immensely last year, my Book of the Year in fact. Russian, ethnically Jewish, and taking news of some troubled places to the delis of San Francisco. It’s hard to imagine her in camouflage fatigues or burqa, both together even; far less sporting a crew cut. I’m enjoying every word of the pictures she paints, as well as the picture itself. More later.