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|Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing
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Author: Anya Von Bremzen
Brand: Brand: Crown
A James Beard Award-winning writer captures life under the Red socialist banner in this wildly inventive, tragicomic memoir of feasts, famines, and three generations
Born in 1963, in an era of bread shortages, Anya grew up in a communal Moscow apartment where eighteen families shared one kitchen. She sang odes to Lenin, black-marketeered Juicy Fruit gum at school, watched her father brew moonshine, and, like most Soviet citizens, longed for a taste of the mythical West. It was a life by turns absurd, naively joyous, and melancholy—and ultimately intolerable to her anti-Soviet mother, Larisa. When Anya was ten, she and Larisa fled the political repression of Brezhnev-era Russia, arriving in Philadelphia with no winter coats and no right of return.
Now Anya occupies two parallel food universes: one where she writes about four-star restaurants, the other where a taste of humble kolbasa transports her back to her scarlet-blazed socialist past. To bring that past to life, Anya and her mother decide to eat and cook their way through every decade of the Soviet experience. Through these meals, and through the tales of three generations of her family, Anya tells the intimate yet epic story of life in the USSR. Wildly inventive and slyly witty, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking is that rare book that stirs our souls and our senses.
Q&A with Anya Von Bremzen
Q. One of your reasons for writing this book was your feeling of leading a double life as a food writer. Can you explain?
A. When I started my career in the early 90s, after emigrating in the 70’s, the Soviet drama of putting food on the table was still fresh. Whenever I ate at a fancy restaurant for my work, I felt pangs of guilt about all my family struggling back in Moscow. Over time Russia became a wealthy country, but I continued to be haunted by a sense that behind everything I ate professionally lay another reality: a shadow of our collective Soviet trauma. Something deeper, more existential, and related to food. This haunting, complicated past, bottled inside of me, finally had to come out.
Q. What surprised you most, writing the book?
A. What I've come to call the “poisoned madeleine” factor. We lived in a state where every edible morsel was politicized and ideologized. And most of our food was produced by the state my mother had reviled and fled. And yet we experience a powerful bittersweet nostalgia for those “poisoned” flavors. The complexity and contradiction of this longing is what I explore in the book. Over pages eating becomes almost a metaphor for ingesting ideology—and for resisting it.
Q. Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking tells your story, but also the story of three generations of your family. How did you research their experiences?
A. My mother has an almost uncanny recall of her emotional life, starting from her earliest childhood—back when she was an alienated sensitive kid in the totalitarian frenzies under Stalin. Her feeling of being a “dissident-born,” always at odds with Soviet society, has been an incredibly powerful trope for this book. My dad, on the other hand, remembers perfectly all the small physical details: what vodka cost in 1959, for example. And my grandparents were great raconteurs. Even after they were long gone their stories lived on.
Q. You describe, to sumptuous effect, Russian literature’s obsession with food. Who are your favorite Russian authors?
A. I love most the satirical strain in Russian literature. As much as I venerate Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, it’s Nikolai Gogol, that gluttonous hypochondriac, who’s my guy. Gogol is amazing—delicious!—on food. His Dead Souls essentially chronicles one grifter’s journey from dinner to dinner through the vast Russian countryside.
Q. You’ve spent time in the new Moscow over the last few years. How would you describe contemporary Russian food culture?
A. The last chapter of the book is ironically titled “Putin’ on the Ritz.” That pretty much sums it up. Foie gras and burrata, sushi flown in from Tokyo—it's all there for comrades with serious rubles. And yet, at the same time, there’s this astonishing wave of Soviet nostalgia! Even oligarchs are pining for the mayonnaise-laden salads and kotleti (Russian burgers) of our shared, vanished socialist childhoods.
Q. How did the work of cooking change over time for Russian women?
A. That’s an arc I lay out in the book. The pioneering Bolsheviks of the 1920s wanted to liberate women from domestic chores—and so both my grandmothers were lousy cooks! But the Bolshevik feminist project failed, and by the next decade, under Stalin, Soviet women got stuck where they remained—carrying the infamous “double-burden” of a job and housework. Still. In a society with so much cultural control, some women of my mother's early 60’s generation found personal self-expression in cooking. Now with the avalanche of chichi prepared food at Russian supermarkets, cooking is strictly a matter of choice.
Q. What was the first dish you remember learning?
A. When I was a kid of five, Mom and I lived on one ruble a day—poverty even by Soviet standards. When we completely ran out money Mom would make fried eggs over stale black bread cubes. I watched her make it so many times I could do it blindfolded. And it's still one of my favorite dishes.
Q. What is your favorite dish to cook with your mother?
A. Each chapter of the book has us obsessing about something different—a new “project.” The sumptuous kulebiaka from the pages of our beloved Chekhov drove us crazy but turned out incredibly. And both Mom and I love the spicy exotic flavors from the ethnic rainbow of former Soviet ethnic republics. Chanakhi, a Georgian lamb stew with tons of herbs (Stalin's favorite dish incidentally) is something we cook a lot.
- Used Book in Good Condition
|Estonian Tastes & Traditions
Lowest new price: $12.86
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Author: Karin Annus Kärner
Brand: Karner Karin Annus
The cuisine of Estonia, the northernmost of the Baltic nations, is little known outside the country s borders. Simple and satisfying, the cuisine is based on such staples as potatoes, pork, preserved fish, and dark bread. Sauces are made from milk, sour cream, or cottage cheese and the main flavorings are salt and pepper, onions, and fresh herbs. Estonians still observe the old culinary traditions. Christmas Eve (Jõululaupäev) is still celebrated with roast pork (seapraad), blood sausage (verivorstid), sweetbreads (magussaiad), and gingersnap cookies (piparkoogid). Visitors are welcomed with a coffee table (kohvilaud) of open face sandwiches (võileivad), filled turnovers (pirukad), and sweets such as cheese Danish (mulgikorp) and cakes (koogid). This comprehensive book contains more than 150 traditional and modern recipes, all designed for the modern kitchen with readily available ingredients. Additionally, extensive historical and cultural information and an Estonian-English/English-Estonian glossary of culinary terms are included.
- Estonian Tastes Traditions
|The Veselka Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from the Landmark Restaurant in New York's East Village
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Author: Tom Birchard
Brand: Brand: Thomas Dunne Books
For more than fifty years, customers have crowded into Veselka, a cozy Ukrainian coffee shop in New York City's East Village, to enjoy pierogi, borscht, goulash, and many other unpretentious favorites. Veselka (rainbow in Ukrainian) has grown from a simple newsstand serving soup and sandwiches into a twenty-four-hour gathering place, without ever leaving its original location on the corner of East Ninth Street and Second Avenue. Veselka is, quite simply, an institution.
The Veselka Cookbook contains more than 150 recipes, covering everything from Ukrainian classics (potato pierogi, five kinds of borscht, grilled kielbasa, and poppy seed cake) to dozens of different sandwiches, to breakfast fare (including Veselka's renowned pancakes), to the many elements of a traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve feast.
Veselka owner Tom Birchard shares stories about Veselka's celebrity customers, the local artists who have adopted it as a second home, and the restaurant's other lesser-known, but no less important, longtime fans, and he offers a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to serve five thousand gallons of borscht a year and to craft three thousand pierogi daily---all by hand.
The Veselka Cookbook will delight anyone with an interest in Ukrainian culture, New York City's vibrant downtown, and the pleasures of simple, good food.
- Used Book in Good Condition
|Art of Lithuanian Cooking
Lowest new price: $6.64
Lowest used price: $2.96
List price: $14.95
Author: Maria Gieysztor de Gorgey
Brand: Brand: Hippocrene Books
"Art of Lithuanian Cooking is a culinary showcase of palate-pleasing regional delights." --The Midwest Book Review "Here is a collection of Lithuanian recipes that will be welcome on any table." --The International Cookbook Revue This favorite Hippocrene cookbook includes over 150 authentic Lithuanian recupes such as "Fresh Cucumber Soup," "Lithuanian Meat Pockets," "Hunter's Stew," "Potato Zeppelins," as well as delicacies like "Homemade Honey Liqueur," and "Easter Gypsy Cake." The author's introduction and easy step-by-step directions ensure that even novice cooks can create authentic, delicious Lithuanian recipes.
- ISBN13: 9780781808996
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
|Russian Cuisine: Traditional and Contemporary Home Cooking
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Author: Maria Depenweiller
Discover the fascinating details of Russian history, culture and eating habits and enjoy the tasty delights of the vast country that spans through 11 time zones and brings together more than 180 ethnic groups.
Detailing the evolution and development of traditional Russian cooking, this book gives a better understanding of the foods that are now known as classical Russian dishes. Through the words of native Muscovite, Maria Depenweiller, who was born and raised in Moscow before immigrating to Canada, Russian Cuisine: Traditional and Contemporary Home Cooking covers not only Russian cooking methods such as the Russian oven samovar, but also the impact of Russian politics on its food.
The Soviet Revolution impacted Russian eating habits.
Or how the Russian tea drinking tradition got started.
Learn about the home cooking of the Russian Empire and try schi and rasstegai.
Delight your guests with marvelous assortment of zakuski or ant hill torte from the classical Soviet cuisine.
Complete the experience with suggested reading from the literature Russian classics and music accompaniment to match the mood.
From table settings, to backyard gardens and pantry items, this book teaches you everything you need to know about Russian food.
|Russian, German & Polish Food & Cooking: With Over 185 Traditional Recipes From The Baltic To The Black Sea, Shown Step By Step In Over 750 Clear And Tempting Photographs
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|An authentic and inspiring collection of Eastern European recipes, from Russian Borshch and Salmon Julebyaka to Stollen, Lebkuchen and Apple Strudel.|
- Polish & Russian: The Classic Cookbook: 70 Traditional Dishes Shown Step By Step In 250 Photographs
- Grandma's German Cookbook
- Recipes from My Russian Grandmother's Kitchen: Discover the rich and varied character of Russian cuisine in 60 traditional dishes
- The Food and Cooking of Eastern Europe: Discover The Cuisine Of Russia, Poland, Ukraine, Germany, Austria, The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria And The Balkans
- The German Cookbook: A Complete Guide to Mastering Authentic German Cooking
- Mamushka: Recipes from Ukraine and Eastern Europe
- Authentic Polish Cooking: 120 Mouthwatering Recipes, from Old-Country Staples to Exquisite Modern Cuisine
- The New German Cookbook: More Than 230 Contemporary and Traditional Recipes
- The Czechoslovak Cookbook: Czechoslovakia's best-selling cookbook adapted for American kitchens. Includes recipes for authentic dishes like Goulash, ... Torte. (Crown Classic Cookbook Series)
- Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernüsse to Streuselkuchen
|Classic Recipes of Russia: Traditional Food and Cooking in 25 Authentic Dishes
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Author: Elena Makhonko
|This wonderful collection of recipes features some of the varied delights of Russian cuisine, from warming soups, filling dumplings and spicy pastries to irresistible stroganoffs and desserts. Tempting photographs of every finished dish are sure to inspire.|
|Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' "A Gift to Young Housewives"
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Author: Elena Molokhovets
Brand: Elena Molokhovets
Joyce Toomre... has accomplished an enormous task, fully on a par with the original author’s slave labor. Her extensive preface and her detailed and entertaining notes are marvelous." ―Tatyana Tolstaya, New York Review of Books
Classic Russian Cooking is a book that I highly recommend. Joyce Toomre has done a marvelous job of translating this valuable and fascinating source book. It’s the Fanny Farmer and Isabella Beeton of Russia’s 19th century." ―Julia Child, Food Arts
This is a delicious book, and Indiana University Press has served it up beautifully." ―Russian Review
... should become as much of a classic as the Russian original... dazzling and admirable expedition into Russia’s kitchens and cuisine."―Slavic Review
It gives a delightful and fascinating picture of the foods of pre-Communist Russia." ―The Christian Science Monitor
First published in 1861, this "bible" of Russian homemakers offered not only a compendium of recipes, but also instructions about such matters as setting up a kitchen, managing servants, shopping, and proper winter storage. Joyce Toomre has superbly translated and annotated over one thousand of the recipes and has written a thorough and fascinating introduction which discusses the history of Russian cuisine and summarizes Molokhovets’ advice on household management. A treasure trove for culinary historians, serious cooks and cookbook readers, and scholars of Russian history and culture.
- Classic Russian Cooking Elena Molokhovets A Gift to Young Housewives
|The Ultimate Russian Cookbook: Amazing Russian Food Recipes for the Soul
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Author: Daniel Humphreys
"The Ultimate Russian Cookbook - Amazing Russian Food Recipes for the Soul" is truly the best and most interesting cookbook ever!
You won’t find anything similar on the market! It’s the most exciting and amazing cooking journal dedicated to the Russian cuisine.
It was specially developed to reach everyone’s hearts. It will make you fall in love with this delightful international cuisine and it will guarantee your success in the kitchen.
Learn how to combine ingredients, flavors and textures. Learn how to make authentic Russian dishes. Just imagine how impressed everyone around you will be when you make Abzhorka, Ajepsandal or the world famous Vinaigrette salad, a true Russian beets borscht, pickled salmon or the sweet and tasty Gogol Mogol.
It sounds really amazing, doesn’t it?
Make sure you get your hands on this special cookbook which is exactly what you need in your life right now. The Ultimate Russian Cookbook - Amazing Russian Food Recipes for the Soul It’s about time you changed the way you cook. It’s time you changed your ordinary meals into real culinary experiences.
This cooking journal will help you!
Just start cooking the Russian way!
|Cooking in Russia - YouTube Channel Companion
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Author: Greg Easter
Brand: Easter Greg
The author shares over 40 years of his experience with professional tips and trade secrets, as well as a fascinating history of Russian cuisine explained for the first time in English. This is a comprehensive guide to more than 150 instructional cooking videos on YouTube by the author from around the world, as well as additional recipes and methods never before revealed.
- Cooking in Russia Youtube Channel Companion
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