Pickled green

Sometimes, there is just too much perfection in my life. After a brilliant day at the beach for work, I braved the deepest depths of Brooklyn for a brilliant evening at Olga‘s house for play.


OK, perhaps I [happily] brave Brooklyn on a daily basis since I live there and all, but Olga’s parents have an apartment that is connected to a rare patch of NYC wilderness, complete with countless tomato plants and other verdant greens. Some of that vegetation made its way onto our balcony dinner table, courtesy of three generations of Martha Stewart Olga, her mom, and her grandma.


Olga and the ladies of her house had invited Vani and me over for an authentic Eastern European feast. When I arrived on Tuesday night and saw the spread awaiting us, I sort of thought I was the luckiest girl in the world.

To begin, Olga set us up with a meal’s worth of appetizers. We had garden tomato and basil salad with brinza cheese:


Half-sour pickles and more fresh tomatoes:


Pickled herring with seaweed and cranberries:


And special Russian juice of a flavor I can’t recall (or decipher):



I was quite satisfied with the spread as it was, but then Olga’s mom kept materializing with more food!!

Warm blintzes with red caviar:


And brown bread:


And homemade pickled tomatoes:


My beautiful, fresh plate:


I obviously had seconds of everything …

As I explained to Olga, I had never really given any thought to Russian food. This meal turned my thinking around — little did I know it had hardly begun! The next course was grandma’s famous borscht:


(Even though there’s no sour cream in the picture, you can bet I heeded the instructions of the ladies and added in a healthy mound!)

And grandma’s famous cabbage pierogies:


(same deal on the sour cream)

At this point, I was ready to be carted away since I was quite sure my legs could not support the weight of my belly … but it was time for dessert:


Olga’s mama brought out a giant thermos of tea which I elegantly enjoyed with almost an entire loaf of poppy seed danish and Russian tea cookies:


This poppy seed bread was amaaaaazing. I kept tearing the pieces apart and eating all the poppy seed paste … and then not wanting to waste the delicious sweet bread part and eating that, too.

While the three of us desserted, we watched this spider spinning a web that was almost as detailed and intricate as the gossip we had to share:


Olga, thank you for an awe-inspiring meal and hours of your company! Come back from MA soon. We miss you! (And in the meantime, let your parents know that I’ll be stopping by for dinner tonight and every night around 7pm. They won’t be able to get rid of me now :-P)

Have you discovered an appreciation for any new cuisine lately?

6 thoughts on “Pickled green

  1. katecooks says:

    what a gorgeous meal! i love getting to experience “new” cuisines. i recently discovered a love for indian food and am totally hooked. where has it been all my life?! your pictures are giving me a major craving for some potato pierogies 🙂


  2. verbalriot says:

    🙂 I’m so glad you guys came over and enjoyed everything! I miss you too guys!!!

    And we’ll totally do this again. I think my parents are making something delicious for dinner tonight, do feel free to step by 😉


  3. Gina says:

    Wow, that’s a giant pickle!! and so green too, it looks perfect. I’ve never had caviar, it looks so strange, I jsut can’t imagine eating it but I know it’s supposed to be really good.

    I have found a new love for Indian food, as my friend SMita has had me over a couple times and has made the BEST Indian meals for us!


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