Thursday, August 14, 2008


I've been on a cooking kick as of late, trying to expand my cooking repertoire so as to go beyond the 10 things that I have grown accustomed to making. The inspiration came from my weekend excursion to the ever-appealing Coney Island (only 30 minutes from the apartment), which ended in a girl-scout expedition of sorts, as I impulsively decided to walk the subway route home instead of riding the subway back. Perhaps it was the guilt from eating a Nathan's hotdog that compelled me to walk. Nonetheless, my plan was to follow the tracks all the way home, as I had zero trust in my navigating abilities. The plan was quickly derailed, as I discovered that I had to cut through people's junk yards, circumvent major highways, and wade through large thickets of random itchy looking weeds. The ever trusty boyfriend, who has supreme confidence in his ability to find his way around, got us hopelessly lost (of course)! When we eventually found the subway station, we found that we only travelled about three stops in a span of an hour (see Sheepshead Bay Station, on your left). We got onto the train, resigning ourselves as directionally challenged, and after two stops, discovered there was a malfunction on a station further down, and thus we were going to be held in the station for an indeterminate amount of time. Having gotten some renewed energy from sitting around and waiting, we decided to give it another go at walking, and ended up going all the way home without getting lost again. On the way back from the station to home, we passed by a lot of Russian bakeries and grocery stores. We walked into one randomly (I was getting hungry from all of the walking), when I saw the huge pile of beets in the corner. For one reason or another (probably hunger), I was inspired to buy 5 lbs worth, to make what else: Borscht! The only time I ever had Borscht was in the Jewish part of our neighborhood, where I ate a lot of delicious things that I will never know the name or contents of, as no one there spoke English well enough to explain the food to me! With my trusty Joy of Cooking book bought from the great book store in NYC, I went about making my soup. By the end of it, my kitchen looked like a murder scene from all of the beet juice flying everywhere, but for a first attempt, it didn't taste as disasterous as I thought it might possiblity be. Not that I am an expert on Eastern European cooking by any stretch of the imagination... And although it looks a little gruesome to look at, it is full vegetable goodness and makes up for the fact that I have been eating nothing but Dove chocolate squares when I'm at work...

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