To live, we must eat. Learning to eat with pleasure, then, is also a study in the enthusiastic appreciation of life itself, in all its textures and varieties. With this blog, I hope to inspire the pursuit of happiness through simple food-related pleasures like a meal cooked at home, a trip to the farmers’ market, or a dinner enjoyed with friends.
I grew up in Minnesota, where I developed a deep affection for Scandinavian-American farm cooking (from my own family’s traditions) and the foods of the Russian Jewish diaspora (that I ate at friends’ houses). I delighted in the offerings of Minneapolis’ ethnic markets, from spongy Ethiopian injera bread to Chinese sea-buckthorn juice, and longed to travel the world in search of ever more exotic flavors.
Studying in Russia during and after college, I hunted for porcini in the foothills of the Caucasus, sipped salty milk tea in Siberia, and learned to chase vodka with pickles. A short stint as a WWOOFer on a permaculture-based vegetable farm in Vermont convinced me that garden-fresh tomatoes (or the promise of them come summer) are a necessary ingredient to happiness. I returned to the Caucasus in 2010, this time to Georgia, where I taught English in exchange for lessons in wine-making, cheesebread-baking, and feasting.Now I’m in Washington, DC, cooking, eating, writing, and eagerly awaiting my next trip.