Monday, August 22, 2005

Oh, so good…

Have you ever had fresh, home made pita bread? I think we all forget sometimes what things are really supposed to taste like.

Why am I talking about this? Well, we did some cooking today. We had the time and specifically we had some cool ingredients to work with. Mostly it was my idea but I do not have the cooking skills that Tatyana has so we sort of ganged up on two projects and the results were just too fabulous. We just finished dinner and the two of us are simply glowing right now.

The idea of the pita bread came from the internet. I was hunting for some cool vegetarian recipe sites trying to find something interesting to do with some of the things we are harvesting. I think I was looking specifically for zucchini stuff because we got kilos of them. Anyway, I found a recipe and in reading it I realized that you do not need an oven to make them. Our burners work you see, but the oven doesn’t. Well, it works but there is an unfixable gas leak in it and if we did try to fire it up the explosion would probably take out most of the building we live in so we don’t. But as far as stove top cooking goes we do have a couple of really nice iron skillets and my thinking was that these might work just fine. I mean, we can cover them, and as pita breads only require 2-5 minutes of cooking time, this seemed to me to be a good possibility. And as it turned out, it was.

Normally we buy our bread from across the street at the bread shop. There we can get a reasonable assortment of inexpensive table breads; some good ‘Russian’ black rye of course as well as some white breads known as bulka or baton. It is not bad. Passable might be a good word. And it is cheap. I think black bread these days’ costs about 900 rubles which is… let me got the calculator… about 42 cents. Not bad.

But it was nothing compared to the taste of those pitas. Damn… I got to tell you; we are speaking of gifts from G-d time here. We stuffed them with some zucchini and green tomatoes we sautéed with some garlic and onion and topped with some sour cream. Everything right from the garden as of yesterday.

But it was this condiment that we made that was the real show stopper: Apple jalapeño jelly. Folks, you have to know. I mean, you really have to know… I almost melted the first time I tried a spoonful and Tatyana made this sexual noise the first time she tasted a finger dip of the stuff. Your taste buds are simply not prepared for it. I think that Tatyana was really worried about our peppers because she had heard from somebody that if you plant your sweet and hot peppers together, the sweet peppers get hot. I think that she thought that it had something to do with pollination. But I did not find that this was the case and our sweet peppers and our hotties all turned out the way that they were supposed to. And, those hot peppers?! Wahoo Baby!! And when they are mixed together with…

No, I am not going to give you the recipe.

Ok, I might give you the recipe but you have to beg me or send us some money or give me a publishing deal for the first book or the new book. Or maybe buy the film rights from me or agree to play Pod Kablukom. Something, I don’t know what but it had better be big because this jelly… You have got to know. Really, it is sooooooo good. You really have got to know…

Anyway, I have been tooling around with the site lately. I really don’t know what I can do to make it better, but I am working on it, changing something and moving stuff around. I am also, as far as writing goes, getting deeper into the second book. A difficult task. Much more difficult than the first one was. I think that everyone has these same problems with a second book. Hemingway mentioned this in ‘Fiesta’ through Robert Cohn and he was right again. He also talked about things that are daunting. I am learning this word right now. I have too much work to do and actually it is pretty daunting. “Ought not to daunt you. Never be daunted.” claimed Bill Gorton as he and Jake walked the streets of Paris “Secret of my success? Never been daunted. Never been daunted in public.”

Well it all is rather daunting and I simply have not any real energy for it to tell you the truth. I have not enough money for anything that I have to do in the next few weeks and I have no idea if there will be any more coming in any time soon. And, there are simply no real choices that do not include more real suffering. I am profoundly unhappy in a way that I sincerely hope none of you will ever know.

And yes, though I meant what I said about drunks in the least entry, I am aware that I also crave escape from the pain from time to time. Yes, I agree it is a great thing when I can forget for a few moments the pain of it all as I did today a little. Sort of. It was a nice, sunny Sunday and Tanya and Anya and I went to the market to hunt for pectin and yeast. The girls were beautiful and the sun was shining and Anya was curious and excited by everything. The preparations for the bread were fun as was making the jelly. I don’t know that it feels like Tanya and I have any kitchen magic between us. I don’t think we make any great team. Well, except for today’s results. It was a good day.

But tomorrow I have a meeting and Tuesday I get to be Mr. Mom and Wednesday, Egor has to go to the dentist and get drilled and filled. Thursday and Friday I have to go to the farm and some time amidst this I have some unfinished business with the bike school that needs to be done before September comes. And then there is a potential new visa and the finishing touches on that bureaucratic deal… And none of this seems to me to be anything but pain. I hope I am wrong. I hope something good happens in the next week or so. We could use the break. I hope it does but really I do not think it will.

But really, folks, you have got to know. That damned jelly… You really have got to know what that jelly tastes like. You simply have to know…

And as a post script to today’s blog, I would like to give a thank you to my man John Malcovich who not only seems to reference me a lot on his reasonably well written new blog (an honor, guy) but has also listed the ‘Being Had Blog’ as a permanent link. You can check out John’s exuberant prose and patriotism at

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More soon…


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