Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Some good things.

The Food of My People is my favorite food blog. We need more food blogs like that, and fewer food blogs like this. (Oh my goodness, I see that she has her own show on the Food Network now.) TFOMP's recipes are not really easy to follow, because they are written in a narrative form, and there are no pictures, and he's religious about ingredients. But you will enjoy reading his recipes, if you are a certain kind of person like me, and you may learn something. I won't go so far as to say that I made his Cauliflower and Pasta Soup, because I included a few abominations. But I wouldn't have made the cauliflower and pasta soup that I did, which was very good, if I hadn't read his "recipe."

Bint Rhoda's Kitchen is my second favorite food blog. Well, maybe it's my favorite functional food blog with actual recipes and photographs and stuff. She's a Palestinian native who rediscovered her heritage in the kitchen when she got into Weston A. Price Foundation methods, which she realized were there all along in the way that her mother and grandmother cooked. She's the only WAPF blogger that I really read anymore, because the rest are just so shrill. I've become a little dissatisfied with this desire of most of the Nourishing Nazis to get back to Traditional Ways of preparing food, but with a typical American vagueness about where those traditions are to be found. It's a little like American converts trying to do Orthodoxy without any contact with Old World Orthodox. You can get it technically correct but there's just something a little off about it, because there's no contact with that living river of tradition. Same with food. You really have to feel sorry for us, because we wish we had Serbian or Korean or Israeli grannies who taught us how to ferment things and rapped our knuckles when we nicked sarmali/malfouf/halupkis before dinner, but unfortunately our grandmothers were very excited about microwaves. (I don't blame them.) Anyway, Bint Rhoda is a refreshingly authentic and positive source of recipes that are part of a continuing culture. Plus, she seems like a very sweet person.

The post I linked to above is about stocking a Middle Eastern kitchen. She says that it's easiest just to pick one cuisine and stock for that. I agree, but what would we choose? The strongest ethnic identity in our family comes from Matt's Armenian grandfather, but he didn't cook. I suppose if I had to choose one regional cuisine to cook exclusively, it would be a toss-up between Middle Eastern and Eastern European. Matt is not as big of a fan of beets and pickles as I am, so I suppose it would fall to Middle Eastern in the end. There's a good variety of fasting and feasting food, and with a few extra spices we could slide over into Greek cuisine too.

GZT shared this recording of Martynov's Beatitudes in a comment and I am for some reason not able to reply, so I'm replying by sharing it with everyone here, because it's very nice. I discovered the arrangement when I somehow stumbled upon this recording by the Russian folk vocal group Sirin. I think I still prefer Sirin's version, just because the voices are a little sweeter, but that's just me. Wouldn't it be lovely to arrange it in English and sing it in church? Wait, scratch that. I'm sure the translation would be awkward, actually, and a five minute version of the Beatitudes would require a lot of standing around by clergy and acolytes either before or during the Little Entrance. Better to just learn the Slavonic and sing it to my baby. Matt can sing second soprano. Teehee.

One other thing. I'm reading Kristin Lavransdatter again, just like everybody else in the world, apparently. I recommended it to a friend and when she talked about how much she liked it, I thought "Yeah! It's great!" and picked it up again. Then my sister-in-law said she was reading it and apparently so is Anna of Orthogals fame. Something in the weather I guess. Anyway, it definitely holds up on a second reading, especially after a few more years of marriage and having a child! I was full of dread during the entire first book, thinking, Maybe she won't make all these terrible choices this time.... but she went and did it again.

1 comment:

  1. Vlad Morosan of Musica Russica has sheet music of an English translation available. Not sure if it's liturgically appropriate even if the length were reasonable.