Monthly Archives: September 2015

Back From the Big 2015 Trip


The best meals of the Big 2015 Trip ( or Time and Place) were bowls of borscht in Belarus, Russia, and on the Siberian train. The Best. A fall goal, one of many of course, is to have a stable of borscht recipes. I already tried a complicated one with beef last fall which was quite delicious but haven’t found one yet that has any ingredients accounting for that citrus edge of some I’ve tasted. Today I’m trying a vegetarian borscht from the NYTimes last week:

There are problems. The beets, Whole Foods advisor said were what I was looking for, do not look right. (See photo below) Since my idea of good veggies are ones that have white sauce or a half cup of butter or maybe are candied this is a new world for me. So just what are beets for borscht supposed to look like? Deep red right. Not striped?

And the whole bouquet garni thing is quite new to me. Sorry, already admitted I’m a foodie failure so what can I say. I asked my friend Brynne, ‘can’t I just throw the stuff into the pot instead of going the cheesecloth route?’; she said, ‘yes if you don’t mind stems,’ so I did that But where does one find allspice berries, Spice Islands perhaps, maybe Whole Foods, but by the time I got to that part of the recipe I was confused about the beets and I forgot to look.

So this will be a bastardization of the Times recipe. It’s simmering, second train mug of wine…I’ll let you know.

The Results:

This is not borscht. I don’t think the stripped root vegetables were beets. Guess I’ll have to google photos of beets. Did that. They were Chioggia beets. Don’t go there if you want red borscht is the moral of this story.

However the ‘vegetable stew’ was quite delicious. Full of greens and mushrooms and faux beets. Salty and oniony with bay leaf/allspice/thyme/parsley. Topped with fat clumps of sour cream. So I am relatively happy with today’s cooking adventure. Must build the real borscht recipe collection though.

Now if there were only some good British series on tonight to finish a proper Sunday evening.

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