Italy Adventures / Basic Vegetable Stock

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Last year around this time I went on my first writing residency in Tuscany, Italy. I set out to write a personal essay on soup. What came out of it was a series of vignettes about my relationship with Zak and how soup is intimately intertwined.

Book Response: The Beauty of Humanity Movement

A couple of years ago, I heard Camilla Gibb read from her book The Beauty of Humanity Movement. What captivated me about her story was her personal introduction. She based the story off her own visit to Vietnam and the particular pho seller that she visited on the street for many of the days that she was there.

There’s something about the repetition of visiting a place again and again, or eating the same soup over and over again that I feel represents as close as a visitor will ever get to knowing what a place is like.

Borscht: Shared Family Histories

This past week and next week the Olympians will be fuelling up on borscht as Russia expects to serve over 70,000 gallons of this soup with Soviet roots. Borscht became a staple recipe in my family from the many decades that my ancestors lived in the Russia before and during the Revolution. There are many different versions with minor ingredient variations as you travel from Ukraine through Russia and then make your way across the ocean to North America. Anya von Bremzen mentions in her NPR interview that borscht has its North American versions thanks to Jewish immigrants, but there were also many Mennonites that fled the Russia at the start of the revolution in 1917 through the mid 1900s and brought their versions to North America too.