I called my Mom last friday to double check who is bringing flour, cilantro, and oranges to the vacation house in the Berkshires. "Um, honey... Can I call you back? The photographer from the Baltimore Sun is here." Oh my! This is serious.
When Stephen Henderson asked me if he could interview my Mom and Grandma about borscht, I was terribly excited. Russian food is not often noted by American food media and this was our chance to share one of our beloved dishes. An interview with my Grandma was a bit problematic because she doesn't speak English, but after a little persuasion, my Mom agreed to talk to him. "What does he need to talk to me for? He can get the recipe on your blog," she said. "Ah, but you are the source!" I nudged her on encouragingly. "It's not just about the recipe. It's about people and stories." "What if this is a fraud?" asked my Mom. We Russians are so used to corruption, we suspiciously inspect every piece of news that sounds too good to be true. "Well, then it's some very sneaky food writer that's trying to steal our borscht recipe," I told her. "If he asks for your mother's maiden name and a social security number, don't give it to him :)"
Stephen turned out to be extremely nice, and my Mom had a great time talking to him. Lucky for us, the photographer came a day before we were all leaving on vacation at the Berkshires. This meant that 1) there'd be a picture of my Mom's borscht along with the story and 2) we'd get to eat her awesome borscht on vacation. After the photo shoot, my Mom packed it all up and brought it for us to feast on after skiing.
This was the best trip we've had in a long time. We skied, read by the fire place, sat in a jacuzzi tub, cooked and ate yummy food, baked bread, drank good wine, and slept in (it was such a luxury to feed Sammy at 6pm, hand her over to my parents, and go back to sleep :)
When we got back, we had a wonderful surprise waiting for us -- the borscht article in Baltimore Sun.
P.S. How well do you know Russian soups? The one in the picture is NOT borscht. It's another soup my Mom made for us at the Berkshires. Do you know which one it is? Hint, hint -- it has sauerkraut.