The Time I Made Cookies for Buddhist Monks

The house before dana was a mess. Don’t take me wrong: physically, it was clean and shiny. The floors had been scraped so hard you could almost see your own reflection. The furniture had been moved to create more room. New beautiful tableware replaced everyday plates and cups. The mood, though, was somewhere on the…

Pol Roti, Sri Lankan Coconut Bread that Should Be Your Kitchen Staple

Five hours before a Sri Lankan-inspired dinner I promised to cook for my friends I walked into an Indian grocery store to buy ingredients for the said dinner. Me: I can’t find frozen coconut anywhere… Shop assistant: I am afraid we ran out of it, madam… Me (in the best traditions of Bollywood movies, almost…

My Husband Is Fastidious About Bananas

To write the title I had to look up the word “fastidious”. Other options were “finicky” and “particular”. “Particular” is a word I know and use often, so I threw it out as not sophisticated enough. “Finicky”, on the other hand, I like very much, but mostly because it makes me giggle. In Russian “finick”…

The Time I Tried the Cheapest Michelin-Starred Meal in the World

Every January I sit down with magazines, scissors and glue to make a wish board. Every January for the past three years I glued a picture of a sophisticated dish on a large white plate to represent a meal at Michelin-starred restaurant. As per visualization law, I imagined myself all dressed-up sitting in a fancy…

Breaking Coconuts Like Nobody’s Business

A few months before my big fat Sri Lankan wedding I learned that according to local traditions one of my male family members had to break a coconut during the ceremony. With a huge knife. At the first try. In front of over a hundred people. The closest my Russian relatives have ever come to…

Kitchen Staples: Sri Lankan Edition

I don’t want to sound nosy (which means I will totally sound like it!), but I love peeking into other people’s shopping carts while waiting in line to cashier. Mostly, because in USA people buy a completely different set of products than I do. I’ve been once asked whether I am a vegetarian by a…

Happiness with a Side of Meatballs

I remember the day I moved to Austin. The 1st of February. The early morning flight from Boston. The snowstorm before taking off, the sunshine upon landing. Renting a car and trying to fit in all the belongings to get to the new home. Stopping on the way to switch Timberlands for Converse, because it’s too damn…

Best Foodie Souvenirs from Savannah

There’s no souvenir that revives the memories of my travels better than food. Yes, edible souvenirs have a short life and will disappear days or weeks after you return home, but they do have a magic power to transport you back like no magnet or key chain ever could. I think I don’t need to…

The Foodie Miles Best Meals of 2016 (And Where to Try Them)

Everybody is making 2016 round-ups of their travels, significant achievements, best of this and worst of that. What am I unique and original or something? I need a round-up too. My achievements this year are mostly edible and highly perishable due to the start of a food and travel blog.   Since the beginning of…

Little Pouches of Happiness Called Tamales

“Little pouches of happiness” seems like an incredibly vague description of tamales that doesn’t give you much information about the looks or the taste of it, but, boy, does it sound promising!  I wouldn’t even ask for more information were it not for one embarrassing story I’d heard from a local comedian. Having moved to…