The Meaning of Life Can Be Found in a Russian Kitchen

When my best friend and I were 15 and lived in our small town of Asbest (remind me to tell you one day about my sweet little town, the largest producer of asbestos in the world) there was literally no place for us to hang out. Don’t judge my use of “literally” here. I mean…

Orange Marmalade That Is Not Easy but Incredibly Rewarding

I tried googling “orange marmalade recipe” a few days ago, and found quite a few links suggesting “easy orange marmalade” and even “marmalade is way easier than it looks”. And you know what I have to say to this? Nothing good in life comes easy and especially not orange marmalade! You make it the easy…

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…

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 Ate at the Cheapest Michelin Star Restaurant 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…

The Time I Had Breakfast with Cowboys

My friend recently taught me a game called “one time”. Each person starts a sentence with the words “one time” and continues to describe an odd, funny or outrageous thing he’s done. One time I had breakfast with cowboys. I bet my “one time” beats all the other “one times” pretty bad. How can anything…

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…

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…