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…

3 Christmas Cookie Recipes From Switzerland, Germany and Austria

Dough is tricky, mischievous, and loves attention. It requires all your time, effort and love. I would even go as far as to call it needy and slightly revengeful, but I love it anyways. If I could give you only one advice for successful baking, it would be to spare some time to enjoy the…

Being a Foreigner on Thanksgiving Day

Let me tell you what I knew about American Thanksgiving Day before coming to USA: Turkey is a must on the table. Not only is it big enough to feed a whole family, but also to fit onto someone’s head to scare friends. If you are of Italian heritage, you might consume a whole turkey…

How to Eat (and Drink) Like a Russian

It’s one thing to know some delicious Russian dishes and it’s a whole different story to understand how Russians eat. The most common idea is probably that Russians eat potatoes for all three meals and follow it up with a shot of vodka. I am not kidding, people asked me whether in Russia we have…

What Sri Lankan New Year Table Looks Like

For some people New Year starts in January, for others it starts in April. That came as a surprise on my first trip to Sri Lanka, when I found myself unable to get groceries, eat outside or even take a bus on the 13th of April. In that first year Sinhala and Tamil New Year celebrations…

Why Christmas in Russia Is Celebrated on January 7th?

In the time of winter holidays the two most common questions I get are “Why New Year in Russia is more popular than Christmas?” and “Why Christmas in Russia is celebrated on January 7th?” I tried my best to give an answer to the first question in my blog post here. Now is the time…

9 Things You Should Know About Russian New Year

With New Year just around the corner I thought I will share with you some of Russian New Year traditions! I have already explained why New Year is way bigger and more popular in Russia than Christmas, so the excitement and anticipation are almost at its peak these days. If you are willing to celebrate upcoming year…

Why Is New Year More Popular Than Christmas in Russia?

While for most of the world Christmas craze is finally over and you can breathe a sigh of relief, for most of Russians the whole shopping-till-you drop, cooking-so-much-it’s-enough-for-the-next-two-weeks, and getting-a-nervous-breakdown-in-the-last-days-rush experience is still ahead of them. Are you wondering why? The answer is simple and shocking to those of you who have never been to…