Friday, October 22, 2010

Maxim tucking into his bowl of borscht

Now that is a satisfied customer!

I love borscht, this wonderful Ukrainian soup made from beets and cabbage.  There are lots of reasons: 1) It's delicious 2) It's good for you 3) It's a really pretty color (bright red, from the beets -- even the potatoes turn pink!) 4) It has sentimental value, from all our trips to Ukraine 5) It's healthy but my kids actually like it 6) It's soup, so of course I like it 7) It makes me feel smug and superior to like (and be able to make!) such an obscure, exotic dish.  And by saying that, I confirm what you've always suspected: I am a shallow, shallow person!

So for all my reasons, good and bad, for liking borscht, I really look forward to soup season, and the chance to make it again.  This last week, I made it as the side dish for Christianity Explored (the big group of people I cook for weekly) along with Beef Stroganoff.  And I'm always so excited to serve it, and expose people to it's wonderful nuances of flavors, that I sort of take it personally if they don't like it.  Which is so dumb -- I mean, really, it is a bit of an acquired taste, completely foreign to the American palate.  But people get scared off by the fact that it's got weird red broth and lots of cabbage in it, and don't give it a fair shake.  Or they just flat out don't like it.  And I realized that perhaps my eager presence next to their chairs, watching every bite, compulsively asking "Do you like it? It's good isn't it? You like it, right?!?" was counter-productive.  Maybe people even felt a little pressured to pretend they liked it.  So I'm just going to say it: it's OK if you don't like it.  I will stop judging you.  But if you want to try it... give me a call!  I've got a whole lot of leftovers.  And the recipe will be forthcoming, in my book.  Which is on-schedule, to be released November 13, thanks to the efforts of our hard-working intern, Nicole LaChance (aka: Cupcake.)

Leftovers which got carried home in my car.  And leaked onto the floor of my car.  Which now smells like borscht.  Perhaps I am being punished for my arrogance, how appropriate!

Oh, one other thing.  I'm not getting a lot of love in the comments section here.  I know, I know, I don't write very often.  But maybe if what I did write got a little more appreciation.... just saying.


Jon and Bethany said...

My mom brought me a left over bag of your borscht home from CE. I'll admit I was a bit cautious taking my first bite. But it is really wonderful, ate another bowl for lunch today.

Erin said...

Love this post. I can totally hear your voice throughout the whole thing. :)

I am no fan of beets and I reach my cabbage quota fairly quickly (I wish I liked it more, but I do generally like it in a soup). I'm not saying don't make Borscht on Monday night, but... Well, I know Zach would like it.

BTW, let me know if you want me to take any photos Monday.

Jennifer Fromke said...

Shameless plea for comments. :-) I love ya anyway and i feel your pain! Of course, I haven't actually invited people to my blog yet - trying to get some decent content up first! Borscht scares me. I'll just be honest. Good for Halloween. :-) If you made me some, I'd definitely try it. But I'd advise a small batch. :-)

The Saucy Broad said...

Booty -- glad you were brave, and actually liked it!

E -- no borscht for Monday. Even I'll be sick of it by then! But yes, bring your camera and we'll record the food for posterity.

Jen -- Yes, it's shameless. I know I need to write for the sake of writing, but it was starting to have that "tree falling in the forest" feel to it.

So thanks for the comments!

Ann said...

Hi Kristin,

I found you!

My father once owned a 'filling station' in a little Arkansas town.

One summer he gave away a head of cabbage with every fill-up, thanks to his farmer friend who had a bumper crop.

As far as I know, the less than cosmopolitan recipients cooked it down low with a ham hock and served it with sliced tomatoes and cornbread.

I guess borscht doesn't often make it to tables that near the E' qua tor.


Ms. B.

The Saucy Broad said...

Ms B!

Can't say much about the ham-hock really appeals to me -- but there is something sweet about that simpler time you describe.

Maybe on my next trip to Arkansas, I could bring borscht to the masses?

Michelle said...

Oh MY!

You ARE online somewhere! I have been hoping and wishing...and then I hear wind of this book that's coming out??? And I get super excited to possibly think about getting my little hands on it and "hearing" your voice for pages and pages!!

In the history of my life, my dad has been the only Borscht fan that I have known. He teaches Geography at the University over there and makes it for his class when discussing the Ukraine and such. I've tasted it, once upon a time, but I don't recall if I liked it or not. I also don't remember the verdict given by his class on those various Borscht bringing occasions.

I DO know that whenever he says, "I'm making Borscht for the class tonight," I say, "Oh! That crazy red soup?? Do you think they'll like it?" To which he usually says, "Surrrrrrrre. It's Borscht!!"

All that being said - I got a little excited to learn that there are two people I know now that like making Borscht. AND like eating it. My dad would LOVE having Maxim in his class for Borscht day.
Another thought that came to me when reading your post: I want to try Kristin's Borscht!! I bet it's super delicious. I've had your food before, many moons ago (I specifically remember Christmas cookies. Yum!)... And anyone that goes by the name Saucy Broad HAS to make good ANYTHING...even Borscht.

Do you ship soup? :)

p.s. Please write more. Yay.