So tonight we started our tour of Eastern European cuisine (Steve: If you make Kasha Varnishkas, I’m going to a restaurant.). I tend to think of this region’s food as Brown. Mushrooms and sour cream and dill. And, in sifting out vegetarian options, I’m not far off the mark. But I think I’ve got us set up decently. Tonight, we had Ukrainian Barley Mushroom Winter Borscht and Sou-berag or Armenian Lasagne. They both were pretty tasty. The lasagne was good b/ c it’s a big ol’ pile of cheese. But the borscht was very good, I thought. But can it be borscht without beets? It can certainly be yummy without beets. In fact, I don’t think it can be yummy WITH beets. But is it borscht? That’s one for the food philosophers. I’m going with it. The kids all liked the lasagne. Julianna ate the soup, Ben ate some, declared it “okay” and gave up. Lily tasted it and refused more. But she’s on a very strict mac-and-cheese regimen.

I draw a map of where we’re eating each week, and I swear drawing this section of Europe was full of “so THAT’s where that is!” moments. When I learned geography, everything west of Poland was “Russia.” Damned inconsiderate of them to break it all up like Ma Bell. As a result, I was looking all over for Armenia. I knew that starving children came from there in the 60s. I thought it was all tucked up there in the cold areas. But no! It’s wedged between Turkey and Albania. Which, thanks to Cheers, I know borders on the Adriatic. And its chief export is chrome.