Saturday, December 21, 2013


     No matter, how often I tell myself that next time I will just put on the table some corn chips and drinks, I don't listen!
     Today Mary, Doris and I concocted an occasion to get Sveta to my house and let her have some fun before all fun will have to be forgotten for a while with the coming of her baby.

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Braised Chicken
     We cleaned, shopped and cooked for the whole morning, until 2 o'clock in the afternoon. I made braised chicken (using as base the bacon pieces and drippings from yesterday's meal) and roasted rosemary red potatoes. I also baked a few of my famous Charlotte pies to serve and give as presents. 
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Lemon Bread
Charlotte Pies
     Sveta with the Red Headed Monster and Hyosha, her brother, arrived first. She brought lemon bread that she baked. It was delicious: with bright citrusy flavor and the top that split in the baking and was glistening with lemon glaze. The Red Headed Monster, otherwise known as Katya, a five year old firecracker who, unfortunately, doesn't know the meaning of the word 'no', becomes more and more enamored of me. She now calls me "tsyotsi", which should be pronounced "tsyotsya" and means aunt in Russian, although, she doesn't say anything else in that language.
    As soon as she and her brother were over the threshold, they wanted to watch TV. At home they only watch DVDs, you see, but mom changes her custom when they come here. I think, she tries to find a few minutes of peace, while kids sit mesmerized by the "boob tube".
     My plan was to eat lunch, let everyone arrive and then set up a movie-showing for children in one of the bedrooms and watch our own film without interruptions. 
     Men make plans and God smiles.
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Not Katya and Hyosha,
but just as happy and healthy
eating salad.
     Mary, Roberta and Sveta engaged in a lively conversation, as I began to warm up chicken and potatoes and make last touches on our meal. Katya and Hyosha sat next to me at the table, where I was making salad, and demanded to eat some of it. In fact, the Monster began to tear pieces off the lettuce and stick it in her mouth, accompanying it by loudly snorting the snot. I quickly stuck a plate under her face and loaded it with a portion of the salad. Hyosha said, also making loud noises with his cute congested nose, that he wanted just tomato. I cut some up and hardly managed to put it on a plate before he began eating it with his mouth, without the help of a fork. I handed him a fork, which he took in his hand but didn't use as an eating utensil! As soon as I made some salad, kids wanted more of it for themselves. It was a vicious circle! The ladies were chatting in the living room, oblivious to my increasing anxiety about our meal. I had to go and heat up chicken and potatoes again. Then I coughed loudly to attract attention of the clucking hens (my dear friends) and announced that lunch was served.
     All through the meal I kept walking around, getting things, calling Sonny to help me and deflecting the Monster's attempts to drown table in apple juice, jump on my back as I tried to eat or push all the buttons at once on our poor fan. Her brother was set on turning the TV on. He grabbed the remote and told me brightly: "I know which button to push!" I wasn't worried: that remote hasn't worked for a week!
     Sonny made the children's movie ready in Hanah's room, then disappeared. I was trying to get the adults' movie presentation under way, but found that the DVD remote had no batteries. 

To Be Continued...

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