Kefir Pancakes for a Homesick American

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

The lack of a real stack of fluffy pancakes in France is the lead cause of my dépaysement, my homesickness, my deep-seated unrootedness in this country. If only I could go out to almost any restaurant and receive the four-pancake-high tower of pure calories that I crave, slathered in butter and drowned in maple syrup, then– I could be truly happy.

What’s the phrase? You make your own home? Well, who knows if France will ever feel 100% like home, but god dammit if I can’t make the home, at least I can make the pancakes. Continue reading Kefir Pancakes for a Homesick American

Kefir and me

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

Five years ago, at an appointed time and place, I met a stranger to collect something I knew nothing about. In his hands he carried a beat-up milk carton. “You’ll need this too,” he said casually, slipping an index card into my hands. And then he and his sports coat left.

I took the bus home with my old milk carton. I examined the neat notes on the index card. I got a metal mesh fry screen and cut out wonky circles, then fit them onto jam jars to create a screened top. I poured the contents of the old milk carton into a jar, poured in some fresh milk, and wondered what I was doing with my life, and when exactly I had agreed to become a parent.

we luv the skyyy we are kefirrrr

Continue reading Kefir and me

The Marvelous Machinations of Milena and Myles, take one: 96

From The Marvelous Machinations of Milena and Myles

About a month ago, my twin and I moved in together. Since we shared a room for the first 18 years of our lives, we know that any good home-creating begins with clear expectations, good communication, and some sensible house rules. We knew this because we did not do any of that for 18 years and ended up with some literal scars. Did you know that if one twin shoves the other one upwards in the womb, that other twin is capable of breaking their mother’s rib? Another interesting fact: if you kick your twin in the shin hard enough, they will limp for a week.

Our idea of house rules, of course, might not be what you were thinking of. Do we know whose turn it is to take out the overflowing trash? No. But do we have hyperbolic ingredient lists and overly intricate design sketches for the ambitious recipes we have to make this week? Hell yes. We have got our priorities right, kids. Creating a bizarre and tangled list of 100 recipe ideas, rolling a die every week, and then setting out to create said recipes together? That is an excellent house rule.

Here’s how it works.

Continue reading The Marvelous Machinations of Milena and Myles, take one: 96

Pel’meni and Blini

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

As some of you know, I’ve been studying Russian for (mumbledymumble) number of years (it’s more impressive if you think I just started…). Besides Cheburashka and other adorable Russian cartoons, the most exciting aspect of learning the language for me has been exploring Russian cuisine, a kind of cooking that– I thought– was completely unfamiliar to me. But as I started researching recipes and learning some of the staple flavours of Russian cooking (mmmm dill), it suddenly started to seem pretty familiar. Continue reading Pel’meni and Blini

Black Bean Corn Salad for a Beach Picnic

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

I am, as you may have figured out, very lazy. Well, I alternate between very lazy (out of milk for tea and the store is a whole block away? Please pass that sweetened condensed milk) and incredibly perfectionistic (Why yes I will spend 4 hours frosting that cake, thank you).

This is one of those times I prefer to be very lazy. I first saw this salad in a Cooks’ Illustrated magazine. By now it’s been years and I’ve mostly forgotten their exact recipe (I no longer have website access), but what I do remember is being terribly offended that they would dare to ask me to spend an extra 5 minutes roasting corn for better flavour. I mean, of course, they’re right, but that’s besides the point. I have pride in my laziness, after all. I’ve got a reputation to uphold. And when it’s hot out, the last thing my lazy self wants to do is turn on the stove. Continue reading Black Bean Corn Salad for a Beach Picnic

Gazpacho Made Easy

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

Hey, did you make that Tomato Cucumber salad I posted the other day? Do you– unlike me, a clear fan of ordering the same thing always always always at restaurants– get tired of eating the same thing for more than 2 days in a row?

Well, do I have news for you.

who am i? where did i come from? :O

Continue reading Gazpacho Made Easy

Tomato Cucumber Feta Basil Salad

Milena’s Cooking Adventures

Speaking of gardens, it just started cooling off here, and my basil plants are doing well. It reminded me of my favourite summer salad to make, a fresh and happy glowing mess of tomatoes and cucumbers, feta, and basil, with a generous drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Of course, it helps to have some lovely summer ingredients.

hi tomatoes!
Starting out right with glowing tomatoes and shy cucumbers

Continue reading Tomato Cucumber Feta Basil Salad