Saturday, March 20, 2010

Food for Thought

This blogging is kinda fun! I am even doing it in my online English class. 
Here is a blog post I did for it. 
I thought I would share it with you! 

I was born in Russia.
I lived there for the first five years of my life.
In poverty.
Food was scarce, and what we had was greatly appreciated.
Most of what I remember came from the earth.
Pulling turnips; gathering eggs; drinking warm cow milk.

Just as I was leaving my birth country
with my new adoptive family,
in the home of our hosts in Moscow
I began to learn that food is something that can be not only appreciated
but something that is a part of tradition
and celebration.

I felt proud presenting my new American grandmother
with a traditional Russian cake
on her birthday
hand crafted by our Russian host family.

Beyond the special cake
We celebrated the birthday at a dacha
(a country farm)
with a large group of Russian people.
I experienced chocolate for the first time.
 I was so excited at the delicious taste of this delectable, rich sweet candy.

Once I arrived at my new home in America
I realized my opportunity to experience so many wholesome new foods.
I appreciated everything and enjoyed eating them all.

Growing up I had realized the importance of eating every bite,
leaving nothing to go to waste.
Appreciating food was important to me.

My American mom cooked foods to help me remember my Russian heritage
and the Russian culture.
I valued eating and enjoyed everything I ate.

In Russia, it was customary to present departing guests
with a gift of remembrance.
I received a large, hand-crafted spoon from the people at the dacha.
It is special to me still today.

My value for healthy foods has stayed consistent.

When I might have the opportunity to lick cookie batter from the beater

I would probably decline.

I would much more enjoy picking some chicken off of a stewed chicken bone.

Good wholesome food has stayed important to me.

But, there is something that I could never grasp.

I remember one day shortly after I had arrived in America,
I was at a store  and picked up piece of fruit.
I touched it. I looked at it, turning it in my hands.
I smelled it.  I tried to eat it.
It was odd.
I asked my mom, "What is it?  I don't understand?"
And she told me, "It's plastic fruit."

Even today,
I ask,
"What is the purpose?
Why not buy real food and put it in a basket
and that can be used for decoration, instead?"
The answer still eludes me.


  1. I would expect it eludes most of us!

    Thanks for making us think!

    Most of all, thanks for sharing these special memories and observations!

  2. Thank you for sharing your pictures, your memories and your values.

    You and Moma are blessed to be together.


  3. What a special journey and food safari for you! We are glad you shared.
    Kiss, kiss

  4. And you know, those plastic pieces never look real.

    Thanks for a beautiful post - you have to make your Mom very proud. What a special girl you are!!!

    Woos - Phantom, Thunder, and Ciara

  5. Awwwwwwww sweet Nina....
    thanks for sharing that wonderful story with us!!!!!!
    Your memories are soooooooooooooooooo precious and we're honored to share them with you!!!

    Sure your mommy will be very very very proud of you!!!!!!
    And we know how much she loves you!!!!!
    You're such a special and sweet and lovely girl.....
    And we love you a lot too!!!!!!

    Take care of you sweet Nina!!!!!
    Sweet kisses and licks!!!

  6. Nina Girl,
    I loved reading about your past and your perspective on food! How interesting. I think it's clear that our view of food here in the US is really different than other countries. Definitely something that we take for granted. We forget to appreciate it and savor it. We kind of just, well... shovel it in!

    Thanks for your thoughts! Glad to hear you are enjoying yourself, although I know you miss your pups!!


    PS You were a stinkin' CUTE little girl! (still are cute, too!) :)

  7. Hi Nina:

    We were checking out your Jake and Fergi's blog and happened upon yours. How great! Thank you for sharing the story of your Russian heritage. I am Ukranian, but second generation American. I've heard my family's stories of food shortages and the lack of proper nutrition.

    But now you are in such an amazing place with such an amazing family. Wow! Dreams really do come true, and the more you dream, the further you can reach!

    Keep blogging, and our best to you,

    Kim (Prinnie's Mom)

  8. Very interesting and well thought through. I thoroughly enjoyed the post. Hugs and Love..