I feel a bit nostalgic lately. Perhaps because my parents brought me (after 3 years of begging) my grandmother’s chandelier from her house in St Petersburg – a little bit of Soviet retro and lots of memories. It’s a shame I won’t hear the crystals chime like they used to whenever the children from the floor above my grandmother’s would jump from the bed. But also perhaps because in a month we’ll be going to my extended family’s summer house by the sea in Latvia.
Through my children I’m revisiting my childhood summer vacations when the whole family would gather at my (other) grandmother’s. There was mainly the sea and doing nothing, gathering mushrooms and wild berries, my grandmother’s pirogi (Russian pastries) and tangy birch juice, cards and Indian movies at the theatre, and a great library that has since thrown away all its books in Russian. It’s not exactly the same as it used to be thirty years ago but in essence quite similar.
All this nostalgia has inspired me to make something that will remind me of the tastes of my childhood, summer and vacations. I decided to make a cucumber salad and a milky black tea creamsicle (the recipes will be in the following posts, sorry, just musings now). Fresh vegetables were available mainly during summer and preserved in various ways for the winter. The black tea – we used to drink it all the time, but I especially remember the steaming black tea on the train in tall glasses (like those really cheap ones from Ikea) with an ornamental metal holder. I used to really like those long train rides in a sleeping car because it meant we’re going far away, we’re going on vacation.
Well, in the meantime, I haven’t gone really far; just a twenty minutes’ drive to Imad’s field to get cucumbers that are the best in Israel, promise. In two minutes I was really stuffed from all the veggies I was offered and consumed. I ran around the cucumber patch looking for subjects to shoot, picked some ‘baalieh’ tomatoes (that grow without being watered) and filled my car with great fresh vegetables. Oh, and I also got a detailed explanation from another customer how to cook wild endive (‘alet’ in Arabic), but Imad said that it’s much better in winter, therefore, I’ll wait.
So until I make the salad and shoot it, I have some photographs to share from my visit to Imad.