“All that I am or hope to be, I owe it to my mother”.Abraham Lincoln
That was a famous quote by our sixteenth President of the United States. Those words of wisdom stand even today when it comes to the power and influence a mother has on her child. It’s funny, but when I meet the mothers of my friends, I tend to fall in love with them on the spot. It’s like meeting a girlfriend 20 years in the future and getting to see what she will be like when she is a grandmother. This is exactly how it felt when I met Maya, the beautiful Russian mother of my friend Natasha. Her infectious smile and quiet inner confidence matched her daugther’s personality perfectly.
Many years ago, Natasha and her family moved from Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine to the United States. Luckily for me, both Maya and Natasha brought the art of Russian cooking with them, and I had the privilege of experiencing their authentic Russian cuisine at dinner one evening. There is a famous Russian saying that goes like this, “Аппети́т прихо́дит во вре́мя еды́” or “The appetite comes during eating.” Oh boy, was that ever true?
Together, Maya and Natasha made three mouthwatering dishes that kept my mind wanting more even days after enjoying the meal. Russian Stuffed Peppers, Salad Olieve, and this recipe, Russian Baked Cod in Zesty Tomato Sauce. It was truly a dining experience to relive.
Since many of the ingredients used in each of these recipes are basic items used in everyday cooking, I asked the mother/daughter duo what makes their food and its flavors so unique from other cultures? Their reply was simple, “We try to cook from our heart.” And from their heart they did. I loved every bite of it.
I asked Natasha if I could feature her and a few of her recipes in my upcoming global cookbook since her style of cooking was unique from all of the other countries I am writing on. She suggested that we include her mother and I was very happy to oblige! There is another old Russian proverb that goes like this, “Бери́сь дру́жно, не бу́дет гру́зно.” Translated it means, “Many hands make light work. Or, Take hold of it together, it won’t feel heavy”.
I’m delighted to give you a sneak peak of one of their delicious recipes called Russian Baked Cod in Zesty Tomato Sauce. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Look for more of Natasha & Maya’s Russian recipes in my book, coming soon.
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