Banished to Siberia

New Jersey, Russian, Specialty Shops

A few months ago, Snax and I took a trip to Coney Island with some friends. For those unaware, there’s a huge Russian population over there, so we seized the opportunity to view their grocery store delicacies. Always ones for something new to try, we were appalled and intrigued when we stumbled across a cold, jiggling tray of aspic. We passed on it that beautiful summer day, but it’s been on Snax’s mind ever since.

He insisted – yes, insisted – on using it for his punishment this month. I’m rather fond of him, so I tried to talk him out of eating meat jello, but he would not be persuaded.

Where does one find aspic?

I’m so glad you asked. We had to hunt this down, seriously. Snax located Emporium International Foods about 30 minutes south of where he lives, and we went there blindly assuming they would carry this delicious Russian favorite. Despite having an exact address, we drove past it twice, due to the building be dominated by Just, the attached restaurant. When we did finally locate and walk into the Emporium, oh what a treat. It. Smelled. Incredible. That heavenly aroma wafting through our sensory receptors was due to the most amazing bakery display I’ve ever seen. A significant amount of the pastries and breads seemed to be made in-house, as well as a huge selection of cold meats and salads to take home. Sausages, cheeses, canned foods, dried foods, you name it. The food here is fit for the Kremlin.

deli2_thumb  bakery

Photo credit: www.emporiumfoods.com

We finally located the object of our trip and bought a few snacks for the ride home. Flaky, yummy, meat-and-potato-filled pastry goodness.

Without any further ado… Snax’s October punishment. I’m so glad it’s not me.

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Giving Back

American, Charity, Food, Polish, Russian, Water
This week we set aside our differences to help feed the homeless through Family Promise. We couldn’t resist an opportunity to give back when we were invited by family friends to take part in such a great cause. Legs has even taken her philanthropy one step further by beginning a charity: water campaign! Check out the menu and learn all about Legs’ mission!


Family Promise

Eastern European smorgasbord! Polish pierogies and an assortment of grilled goodies in a Russian marinade.

Eastern European smorgasbord! Polish pierogies and an assortment of grilled goodies in a Russian marinade.

 

We were proud to present our delicious bounty in the halls of the Presbyterian Church of New Providence. It was a bit of a challenge catering to the tastes of such a diverse group of people, but the menu received praise all around. First, potato and cheese pierogies, sautéed with onions of course. Only the worst kind of people dislike pierogies. Follow that up with some grilled pork marinated in adjika and mayonnaise overnight. That marinade did wonders for the pork by seeping into every nook and cranny, giving it a smooth, almost creamy heat. A cornucopia of grilled veggies: mushrooms, grape tomatoes, green bell peppers, and onions, smeared with the same marinade as the pork tied it all together.

 

Back to the states for Uncle Sam's favorite desserts, apple pie and apple crumble. What? Crumble counts.

Back to the states for Uncle Sam’s favorite desserts, apple pie and apple crumble. What? Crumble counts.

 

This dynamic duo jumped from the mind of Legs and into the hearts of our gracious guests. Her apple pie, a recipe that she has held onto since her high school advanced foods class, is as timeless as a great American novel. Somebody tell the Mark Twain estate to start throwing in recipes for Huckleberry pie before the checks stop coming in. Homemade crust and a list of ingredients that will remain secret due to threats against my life make for an incredible slice of pie.

How do you follow up an apple themed dessert? With another apple themed dessert of course! This was the first time Legs has ever made apple crumble and I hope it won’t be the last. Another homemade crust, hearty oats, walnuts, brown sugar, and all the butter we could handle. This apple crumble will go down with some of the most memorable debuts in history. James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause, Wilt Chamberlain’s rookie season, and now Legs’ apple crumble. Magical.


 

charity: intern

You can visit my birthday campaign and donate to clean water here.

I’ve had the amazing privilege of interning with charity: water this summer. Their goal is to bring clean water to the 800 million people without it in our lifetime. In just 8 years, charity: water has given 4.2 million people clean water and built over 11,000 water projects!

Some facts about the water crisis:

  • 1 in 9 people don’t have clean water
  • Diseases from dirty water kill more people than anything else, including war
  • Women and children in Africa spend up to four hours a day collecting dirty water
  • Lack of toilets and facilities in schools causes many students to drop out
  • $20 brings one person clean water

This September, 100,000 people in the Sahel region of Africa are counting on us. Your donation will be completely matched and your impact doubled! Instead of wasting water in the name of charity, please give water to those who need it most. You can donate here.

THANK YOU!!!

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