Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Market Report, Odessa, October 2011

It's been an incredible time in Ukraine for the four of us Pickle Project conversers.  We'll have more thoughts to come about our experiences, but for now, as I get ready to leave for home tomorrow, one last market report, from last week in sunny Odessa.  Enjoy!

Above, quail eggs.  Below,  walnuts, apples, quince and milk, followed by a spirited negotiation.  And then cheese, squash, pomegranate juice vendor, and tiny fish (sardines?)

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Market Report, Organic Edition, October 15

On a cold rainy Saturday, Caleb Zigas and I headed out for the Organic Market in Podil.  A one day event, we were curious to check out what was on offer, and to learn a bit more about organic growing and eating in Ukraine.  Much more to come, we hope, about organic growing in general here, as it's fascinating, but here's a bit of what we saw.

A pig roast, which was excellent--you can see Caleb, left, and our new acquaintance, Vladimir, enjoying it.
A display of flowers and peppers, melons and squash labeled organic, fair trade coffee.
 A terrific soup, with the smoked pork, beans, potatoes, and tiny dumplings, cooked over an over fire.
And finally, behind the scenes at one of the tents, a generous feast of homemade horseradish vodka along with salo, dark bread, homemade butter and tvarog.  Delicious!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Market Report October 14, 2011, Kyiv

Back in Kyiv and time for another market report.  It was a chilly, windy, sometimes rainy day,  but friendly market vendors made for a great visit.  Here's a bit of what Caleb Zigas and I saw today.
 Outside, a small selection from a single village garden.  Squash, dill, horseradish, and yellow berries whose name I haven't figured out yet.  Readers, your guesses?
 Caleb getting his first taste of Ukrainian pickled things, including pickled dates (smoky, sort of, but surprisingly good).

Nuts, with accompanying squirrel.
 What I think of as winter market staples here:  beets, potatoes, onions, carrots.
Melons,  both a canteloupe sort of one, but elongated, and watermelons, the ones found outside on street corners in metal cages in the summer.

 Two great looking market ladies, working outside.
And seafood--above, from one of the street side vendors,  crayfish,  live in a crate, and below, fish in their baby bathtubs.  More market reports to come over the next two weeks.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Flights, Friends and Feasts

While conducting some Pickle Project interviews in Odessa, over the summer, we have the good fortune of encountering a friendly family from Siberia. We met Mykoli, Margarita and their three children blithely sun bathing on blankets, sipping cold beer and nibbling on dried fishes. "It is the perfect snack combination for a hot day" they told us. In addition to Odessa’s easygoing vibe, Mykoli and Margarita also love the various fish and sandy seaside the city provides. We chatted with the family for a while, about train travel, snacks and sunshine.

This charming family had traveled for nearly two days to soak up the Black Sea sun and waves along Odessa’s city beaches. They began with a flight to Moscow and, then, made the 25-hour train ride to Odessa. Not only did we meet them on the beach but, later, saw them around Odessa in the coming days. We would excitedly wave each time we spotted each other on cobblestone streets or under an umbrella, dining al fresco.

I thought of them, again, in anticipation of our own travel to Ukraine, reunions with old friends and the interesting series of Community Conversations that the Pickle Project is co-convening over the next couple of weeks. The series will kick off on Sunday, October 16, 2011, 6-8pm (18:00-20:00) at the Bulgakov Museum, located at Andriyivsky uzviz 13 in Kyiv. Stop by for local snacks and an evening of sparkling dialogue about food, culture and sustainability in Ukraine's dynamic capital city. Stay tuned for location information for the Community Conversation events in Donetsk (18 October), Odessa (21 October) and L’viv (23 October).