Sunday, December 21, 2008


Borsch is the remedy to whatever ails me . . . when it's done right. And my mom--she done it right. I haven't tasted this fulfillment of man's desire since last I tasted Borsch in Russia six years ago. Many an artist has tried her hand at recreating the love I lost in leaving, heaven knows I couldn't do it, but tonight it has returned. My genius mother in all her culinary glory reinvented the wheel so long confined to Russian kitchens, and I partook of moments lived by a 19 and 20 year-old Joseph--my other childhood. For childhood it is when suddenly new senses replace the five you knew before. If a man is to all at once see and smell and feel and hear and taste new matter as I did in Russia, he abandons the former and is again a child, or else he loses his senses. I chose to acquire the new. Yet lose my senses is what I almost did upon returning home, I loved the new set so intensely. And every time I managed to inspire efforts at awakening the new set sleeping, I only roused the dead, irritated a man in slumber. Each bowl of Borsch stung worse than if I'd left it untouched. It was soup--just soup, no matter what they called it. And then tonight! My mother made it live! The unused flavors meshed with unused taste awoke the unused senses lost to memory. I was in Russia again. I couldn't even be tempted with dessert until my taste buds cooled. It was that real. My mother is a genius, she really is.

1 comment:

greysquirrelb said...


That is so neat...hope mom reads this. So glad it was that type of experience for you. Sometimes, it feels like another lifetime, a different us, that lived and breathed with our other heart in those countries that brought to life a part of us we needed but had never known. I miss it.