I must admit that I am giddy with excitement. I have been since last Thursday when I recorded the first figure skating competition of this winter’s Olympic games. I am a pretty big fan of figure skating and there is nothing like the esprit de corps you feel with the athletes and the country for which you’re rooting during the Olympic Games.
These games in particular, are special because they are taking place in Sochi, Russia and have aroused all sorts of feelings in me that have long been dormant. On the one hand, since I was born in the former USSR, I consider myself to be Russian. On the other hand, I have been living in the United States longer than I ever did in the former USSR and I spent zero years in Russia itself. My paternal grandfather’s family was ethnically Russian and came from around Moscow and so I feel justified in feeling a bit of pride.
We have all been party to the issues that the Russian Federation has been working through in getting the venues and the city ready for the games. Some have been embarrassing and others, just funny. I was very curious about the opening ceremonies secretly hoping that they would be on par with those that preceded them and that they would go off without a hitch.
The opening ceremonies, as you have yourselves seen, were beautiful and went off with just one minor issue. What’s more, in watching the very first act and seeing the invertible feast of accomplishments that the Russian peoples managed throughout the years in art, music, the sciences was truly awe-inspiring. Even though I am rooting for the American team, I am proud to have been born there, to know that I speak the language, and that in a way, I am part of that.
In other news, and since we were consumed by the coverage of the games as well as some knitting and book reading, we made just a few delicious dishes to tide us over until next weekend. There was of course a luxurious, and season-appropriate, lunch of grilled cheese where we sautéed shiitake mushrooms with onions heaping the mixture on a french boule and covering with luscious Swiss gruyere. A few minutes in a pan and here’s what you have:
Because lunches were decidedly luxurious, we went simple and ethnic with a Pork Vindaloo which is a Portuguese-inspired Indian dish from the Goa region. It is fairly easy to make in large quantities which makes it perfect for weeknight leftovers. That and the mustard seeds pop in your mouth adding a little unexpected textural surprise.
And how pray-tell do you occupy a rambunctious 2 year old while searing meat and cutting gallons of onions? Well, with stickers and markers and music to dance to!