Sunday, January 13, 2013

Dickens Fair and Russian Food

I haven't posted in some time for a variety of reasons. Reason #1: the first trimester of my first pregnancy hit me hard and I slept during most of my free time for October-December.

Reason #2: I was so thrilled to post on my trip to the Dicken's Fair in late December, only to find out that the Blogger Ap was less than efficient at importing the numerous pictures I took from my cell phone. I spent about an hour trying to make it work and then became so discouraged that I had to take a break from blogging in order to re-group.

Now it is early January, and I wanted to share just one picture from the amazing Dicken's Fair. This San Francisco Bay-area event is held every year during the holidays and constitutes a sort of Disneyland for book lovers. My husband smiled as I wandered around in awe, saying things like, "Look, there's Ebenezer Scrooge and a shackled Jacob Marley!... A Christmas ball with waltzing lessons!...Ooh, roasted chestnuts and Cornish pasties!... Look, an antique bookseller, and there's a shop selling real corsets!" (At over $200, I don't think I'll be lacing one up anytime soon, not to mention they aren't too maternity-friendly.)

In this picture, actors depict Christmastime at the Dickens' family's home, complete with roast goose dinner on the table and a cozy gathering in the parlor:

We loved the Fair so much, we can't wait to return next year. Mark that one off my list of activities to accomplish this year!

Another item that I checked off my "30 before 30" list relates to the goal of trying 3 new kinds of food. I'm a fairly adventurous diner, so I had to think hard on this one. One of my ideas involving a venture into Russian/Ukrainian food as found at the local restaurant Firebird. They serve a plentiful lunch buffet, where I started with a chunky, hot bowl of borscht topped with cream sour cream, then moved on to an overwhelming array of hot foods and cold salads. I walked away from Buffet Round One with the following heaping plate:

In the end, I tried breaded chicken cutlets, pork goulash, stuffed bell peppers, stuffed cabbage rolls, rice pilaf, savory meat-stuffed blintzes, Farmer's-style cabbage, chicken meatballs, and a tasty fish dish in a red sauce with peppers and onions. There were also pieroshki, basically a fried donut filled with savory meat and vegetables. The cold salads were interesting too - pickled vegetables, spicy carrot, beet, eggplant caviar, and egg and pea salad were a few of the offerings.

I am happy to report that I have been converted to Russian food. I think this restaurant maintains a nice balance of uniqueness and familiarity in their dishes. Also, they can do things with cabbages and beets that I never dreamed were possible, and I will certainly be telling my friends to check out Firebird when they are in the area.


  1. I'm delighted to hear about the baby and hope you are feeling better.

  2. Nice to see you again! Congrats on the baby - so happy for you :)The Dicken's Fair looks awesome - right up my alley.


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