I grew up in Russia’s turbulent 1990s, sustained by my grandmother’s borshch and pirozhki, while craving Snickers bars, "just add water" drinks of unimaginable colors, and basically all things American.
On a regular school day, I would have buckwheat with milk for breakfast (buckwheat was all right, but corn flakes were a dream!), soup, bread, or pasta at school for lunch, and later my babushka would come over with a bunch of recycled sour cream containers filled with borshch, rissoles, plov, and pickled cabbage.
She would also make vinaigrette, but it wasn’t a favorite. It didn’t have the warmth of borshch or the excitement of pirozhki. Neither was it foreign (and therefore – better than anything Russian, as I thought).
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