On Sunday we went to Vadim’s and Galina’s for a late lunch. They have a beautiful European style country house whose living room picture window affords an uninterrupted view of the frozen Delaware river. The gazebo next to the river was built and decorated by Vadim.
My idea was to get a photo of the house during the daylight hours but we were delayed and distracted by a very old and very fat chihuahua shivering and whining at the kitchen door. When we called the number on the tag, the people were very defensive and denied all knowledge of the dog, supposedly not understanding how we got their phone number. The dog also had a senior citizen owner’s tag attached and was very well cared for. My husband and I imagine that on the way back from dumping Mom at the senior citizen’s home, not wanting to bother with taking the dog to a shelter and really too stupid to remove the tags, this brilliant couple threw the dog into a snow drift and accelerated home. The woman told me to never use her phone number again. I assured her that I wouldn’t but that the animal shelter probably would. These people are polluting the gene pool! Simpleton b*****ds. Anyway, too upset to think straight, I didn’t think about photographing the outside of the house until this morning and also there was so much to see inside of the house!
Every painting, carving, decorative flourish, sculpture and woodwork was created by Vadim. This bench says, “Love thy neighbor.”
Upstairs and downstairs, each wall was covered with Vadim’s paintings. We were dazzled!
Like the Louvre, we’ll have to visit the house again and again to see everything and also because the ambiance is so relaxed and comfortable and we adore Vadim and Galina :) A Russian balalaika painted by Vadim.
In Russia, Vadim received a teaching degree in history but has worked in various art media for most of his life. When we asked why he had not shown some of his pieces in a gallery, he replied that he had but didn’t like the gallery scene. Galina says that he can’t bear to give up anything because he considers them his children :)
When Vadim is not painting the table tops, he takes a break in the kitchen. This is his homemade gravlax. Delicious!
Galina made these scrumptious, meat stuffed blinis. They went down a treat with a chilled vodka ;)
As if it was not enough that they have this wonderful, art filled dacha on the Delaware river, they also have this, intelligent, talented, handsome, composer, producer and guitarist son, Benya Barshai. Blood will tell. Check out Ben’s work on this website. I wonder what happened to our kids…. :)
I did bring a Jamie Oliver inspired bruschetta topping to share, however the original recipe included chilli but, not wanting to set Vadim’s and Galina’s little Russian souls on fire, I substituted with roasted sweet peppers :D
Jamie grilled his vegetables over charcoal, probably in the summer, in clement weather. The top of the stove worked just fine for me. I grilled these in a non stick pan with a cast iron skillet on top.
This is a good recipe and I will make it again. Thanks Jamie.
Vegetable Bruschetta Topping with Roasted Peppers
1 large aubergine
2 large courgettes
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1/4-1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small bunch mint leaves, chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
Score the aubergine and courgettes, then sear in a hot non stick skillet with a cast iron skillet pressing down on top until the vegetables are brown.
Place each vegetable half in an aluminum foil packet, then sprinkle with the olive oil, the zest and half of the lemon juice. Seal the packets and roast in a 400 F oven for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are soft.
Remove the skin of the aubergine, then chop the aubergine flesh and the courgettes, then place in a bowl. Add the the remaining lemon juice, the red pepper, the garlic, mint, salt and pepper to the bowl, mixing well to blend.
Serve with baguette slices or whatever.