From borscht to barbeque — one of the treats about the get-together at my friends Hans and Kathy’s place, besides the excellent range of food (extremely well-marinated steak, excellent chicken, a good selection of salads and so forth) was the presence of a new member of the household — an excitable and friendly pit bull stray that had appeared the previous day — and another excitable and friendly personage, the three year old Jackson.
He’s a Ukrainian by birth, only three years old, and recently adopted by two acquaintances Audrey and Andy, who I usually see at these get-togethers. They were over in Ukraine around the same time I was Venezuela, I gather, and they had things to say about the cuisine that indicated that sunflower oil is a key cooking ingredient (in just about everything) and that they were glad they were walking a lot to burn off the calories. Sounds wise enough, a full month of that diet might have been more than a little wearying on the system otherwise.
So Jackson had what I guess was his first American summer barbeque meal — the Southern California variety at that, warm without being humidly hot, a classic ‘this is suburbia and darn if it isn’t pretty good’ setting. Everything grilled up accordingly, the corn was fresh and newly roasted, it wasn’t too busy a presentation all around and a marvellous meal was shared out between about ten people all told. Jackson, being three and not really knowing much English yet, contented himself with nibbles on bread and corn and rice as he sat in his new mom’s lap. I suspect he’ll fit into this place just fine — it was a lovely first time experience.