Home » Foreign Palates » From Lithuania to Lochness

From Lithuania to Lochness

I’ve always thought of eating Haggis but when visiting Scotland found it more interesting to watch the Bagpipe players in their kilts. Still I enjoyed going to Lochness and Aberdeen with a German friend whom I continued to correspond with 8 years later after I spent time in the fjords and continued onward through Europe visiting Turkey, Italy, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria.

Recently I’ve been fortunate to meet some lovely Eastern Europeans visiting Israel and the memories from my Polish grandparents and Russian friends seem to cloud my sense of time.  Instead of living the moment these wonderful guests have helped me to couchsurf as I listen to their wonderful stories from their hometowns.

Lithuania until now a little known Country near Poland with the Capital Vilinuis yet on a wish list to visit. Having around 75% of Sth African Jew originating from Lithuania whom are now scattered in Israel,Australia and the UK, living in Australia  as a result of WWII and the end of the Apartheid region I was curious enough to want to meet my first Lithuanian, hopefully the first of many as we enjoyed discussing familiarities such as tastes from my past. Borscht a Beetroot soup I devoured at my Russian Aunts and Potatoes and Pickles which reminded me of my Polish ancestory.

Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic and Lithuania all places I’ve found to be enticing enough to list as countries travelled to on my bucket list for the future. But for now Bulgaria, Belgrade are the first off my list as places in Eastern Europe I have fond memories of.

The description of the forests and the Old Town take me back to my travels in Finland, yet sitting on my lounge room couch thinking of Bulgaria and the days I spent with my twin girls backpacking through to Nessebar and Varna in the midst of the biggest hail Storm in 90 years.


A smile from my guest as I enter the streets of Jerusalem on Shabbat to bring my guest home for the night.  Strange as it seems already within 20 mins a bond is formed with a stranger from afar.  We exchange recipes and stories and prepare for a day filled with Music.  Modiin transforms itself every year during Autumn for a weekend of Music from around the globe be it Irish melodies or Folk music from Israel and around Europe  as one listens to the local Jazz bands play Kleizemer music  as we continue to dance.

In Lithuania rains fall as I watch our Autumn trees turn yellow amongst shades of brown and green. The storms in Litnuania bring beautiful Amber stones to Lithuanians that are then turned into ornaments or gifts like the souvenirs given to my daughters. Here the sun shines gazing at the beauty in my hands and my memory recollects the friendship stone I was given some years back by a friend whom returned to America leaving me behind a gift from South Africa.  One day my son will recieve it as a token of my love. But for now my twins admire their gifts of Amber adorning their necklines proudly to show off to their classmates.

Having spent time farming for root vegetables and Potatoes the idea of making a vegetable soup from potatoes, carrots, celery and pickled cucumber entices me almost as much as Beetroot Borscht.  But for now I will share my Beetroot salad recipes for those whom wish to delight in a sweet accompaniment to any main course.


Beetroot Walnut and Goat Cheese Salad – After cooking beetroot and slicing it into cubes.

Add the Walnuts and Goat cheese cubes with a touch of Olive oil and Salt and Pepper.

This salad is quite delicious along with my Beetroot, Prune, Walnut, Mayonnaise Dressed salad will be added to my favourites for a festive meal.  And so until we travel again we can dream of Galapagos Islands ,Lithuania or Prague to keep my curiosity up.


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