I have learned a thing or two from my 22-year-old son and I expect to learn a lot more as time goes by. The first thing is that when you throw out a leftover drink at the convenience store, always pour out the contents first. You do not want to create “trash juice” for the poor guy who empties the trash.
And it’s BORSCH without the T. Even though the entire internet spells it with a “t,” the entire internet is wrong. I know this because Noah is my Russian son and he spent five hours making BORSCH the other night. I am screaming, I know. But since becoming conversationally fluent in Russian during his college career at the University of Tennessee, my son speaks Russian around the house every day. With correct pronunciation, which is slightly irritating. Sadly for him, he speaks Russian mostly to my cat, Peanut. Peanut seems to understand.
So Noah loves all things Russian. He loves the culture, he loves the vodka (WODKA) and he loves the food. Particularly BORSCH. He made 10 gallons of it the other night. It only took him five hours. The recipe, by author Anya von Bremzen, is the luxury version because it contains meat. I have learned from my Russian son that there are many versions of BORSCH and they reflect the varying economic climate under which the Soviet people lived. Most of the time it sucked to be Russian during this era and much of the traditional Russian food culture went underground.
But at 5117 times are good and our BORSCH included beef brisket. I am a big beet lover as is Noah. King Daddy not so much so he reserved judgment as this soup slowly came together.
I think he looks a little like an oppressed Russian dock worker here, cooking his BORSCH in a ripped t-shirt. But King Daddy and I were much the richer for the finished product. It was absolutely delicious and King Daddy had seconds. We paired it up with some terrific rye bread with Russian butter and Russian sour cream from Alexsey Market.
Noah had some WODKA with his BORSCH.
As I said, this recipe is not for the faint of heart. But it’s truly spectacular and on a frigid winter day when the Polar Vortex revisits Middle Tennessee, you can make it and reminisce about the bad old days in Russia and celebrate the young man in Brentwood, Tennessee, who treasures his new-found, old-school Russian heritage.