I remember my mother and my grandmother drinking borscht.
To the best of my memory, they mixed beet juice and sour cream, shook it in a jar, and drank it from glasses at room temperature. My grandmother was born in Riga, Latvia. Presumably, this was her family’s Russian recipe.
I was a child. My memory may be off. But that’s how I remember it.
They made no great effort to serve me borscht. It was a sort of “grown-up” dish. But I think they offered. I’m a person who loves food and will try about anything. I’m picky only to the extent that, at my age, I no longer eat meat and stay away from processed foods — only because I want to be healthy. But almost anything and everything tastes good. Borscht is one of the few foods I’ve encountered in my life that did not entice me at all.
We had borscht for dinner last night. It was a hearty soup, served hot. According to Wikipedia, it comes both hot and cold.
My daughter, Sarah, and my son, Aaron, spent two weeks last year, over Christmas, in Israel — thanks to the Birthright Israel program.
It was there that Aaron ate borscht. He liked it, and he got a recipe.
When he returned to his home in Asheville, he made some. According to Aaron, it was terrible.
A teacher at the Jewish school, where he worked had a recipe. He tried that. It didn’t work either.
He then asked a woman at a small grocery for her recipe. The third time was the charm. He’s made it several times since then.
And he made it for us last night.
Aaron’s borscht was nothing like the borscht my mother and grandmother made. Served with Aaron’s Mediterranean salad, it was a great meal.