Kveller: Embracing borscht, pies and mayonnaise for the next generation

This essay was originally published by Kveller.com on Dec. 29, 2016, titled “Embracing the Russian Food of My Youth for the Sake of My Kids”

I never thought I’d miss Russian food, the unassuming cuisine of my birthplace. I was self-conscious about Russian salads, for instance, referring to boiled and chopped root vegetables loaded with mayonnaise, not microgreens. Traditional Russian recipes use just one kind of cheese, called cheese. Growing up as an immigrant kid in the United States, it’s awkward having to always explain that sour cream really does make everything better, that Herring under a Fur Coat isn’t furry, that the jiggly meat jelly is no weirder than the processed American chicken tender.

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Kveller: 6 Parenting Lessons I Learned As a Restaurant Server

This post was originally published by Kveller on Sept. 13, 2016

Waiting tables at a Moroccan restaurant in New York isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about parenting. If you’re a student who lives off a credit card and walks 30 blocks to save on subway fare, yet splurges on cocktails and believes fatherhood potential and artistic talent are the same thing, children are not in the picture. Continue reading

Kveller: On Finding the Perfect Name for My Multicultural Son

A version of this essay was originally published by Kveller on August 4, 2016.

I’d known what I’d call my future daughter since I was a teenager.

But things got tricky with my son. I hoped to parcel out his Russian-American-Jewish heritage into one word, ensuring it’s pronounceable by Russian relatives without making him a laughingstock of his American peers.

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