Tag Archives: Lara Vapnyar

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar: Slicing Sautéed Spinach

So I thought all the stories in Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love are going to revolve around Russian immigrants. But in Slicing Sautéed Spinach, Ružena, the protagonist, is originally from Prague. Ružena, a PhD student in Women’s Studies, has first met her lover at a public library in New York while she […]

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar: Luda and Milena

I loved Luda and Milena as much as A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf! The namesakes in this story are two Russian immigrants past their prime living in Brooklyn. They meet each other at an English as a Second Language class and become instant rivals as they both have their eyes set on […]

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar: Salad Olivier

According to recipes Vapnyar has included at the back of this book, Salad Olivier is the Russian equivalent of Thanksgiving turkey. This dish made with boiled potatoes, eggs, pickles, and meat is the centerpiece in New Year’s Eve dinners, which is the most cherished holiday in Russia. Preparing Salad Olivier is a family activity, so […]

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar: Puffed Rice and Meatballs

When Katya’s American lover wants her to talk about her childhood in Russia, and “the horrors of communism,” in Puffed Rice and Meatballs, she is taken back by this request. What exactly were the horrors of communism? Katya’s childhood coincided with the Stagnation Period. People weren’t killed or put in prisons as easily as before, […]

Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love by Lara Vapnyar: Borscht

Even though I’m done reading Stories from the Kitchen, I haven’t lost my appetite for food stories yet! So I’ve selected Vapnyar’s Broccoli and Other Tales of Food and Love, a collection where immigrant tales and food intersect, as my next short story read. I’ve already read its first story; A Bunch of Broccoli on the […]

Stories from the Kitchen: A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf by Lara Vapnyar

In A Bunch of Broccoli on the Third Shelf, Nina is a Russian immigrant living in Brooklyn, New York. Nina had developed a fascination for vegetables soon after she arrived in America – she still remembers being delighted by the sight of “colorful piles of oranges, tomatoes, cucumbers” outside a small Chinese grocery store in […]