The pundits are pumped and declaring that it’s time to grab the popcorn, folks, because this is going to be a wild ride.
Under the circumstances, I’m reaching for the pierogi.
There’s nothing funny about impeachment—nothing at all, in fact—but a person’s got to eat. And nothing says “self care above all else” than impeachment-related foods that relate in some way to the clear and present situation the country finds itself in. Nothing says, “food therapy” than healthy local foods and drinks.
So, yes pierogi not popcorn. The potato dumplings are one of the national dishes of Ukraine and while they’re available around the North Bay, Not to be getting all presidential, I want you to do me a favor, though: Make your own.
Rodney Strong Vineyard in Healdsburg offers a really tasty-looking recipe on their website—a foraged mushroom and steak pierogi, stop the presses!—that they recommend you pair with one of their Cabernets. Go for it. More traditional versions include pierogi stuffed with cabbage or sauerkraut The Rodney Strong recipe is simple enough and looks like a fun way to spend a weekend afternoon when the only high crime or misdemeanor you’ll have to worry about is an abuse of flour. There’s nothing worse than a gummy pierogi, so go easy on that stuff.
The North Bay has a rich and long history of Russian meddling in our coastline, but it’s all been in the service of tourism and generally on the up-and-up. Russian and Ukrainian culture is one of the sublime through-lines that makes life up here interesting, and it’s not just because they named a river after mother Russia.
The cultures are celebrated as they should be, and despite whatever the guy on the other end of the phone is saying or sort-of threatening. The North Bay doesn’t have to worry about a lack of any reciprocal relationship with Ukraine, especially when it comes to food.
For instance, an early-September festival of Ukrainian foods and music took place in the City of Sonoma in early September (and how we pine for those recent and comparatively innocent days of pre-impeachment yore!). The festival was, according to the Sonoma Press Index report, a serious and seriously fun event with authentic eats from Ukraine—wine herring, smoked mackerel, eggplant relish, pear soda—and all sorts of traditional music from the former Soviet republic.
The Sonoma Ukraine event had a deadly serious mission along with the celebration, reported the Sonona paper. Organizer Tarney Baldinger, besides making the eggplant relish, was on hand to raise money for a Ukrainian warzone hospital and to help families of Ukrainian war veterans. Baldringer was also collecting clothing, medical supplies, “fabric for camouflage nets and pads for tank seats, underwear for soldiers and men’s socks” at the event.
Hey, it wasn’t quite $250 million in American military aid to help Ukraine stave off further Russian aggression on its eastern border, but then again, nobody was extorted to dig dirt on Sonoma’s city council in exchange for the assistance to Ukrainian war victims.
The North Bay has already dealing with the long hand of Washington when it comes to the Ukraine, its culture and people. Mexican immigrants aren’t the only immigrants on Stephen Miller’s list of unfriendlies, apparently: Last year, the longstanding Worlds Friends Dinner in Sebastopol got caught up in international immigration affairs after Ukrainian students’ visas were denied and they couldn’t come to town for for the annual event.
Maybe there was a perfect conversation with a Ukrainian leader over the past year, or maybe not, but the World Friends Day is back at full multicultural strength on Nov. 4. It’s being billed as “Where Sushi meets Borsch” and celebrates Sebastopol’s sister-cityhood with Takeo, Japan and Chyhyryn, Ukraine.