Welcome to Julia’s Food Therapy

When I was about to start writing the blog, I faced a dilemma. Sugarcoat things and get likes or do it my way. Well, if Frank Sinatra could, why not me too?

My name is Julia, I am from Uzhhorod (it’s a middle size city in Transcarpathia, Ukraine). My origin is something that defines me.

My tastes and preferences formed during my childhood, and probably I will never like pineapple as much as I like the regular apple, because I was raised on local foods and produce. And make no mistake, I will gladly experiment with exotic spices, produce and ingredients, but that basis for my cooking will always be what I’ve seen in my grandma’s kitchen. That’s why I will keep it simple. Home-made.

I was lucky to have a loving grandma and mom that made me like vegetables. I was not your typical kid that goes awwwwwhhh when seeing a bit of veggies on the plate! I actually loved spinach, carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, beans and almost all the veggies you can imagine. I used them extensively in all my dishes. Just as my grandma and mom used, when making the traditional pelmenyi, vareniky, borsh and stuffed cabbage.

But the love for cooking I sure owe to my nanny. That lady was a magician in the kitchen. At least in the eyes of 6-year-old me. The way she whipped the egg whites and turned them into the fluffy, white base was amazing. So is the memory of those days.

Cooking and eating are nothing without memories. They are the best critics of the quality of food we produce or get served. In particular when eating out. Even today, an idea of going out to a nice place and trying new dishes amuses me and the excitement and curiosity is overwhelming. Just the same as when I was a kid, when eating out was a very rare and festive occasion. Ordering from “the book” as I called the menu, was full of excitement. I have a feeling I can still taste the scrambled eggs I ate during my first trip abroad, back in the days when i was a kid. The eggs were so creamy, prepared with a lot of butter. It was perfection! And actually it turned into a nightmare for mom for the next few months, because I was asking for the same eggs, with exactly the same taste as I had them in the “pension” during our vacations. She managed, quite some time later. So I can say it was my first recipe testing and improving.

But when did I truly start to cook, you may wonder?

The real cooking started when I got to university. I was only 16, in Kiev, really far from home. I was living the dormitory, I was a student (so obviously the money was always lacking) and needed to eat something on the daily bases. I remember that we really had just the basic equipment (one pot, and one pen, that’s all) and we used only the basic cheap products. At that time the technology just started to develop so I had my firs skype cooking classes with my mom, telling me the family recipes and guiding me through all the process.  The result was that I fed many of my fellow classmates. Learned to value true appreciation for what I made and accept critique if it was not the best.

And now that my student days are long behind me, I cook for my loved ones. That’s how I show my love for them, and at the same time create and try new ideas, recipes and let my fantasy go wild. And hopefully one day, my cooking and myself will be a part of someone’s memory and inspiration for great things to do around the stove.

In the meantime, let us share love for food and use it to fight against stress and everyday pressures of this fast-paced world. Let the food be therapy. Ready for TREATment?