Dacha on the Delaware


On Sunday we went to Vadim’s and Galina’s for a late lunch.  They have a beautiful European style country house whose living room picture window affords an uninterrupted view of the frozen Delaware river.  The gazebo next to the river was built and decorated by Vadim.


My idea was to get a photo of the house during the daylight hours but we were delayed and distracted by a very old and very fat chihuahua shivering and whining at the kitchen door. When we called the number on the tag, the people were very defensive and denied all knowledge of the dog, supposedly not understanding how we got their phone number. The dog also had a senior citizen owner’s tag attached and was very well cared for.  My husband and I imagine that on the way back from dumping Mom at the senior citizen’s home, not wanting to bother with taking the dog to a shelter and really too stupid to remove the tags, this brilliant couple threw the dog into a snow drift and accelerated home.  The woman told me to never use her phone number again.  I assured her that I wouldn’t but that the animal shelter probably would.  These people are polluting the gene pool!  Simpleton b*****ds.  Anyway, too upset to think straight, I didn’t think about photographing the outside of the house until this morning and also there was so much to see inside of the house!


Every painting, carving, decorative flourish, sculpture and woodwork was created by Vadim.  This bench says, “Love thy neighbor.”


Upstairs and downstairs, each wall was covered with Vadim’s paintings.  We were dazzled!


Like the Louvre, we’ll have to visit the house again and again to see everything and also because the ambiance is so relaxed and comfortable and we adore Vadim and Galina 🙂  A Russian balalaika painted by Vadim.


In Russia, Vadim received a teaching degree in history but has worked in various art media for most of his life.  When we asked why he had not shown some of his pieces in a gallery, he replied that he had but didn’t like the gallery scene.  Galina says that he can’t bear to give up anything because he considers them his children 🙂


When Vadim is not painting the table tops, he takes a break in the kitchen.  This is his homemade gravlax.  Delicious!


Galina made these scrumptious, meat stuffed blinis.  They went down a treat with a chilled vodka 😉


As if it was not enough that they have this wonderful, art filled dacha on the Delaware river, they also have this, intelligent,  talented, handsome, composer, producer and guitarist son, Benya Barshai.  Blood will tell.  Check out Ben’s work on this website.  I wonder what happened to our kids….  🙂


I did bring a Jamie Oliver inspired bruschetta topping to share, however the original recipe included chilli but, not wanting to set Vadim’s and Galina’s little Russian souls on fire, I substituted with roasted sweet peppers 😀


Jamie grilled his vegetables over charcoal, probably in the summer, in clement weather. The top of the stove worked just fine for me.  I grilled these in a non stick pan with a cast iron skillet on top.


This is a good recipe and I will make it again.  Thanks Jamie.


Vegetable Bruschetta Topping with Roasted Peppers

1 large aubergine

2 large courgettes

Olive oil

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 1/2 lemons

1/4-1/3 cup chopped roasted red pepper

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 small bunch mint leaves, chopped

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Score the aubergine and courgettes, then sear in a hot non stick skillet with a cast iron skillet pressing down on top until the vegetables are brown.

Place each vegetable half in an aluminum foil packet, then sprinkle with the olive oil, the zest and half of the lemon juice.  Seal the packets and roast in a 400 F oven for 30-40 minutes until the vegetables are soft.

Remove the skin of the aubergine, then chop the aubergine flesh and the courgettes, then place in a bowl. Add the the remaining lemon juice, the red pepper, the garlic, mint, salt and pepper to the bowl, mixing well to blend.

Serve with baguette slices or whatever.







About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in Appetizer, Cooking, English, Food and Wine, Hors d'oeuvres, Recipes, Vegetables and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Dacha on the Delaware

  1. A beautiful and amazing home that belongs to your very lovely and talented friends – incredible paintings. Love the bruschetta topping too, it sounds like a fantastic visit. How awful about that poor little dog….grrrrr, makes me mad.

  2. milktherapy says:

    bruchsetta topping looks great!!!

  3. memadtwo says:

    I hope whomever dumped that dog burns in hell. It’s a great post, though, beautiful house, beautiful artwork and lovely gazebo by the river!

  4. Mad Dog says:

    How wonderful – are you sure that’s America? I love that picture of the gazebo in the snow – apparently Life photographers carry red jackets with them because something red in the distance draws the viewer’s eye across and into the photograph. The photographer would try to get someone to wear the jacket if necessary and ask them to stand somewhere towards the middle left or right rear to add interest to a crowd shot. The gazebo does a similar thing 😉

  5. Trish says:

    That is so distressing about the little dog! and you are right, better to put it down than abandon it. Did you get it to an animal shelter? I can’t get over that someone could be so heartless. I am definitely a sucker for animals. Shoot that really upsets me! And to do that to their aging mother’s dog! I know you don’t know that for certain, but the clues definitely fit.

  6. jaz says:

    what an interesting family. i would love to see that home!

  7. What a beautiful house & prodigious talent. I wanna hang out there

  8. Your topping sounds so absolutely delicious,but what a wild place you visited! Amazing! All the food sounds so good, too.

    I wonder if the tags were old and the telephone number not updated. My Gibson has a microchip implanted, a tag with address and telephone number, a tag with his Home Again registration to a website, and a tag that says “Needs Medication.” Confession: He doesn’t need meds, but I figure if someone were thinking about keeping him that would be a deterrent! And his rabies tag, of course. He positively jingles when he walks! 🙂 There’s no way I want to lose that dog!

  9. I am always astounded by how flawed we are as people…

  10. Mary Frances says:

    What a way to spend a beautiful quiet Sunday with loved ones!

  11. Karen says:

    Your new friends have an amazing home. You seem to collect the must wonderful collection of friends wherever you are. 😀

  12. susamaimily says:

    Reblogged this on susamaimily.

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