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My Mother : Paola Volkova – Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir

7.04.2020 Posted in Red Art, Red History, Red Writing No Comments

My Mother : Paola Volkova – Unpublished Mother Loss Memoir Part 1 15 March 2014 Dearest Mom, today is the first anniversary of your death. In the Orthodox religion this date has something to do with the soul finally reaching its final destination. A pivotal moment for your future. Family and friends get together to mark this moment together with the deceased. They will meet in Moscow. I decided that I would not attend. I would stay at home in Paris. I woke up early this morning to spend the whole day with you. From my window I saw the first rays of the rising sun over Sacré Coeur basilica. How to explain my decision not to come? I used the pretext of having too much work to do. The family has probably found my excuse disrespectful. But I could not face going there, to smile and talk. I could not even look at your pictures. ***** Most of all I miss that tenderly-sarcastic look in your blue eyes. It is far away. Somewhere in the skies. Sociable as you were, by now you must have met most of your friends – the poet and screenwriter Tonino Guerra, film directors Andrey Tarkovski and Theodore Angelopoulos, and those you would have liked to have met while you were here – painters Giotto di Bondone, Sandro Botticelli and Kasimir Malevich – to discuss with them the indefinable mystery of great works of art. ****** Your death was unexpected. You were 82. I […]

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Roasted Eggplants with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Grated Fresh Parmesan

3.04.2020 Posted in Red Cooking, Red Food No Comments

Roasted Eggplants with Homemade Tomato Sauce and Grated Fresh Parmesan This dish of roasted eggplants, tomato sauce and fresh parmesan is nicely seasoned with garlic and olive oil, served with basil leaves and arugula salad. For 4 people : Ingredients: 2 large Eggplants Homemade tomato sauce Fresh shredded Parmesan Breadcrumbs 6-8 Basil leaves and arugula salad for decoration Homemade tomato sauce ingredients: Large can of whole peeled tomatoes 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 cloves of garlic, 2 onions, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of oregano, salt & pepper to taste. Steps to make the tomato sauce: Cook sliced onions in hot olive oil for 5 minutes 2. Add cloves of smashed garlic, cook for another 2 minutes 3. Add the full content of peeled tomatoes, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, salt and pepper and cook on a slow fire for 50 min Steps to bake eggplantes: 1. Slice eggplants crosswise into 0.5 cm thick slices; 2. Lay on a baking paper on a baking tray & sprinkle each slice with a drop of olive oil; 3.Heat the oven up to 200 degrees and bake the eggplants for 20 minutes turning them once after ten minutes; 4. In a baking dish put a layer of eggplants, tomato sauce and grated parmesan; 5. Form 2 or 3 layers and coat the top layer with breadcrambes; 6. Bake at 200 degrees for 40 minutes; 7. Serve with basil leaves and seasoned arugula salad. Bon appetite!  

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Excellent Review of my book about Angelica Balabanoff

Excellent Review of my book about Angelica Balabanoff. I would like to share with you excellent news! Barbara C. Allen, Ph D, Professor at La Salle University, wrote an excellent review of my book “The Strange Comrade Balabanoff. The Life of a Communist Rebel“, McFarland Publishers. The review was published at the beginning of March in The International Newsletter of Communist Studies, p. 179-183, XXIV/XXV (2018/19), nos. 31-32 and is available on https://incs.ub.rub.de/ Dear Barbara, thank you so much for the awesome review! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your opinion and your experience.

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Sandro Botticelli Primavera explained by Paola Volkova

17.08.2018 Posted in Red Art No Comments

A well-known Russian art critic Paola Volkova explains Primavera pâinted by artist a celebrated Italian Sandro Botticelli in 1478 in her Art Program “Bridge Over the Abyss”. Her explanations of who was Sandro Botticelli, why he painted Primavera, how was it like to live in Florence of the second half of the 15th century, why the Medici family invested in art and why this painting is important in the 20th century, totally captures the audience. You will find out about the compositional principle of the patinting, why Bottivelli was called the poet of lines, and which artist may be called his successor in the 20th century. The Art Program “Bridge Over the Abyss”, filmed in Moscow in 2013 for a TV channel “Kultura”, consists of 19 videos each devoted to a famous painting including Las Meninas, Melancholia, Kiss of Judas, The Ship of Fools, The Night Cafe, Guernica and others. Success came overnight. Up to this day Paola Volkova remains the leading artcritic in Russia who books about fine arts continue to be all time bestsellers. To share a video https://youtu.be/KFAD89RAV48

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Angelica’s Tea Set discovered in Tel Aviv

17.03.2017 Posted in Red Writing 2 Comments

When in May last year (2016) my biography of Angelica Balabanoff The Strange Comrade Balabanoff: The Life of a Communist Rebel has been published by McFarland Publishers I did not know that the publication of the book will bring a few unexpected surprises. Among many events related to the publication of the biography of Angelica Balabanoff including meeting people interested in Angelica’s life, exchanging passionate emails with Angelica’s fans from all over the world (I had people writing to me from Turkey, Russia, Sweden and the U.S.) and who happened to be more numerous than I have ever expected, or  simply meeting those interested in book publication,  was also meeting Angelica’s family. Gabriel and his daughter Dana are related to Angelica through the marriage of Gabriel’s grandmother to Angelica’s brother in Chernigov (today’s Ukraine) around 1880. Today they live in Israel in Tel Aviv. It was Dana who contacted me after reading my articles about Angelica published on this website www.morethanred.com. I had the most interesting conversation over the phone with Gabriel who remembered meeting Angelica in 1950s in New York. He also sent me pictures of a tea set his family  inherited from Angelica with her initials A.B. and which his family still uses.  I could only regret not meeting Gabriel before the publication of my book and not being able to include the photos into the book.  Happy to share them with you on this website. If you want to know more about Angelica go to the page […]

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Seasons Greetings! – Angelica’s recipes – Beetroot Tarte Tatin

23.12.2016 Posted in Red Cooking, Red Writing No Comments

TO celebrate Chistmas I decided to make a Beetroot Tarte Tatin and dedicate it to Angelica!* For obvious reasons Angelica had never tried a Beetroot Tarte Tatin – which simply did not exist during her times. However, I thought that this recipe would perfectly correspond to her: it is vegetarian and contains a beetroot, one of the traditonal ingredients of the Russian cuisine.  Beautiful glazed beets, crisp buttery pastry and creamy goat’s cheese: this delicious dish will brighten up any winter table. Perfect as a light lunch or served with pink roast venison. Serves 4 75g golden caster sugar 40g butter A splash of sherry vinegar 1 tbsp honey 7 thyme sprigs 4 fresh beetroot, cooked 250g puff pastry 4 slices of goat’s cheese Salt and black pepper 1 Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas mark 4. Place a smallish, heavy, oven-safe frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sugar to the pan and stir until it dissolves, then add a big pinch of salt, all the butter and a splash of sherry vinegar. Keep stirring until it has turned mahogany brown. It’s a good idea to use oven gloves to protect your hands. Take care not to let the sugar burn. 2 Add 1 tbsp honey to the pan. Pick the thyme leaves from 6 stalks and add them too. Remove from the heat and stir. Place a long sprig of thyme on top of the caramel for decoration. 3 Cut the cooked beetroot into nice fat slices and carefully (so […]

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Angelica’s recipes – Beetroot keftedes

25.11.2016 Posted in Red Cooking, Red Writing No Comments

As you know my biography of Angelica Balabanoff ‘The Strange Comrade Balabanoof: The Life of a Communist Rebel‘ has been published in June 2016 by McFarland Publishers. To celebrate the launch of the book I decided to devote my blog to Angelica’s lifestyle, friends, recipes and places where she lived during her long and interesting life. I decided to try today’s recipe beetroot keftedes because it is vegetarian and red.  Vegetrain is to honor Angelica and red is to honor my website. These Greek-influenced beetroot fritters can be served hot or cold, accompanied by beetroot tzatziki. Serves 4. Ingredients: 200g fresh beetroot, cooked, peeled and coarsely grated 2 spring onions, finely chopped 3 tbsp parmesan, grated 240g feta cheese, crumbled 1 egg, beaten 2 tbsp dill, finely chopped 2 tbsp mint or parsley, finely chopped 220g breadcrumbs 60g plain flour Peanut or vegetable oil, for frying 1 lemon Salt and black pepper 1 Mix the beetroot, spring onions, cheese, egg and herbs together. Season, then mix in enough breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. 2 Shape the mixture into golfball-size pieces, adding a little flour if the mixture is too wet. 3 Season the flour and coat the balls in it. Heat the oil until hot, but not smoking, and fry the pieces in batches for 2-3 minutes until golden all over. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Serve hot with a squeeze of lemon. It is delicious!!!! Recipe from The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia […]

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How Slavic Became the Flavor of the Moment

11.11.2016 Posted in Red Cooking, Red Food No Comments

Fermented, foraged, whole-grain and invigoratingly herbal, the flavors of the moment are straight out of Central and Eastern Europe. Why does this old-world food seem so right-now? (published in The Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-slavic-became-the-flavor-of-the-moment-1478110466) SUPER BOWL | Silesian dumplings in carrot broth (kluski slaskie), served at Apteka in Pittsburgh. PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY SARAH KARNASIEWICZ, PROP STYLING BY CARLA GONZALEZ-HART By SARAH KARNASIEWICZ Updated Nov. 2, 2016 3:48 p.m. ET 30 COMMENTS STICK-TO-YOUR RIBS stews, vegetables simmered into submission, doughy dumplings as chubby and pale as a child’s fist: Mention Eastern European food to most Americans, and these are the images they’ll conjure. Never mind that at its largest, the U.S.S.R. covered one-sixth of the earth’s land, swallowing spice routes and diverse empires that were sustained by much more than pork and potatoes. Twenty-five years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union—and with more than 14 million Russian, Ukrainian and Polish Americans among us—popular notions of Slavic food have remained largely frozen in amber. SEE THE RECIPES Blame it on cultural baggage: The Slavic penchant for hospitality has always been most vigorously practiced at home, and the privations of life behind the Iron Curtain during most of the last century hardly made for a robust restaurant culture. Nevertheless, a new generation of stateside chefs is embracing Central and Eastern European ingredients and techniques, putting fresh—dare I say hip?—spins on a colorful cuisine that ranges far beyond stereotypical babushka cooking. At Apteka, a modern Polish restaurant […]

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The Hidden Jewel of Ascona – A Russian painter Marianne von Werefkin

4.11.2016 Posted in Red Travel, Red Writing No Comments

At the end of September I found myself in Ascona – a beuatiful town in the Italian part of Switzerland. The main reason of my trip to Ascona was to look at the paintings of a Russian painter Mariannne von Werefkin (1860 – 1938) who lived in Ascona for the last 20 years of her life. I love her paintings – beautiful, solitary and kind images of daily life. Bron in Tula as the daughter of the commander of the Ekaterinaburg Regiment, she became a student of Ilya Repin, the most important painter of Russian Realism. In 1892 she met Alexej von Jawlensky, who desired to be her protégé, and in 1896 she, Jawlensky, and their servant moved to Munich, where she initiated a Salon which soon became a center of lively artistic exchange. She also founded the “Lukasbruderschaft” of which also Kandinsky was a member. At the outbreak of the First World War, Werefkin and Jawlensky immigrated to Switzerland. With the beginning of Russian Revolution in 1917, Marianne lost her money in Russia and could no longer be a protégé of her husband. By 1918, they had separated. Jawlensky who had a son with their servant married the servant and went back to Germany. Werefkin moved alone to Ascona, on Lago Maggiore where she painted many colorful, landscapes in an expressionist style. In 1924 she founded the artist group “Großer Bär” (i.e., Big Bear, Ursa Major). Unable to make her living she lived in povetry supported by a few friends. Marianne von Werefkin died in Ascona on 6 […]

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Icons of Modern Arts: the Shchukin Collection – at the LV Foundation – A perfect excuse to come to Paris

24.10.2016 Posted in Red Art No Comments

Icons of Modern Arts: the Shchukin Collection -an exhibition currently held at the LV Foundation in Paris and a perfect excuse to come to Paris. In Paris, in the Louis Vuitton Foundation opened the exhibition “Icons of Modernism. Shchukin Collection”. This extraordinary exhibition highlighting around 150 masterpieces  (Matisse, Monet, Picasso, Matisse, Degas, Renoir and many other world renowned painters) opened to the public on October 22 and goes on until the end of February. One of the greatest world collections of French art is reunited together for the first time in 90 years since Shchukin has left the mansion at Znamenka in 1918 after which his collection has been nationalised by the Soviet state.  To get a preview of a preparation for the exhibiton here is the video installation by Peter Greenaway & his wife.  The 478 page catalogue  is available in French, English & Russian (49,90 €) and includes forwards by Francois Hollande, Vladimire Poutine, Bernard Arnault, the great grandchildren Arielle Badou and André-Marc Delocque-Fourcauld who spent years compiling data on the great Russian merchant & collector (http\://www.collectionchtchoukine.com). For more information about the exhibition: http\://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en/expositions/icones-de-l-art-moderne-la-collection-chtchoukine.html  

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