Privet! I am Masha, the author and photographer behind Dacha2Table. Born in Cuba and raised in Belarus, I now live in Washington, DC with my husband James (also known as the Chicken Wing Master). Out of a million things a young couple can do in the District these days, we prefer to spend our free time cooking and hosting rooftop BBQ parties and dinners for friends. I know, boring. In any event, back in Belarus, my family used to own a dacha with a small farm, which was nevertheless big enough to supply us with vegetables, herbs, fruits, berries and eggs for the entire year. My grandma used to can a lot of those goodies for winter, so eating seasonally was as natural as having coffee in the morning. Passion for cooking runs deep in my family, with my grandma being the biggest pro and everyone else trying to keep up with her. Many of the recipes I share in this blog are a testament to her and my mom’s legacy.
Another person who has a huge influence on me is the Chicken Wing Master, James. When we met each other, he was extremely well-read in nutrition (which I barely had any idea about) and I was rather serious about eating seasonally and sourcing produce locally. As a result of sharing our approaches with each other, our knowledge and habits blended together and we came up with a set of principles that we try to stick to on a regular basis when grocery shopping and cooking. For a quick summary of our principles, I defer to Michael Pollan who put it well: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” And of course, we love meat, responsibly sourced, which we are convinced is part of a healthful and balanced diet.
I experiment a lot in the kitchen, trying different cuisines and flavors. In this blog, however, I decided to primarily focus on Eastern European cuisine, which James and I greatly enjoy and which will allow me to honor my culinary heritage. Occasionally, I will share my favorite recipes from other cuisines but with an Eastern European twist. Last but not least, I love the aesthetics of food and dining traditions, which I try to capture in photographs. I’m by no means a person who can’t finish her dinner without posting the meal on Instagram, but I plead guilty to spending hours photographing food and everything related to it.
I hope you enjoy the blog!