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Ah, meat

September 30, 2010

My diet in Ukraine has been, as I have mentioned in other posts, overall rather organic. I admit to occasionally indulging in sweets and Coke Light. Rarer still I indulge in chips. But mostly I eat a lot of vegetables, some fruits (rarer now that fruit season is over – we are in apples and pears). I eat buckwheat, black bread, cheese, yogurt, museli. I am pretty content, overall, as I don’t have high demands for food (I have what is called a low food motivation). So in general, because I don’t particularly love to eat, it is easy to get by here without the American conveniences (though I do miss having a choice of ethnic foods).

However, one thing I had not eaten at all since I have been in Ukraine is beef. Pork, yes – too much during my first 10 weeks, almost none since. Chicken, on occasion – because I live in an oblast center, the grocery store has rotisserie chicken, and I don’t have an oven, so I have splurged on that a couple of times. But beef, well, no. Beef is in the grocery store, but out of my price range. Now, it is not like I ate a lot of beef in the States. In fact, the only time I did was when I was at my parents’ or sister’s house. But still, I had it on occasion.

Last weekend, when I was in Kyiv,  I decided the time was right for a hamburger. I was staying the night with some other PCVs and the decision was made to go to a restaurant and get hamburgers – oh joy! Oh happiness! How I looked forward to that.

We got to the restaurant, sat down and waited for a while (see previous post). When the waitress came to take our order and we said “four cheeseburgers” she said “we are out of hamburgers.” Well, time to go. I left with part of the group (part stayed) and we decided to go to that bastion of Americanism in Kyiv (no, not McDonald’s, though there are a number of those in Kyiv), TGI Friday’s!

However, when we got to Friday’s, I decided that maybe it was not the right choice, to get a hamburger. They are expensive. They cost the same as they do in the US (remember, I am a volunteer on a limited monthly budget). Until the savior of the night, Sarah, said “it is my birthday tomorrow and I want to buy everyone dinner.” We said no. We said it is too much. She insisted, and we relented. (And because we were seven people, we got a free pitcher of Electric Lemonade).

So a hamburger it was – a real hamburger, in an “American” setting. How is it that was just what I needed? I ate that thing in record time, I must admit.  Yum.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Stephen permalink
    October 1, 2010 12:04 am

    When Tim and I were in Kyiv, there was a McDonald’s right across the street from the Project Office. I don’t think Tim went anywhere else for lunch… For me, I think I tried two dozen “expressions” of borscht.

    • October 1, 2010 12:12 am

      Yes, Tim likes him some McDonald’s. As I recall, that is where he lunched when we were in Washington State, too…since I know where the McDonald’s are in Kyiv, I am curious as to where your project office was located.

  2. Heidi permalink
    October 1, 2010 3:11 am

    I miss beef like mad here. I ate it a lot back home and it is crazy expensive here. Ground beef will go on sale for 4 dollars a lb. But, a nice pot roast… Sometimes we are lucky and can buy one for 8 dollars a lb on sale. I miss it. And it does taste SO lovely after so long a time.

    Your menu otherwise sounds yummy as well. We are up to our elbows in apples and pears and I am going to be peeling and freezing buckets of them this weekend.

    • October 1, 2010 4:50 am

      For those who read this and are “not in the know”, Heidi lives in Denmark.

  3. October 1, 2010 7:38 am

    Beef, its whats for dinner! I am leaving for Rwanda in a few weeks and eating up all the beef that I can.

  4. Mom permalink
    October 1, 2010 1:44 pm

    And here we are told not to eat so much beef because it causes high cholesterol. What a world.
    Gee, I can send you some “dried beef!”
    Glad you found what you needed when you needed it. That’s all that counts.
    Love you.

  5. Lisa permalink
    October 5, 2010 9:26 am

    When I lived in France for a year in the 80’s I was too poor to buy and eat meat. When I got back to the states I was dying for a burger. Turns out, my body rejected it. No good. I haven’t gone back. I do eat a lot of chicken, turkey and fish though. Nothing beats the smell of bacon cooking though.

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