Time travel with the 46th president and a Russian parfait


Russian parfait, simple, elegant, and decadent all at once.


Have you ever felt like food can be like time travel?

Food has a way, like music or perfume for some, to transport me to another time and place.


Crisp cold winter days find me craving comforting winter foods, savory and sweet. On new year’s eve I rediscovered one of my favorite winter Russian desserts. While I have now made it several times, alone and with friends, its actual name has eluded me. When asked, Russian friends did not recall it having a special name, beyond сливы под сливками (plums with cream). While I was sure it had some romantic name like “stuffed prunes under snow”.


Prunes may not be high on your list of dessert foods, or foods in general. Many of us think of them, and their juice, as something old people have around the house to help them poop. It is true that the fiber in prunes does make it ones of nature’s laxatives, and I dare say stuffed with walnuts and smothered in a rich mix of yogurt and sour cream it is a delicious treat. For me, there is the extra bonus of feeling the sensation of my rich, dynamic decade in Russia. Full of hope, humanity, and possibilities.


On the evening of 20 January, while we sat watching Joe Biden swear in as the 46th president of the United States, my dear friend Carol and I indulged in this very dessert. As she savored its richness, she commented how she liked the Russian parfait. Like the dessert itself, the name she casually gave what she was eating, Russian parfait is simple, elegant, and decadent all at once.


As the parade of stars sang, and American flags waved along the mall in Washington DC and Joe Biden made a sane, compassionate, peaceful speech I was filled with the same feelings of hope, humanity, and possibilities right there in the present moment.


Download below the recipe for Russian parfait, a dessert simple, elegant, and decadent and full of hope, humanity, and possibilities all at once.

Russian parfait
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