Did you notice that I was in Russia? Not while I was appearing on UK telly - I was back by then, but only just.
Yes, I've been in St Petersburg, a really amazing place, so I have a few reflections and episodes to relate from my trip. I'll drip feed them in here over the next few weeks.
To start things off, here are a couple of things I spotted on the menu at a lovely restaurant called Faisol. Now, bad English translations of foreign menus and signs are pretty common, and there were plenty in Russia, so I'm only posting these because they seemed quite special to me. (And I can't post these without also saying how amazing it is that so many people round the world make the effort to translate their signs and menus into English in the first place. I don't see many menus in London with Russian translations.)
So - all of that said, here's what you might want to have for dinner in St Petersburg tonight:
"Stuffed Carp (a la Jewish)" - this one was actually quite a popular dish on St Petersburg menus.
I saw it so often that I had to order it at least once. It was fine. It wasn't carp. It was what North Londoners would call 'Gefilte Fish'. For an explanation of what that is you'll either have to google it, or ask someone with knowledge of traditional Jewish cuisine. Actually, wouldn't it be great if there were a search engine that provided the service of asking a wise, old sage? I wonder if wiseoldsage.com is taken...
Anyway, on with the menu:
"Crimson with a basil and air sweet" - I have no idea what this was. It wasn't the description of the dish, it was the actual name. No indication of whether it was animal, vegetable, mineral or old sage...
And finally my favourite, so baffling that I nearly ordered it:
"Fried under oppression has sung with fresh greens and plum sauce"
That plum sauce sounds good, doesn't it?