How Natasha Transformed a Painful Childhood into a Life of Hope & Meaning
With Natasha Levai
I'm very grateful to welcome Natasha Levai to the podcast today. I'm not going to say much by way of introduction for Natasha for the simple reason that she expresses herself so poignantly and more eloquently than I could. Natasha, who is half Ukrainian and half Russian, speaks to us today from her new home of Hungary, where she and her husband are raising their baby girl and investing their free time and energy into caring for orphans. Natasha's childhood was lonely and difficult, but her story is about finding, receiving, and then giving away love.
Natasha's recipe is a first for The Storied Recipe. Russian Pelmini is a laborious hand-rolled dumpling, very similar to the pierogi. But Natasha was clear on the fact that no one had time to make these, least of all her family. So Natasha's recipe comes frozen, from a bag, just like - if we're honest - many of the foods we've eaten when there wasn't enough time, energy, or money to go around. But frozen Pelmeni was still a food that brought comfort and nourishment in dark times, and I'm glad Natasha was willing to say this. Finally, she'll share about a chapter in her story where someone did take the time, energy, and love to make her handmade Pelmini and fresh Borscht.
Like her recipe, Natasha's story is realistic, raw, and authentic. She reminds us that there is hope - so much hope, in this world and the next - but that hope doesn't come to us in the form of an after school special. Hope and love come to us in the form of sacrifice and persistence. It's a powerful story and one I feel, again, so very very grateful to Natasha for sharing. Welcome, Natasha - and welcome to all of you - to The Storied Recipe Podcast.
- Trust and testing when working with orphans
- Conditions of orphanages in Hungary
- Why Natasha sticks with it
- How not to get burnt out
- Why her father served in the Russian military
- The moment she lost all trust in her father
- How she began going to church - "I don't know if it was God or the experience of being loved."
- Why she left home at 18
- How Natasha healed
- How Natasha experiences the love of God
- Hungarian food culture vs. Russia food culture (food and otherwise)
- Sweet pasta in Hungary
- "You realize you've become a 'green' person - a 3rd culture person."
Also listen on:
How to Contact Natasha
Natasha's Food Blog (with a gluten-free emphasis): www.NatashasHome.com