What’s with the title?

The title of this blog is a wordplay on the macroeconomic model that weighs a nation’s military spending against domestic (i.e guns vs butter), only here the meaning is literal. While both guns and butter are now at the heart of my cooking, I couldn’t have either in the Soviet Union, so, on a more philosophical level, the title reflects the freedoms and the economic stability that I found in America – the luxuries I treasure every day.

Where are you from again?

Azerbaijan, a former Soviet republic nestled between Russia and Iran on the Western Coast of the Caspian See.

How do you find time for this?

I skimp on cleaning. I fill the time you spend cleaning with cooking and photographing food.

Aren’t you worried about eating all this fat?

Not in the least – clean animal fats are among the healthiest things you can eat. Don’t worry about butter – worry about hydrogenated shortening and imitation whipped cream.

But what about your figure?

To be completely honest, I don’t care in the slightest, and I suggest that you don’t either. A small bottom is a social construct and has no bearing on the actual level of personal fulfillment and reproductive success.

Are you a mail-order bride?


How did you come to America then?

This moving story has been covered here.

Why is your English so good?

I began to teach myself English from absolute zero – and without a teacher – at the age of 17. I was fluent in half a year and by the time I was 18, I won a full scholarship to the American University in Bulgaria, where I majored in English. I graduated with the Outstanding Achievement Award, although this might have had something to do with the fact that English majors were few and far between.

Who designed your site and header?

I designed it using Thesis framework, which did most of the work. I designed the header using Photoshop Elements.

What camera and lenses do you use?

Up until November of 2010, I’ve been using a Lumix Panasonic point-and-shoot for all the photographs on this site. I am now shooting with a Nikon D90 with three lenses – a Sigma 50mm f/2.8 macro, a Nikkor 50 mm f/1.4 D, and a kit lens that came with the camera, an 18-105 f/3.5-5.6.

How do you get such rich, brilliant colors?

I shoot everything on “Vivid” – a color-enhancing setting found on Nikon DLSRs.

What web host do you use?

I use Liquid Web – an extremely reliable, reasonably-priced hosting service with fabulous tech support that can be accessed 24/7 via live chat. I love them, and I would recommend them to anyone.

Can I write a guest post for your site in exchange for a link to mine?

Thanks for offering, but no. Please do not email me with that particular proposition.

Why didn’t my comment get published?

Because I didn’t like it. This is a personal blog, not a democracy.

{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jennifer Flickinger June 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm

I love this part! “How do you find time for this?

I skimp on cleaning. I fill the time you spend cleaning with cooking and photographing food.”

Haha. I do the same thing. We once had a co-worker of my husband with us for the weekend who asked if I had baked the bread for his sandwich, of course I did, and when he seemed impressed I explained that I would rather cook, or play with my kids than clean, so it opens up some time.


2 Sofya June 7, 2011 at 10:57 pm

I know, right?


3 löki gale August 31, 2011 at 11:25 am

I love guns, butter, and hunting too! And I [currenlty] live in Azerbaijan!


4 Beth September 13, 2011 at 2:42 pm

I never get around to surfing to blogs, too busy cooking and playing with my kids (not cleaning) But I would love to subscribe so I can get posts in my email. Is this possible on this blog? thanks!


5 Sofya September 13, 2011 at 2:58 pm

That’s lovely to hear, Beth! You can do it by clicking on this link:


Let me know if this doesn’t work. Thank you!


6 frank October 10, 2011 at 10:11 pm

hey, how are ya….Really nice site and beautiful child, I can tell he’s really happy and enjoying himself. I an urban area here, wilmington NC and have a small garden and couple of turkeys..life is better than it was 30 days ago.


7 jennifer November 22, 2011 at 1:15 pm

i adore this site! i found you on punk domestics, and i am so envious! i live in chicago, am trying to get funding for a rural non profit to help people with arthritis and mobility issues to be able to garden. i am familiar with you location: my sister is dubuque’s city planner, so she shares the same sort of terrain. i also like your sarah/julia analogy. i have heard myself referred to as “martha stewart on acid”, which i hope was a backward compliment. i have never butchered any of the animals i had as a kid in connecticut, but i’m study now to be a certified meat goat producer. am so enjoying the afternoon reading your site. thanks for a break from a gloomy chicago day!


8 Jim Gallo January 21, 2012 at 8:59 am

Excellent, Sofya. I was looking up game recipes for pheasant and chukar when I saw the reference to your blog. I have been to the Caspian sea and many other plces in Iran, many years before you were born. My daughter lived in Wisconsin for a few years, so I related to a few things that you speak of.


9 Sofya January 21, 2012 at 9:47 am

Thanks! Btw I never had chukar but I did cook pheasant once. We are primarily deer hunters.


10 Stephanie March 14, 2012 at 11:57 am

Great FAQ and great blog!


11 April February 21, 2013 at 10:37 am

I totally love your last FAQ regarding “why didn’t my comment get published?” That’s the best answer EVER! I think we could have a lot of fun together on the homestead if we were in the same state! I’m in Tennessee.. we eat what my husband kills.. mostly deer, boar, turkey & goose. I make our bread from fresh ground wheat berried here at home. I’m always crafting, cooking, or sewing and trying to learn something new in one of those three categories. I have NEVER signed up to keep up on anyone’s blog before but I am for yours! You have me totally captivated! Thanks for what you do. I love it.


12 Sofya February 21, 2013 at 3:29 pm

Thank you for your note, April, it means a lot!


13 April February 21, 2013 at 10:38 am

*berries* sorry…


14 Eylem March 3, 2013 at 10:48 am

LOL I loved your comment:
“Because I didn’t like it. This is a personal blog, not a democracy.”
Nowadays we forget the fact that we do not indeed need to listen to everyone else’s opinion at all times. It is nice to have your own voice.
I just saw your blog while searching the web for the quick chocolate mousse. It looks very professional. I am truly impressed first with your ability to learn a language alone (it took me years of schooling), and second for being very creative (too bad there is no school for that).


15 Sofya March 3, 2013 at 11:08 am

I am a quick learner, always self-taught. Thanks for stopping by!


16 Marianne March 14, 2014 at 5:33 pm

I miss your posts … what’s up?


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