Maternal Lunch

I am having lunch in NYC… with my mother, who happens to be here.


After an afternoon at MoMA we really needed a drink.

The wrap…



About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. VexillaRegis says:

    Borstj! Mmm. Is that Poppy-seed cake you are having?

  2. StWinefride says:

    My mother’s Polish and that looks suspiciously like barszcz with uszka! We eat it every Christmas Eve. But Vexilla Regis you could be right – it might be Russian borstj!

    God Bless your Ma, Father Z!

  3. makreitzer says:

    Wish I could have lunch with my mom. Guess I’ll take a prayer walk with her in spirit. But if I did have lunch with her I wonder what she would order. Black coffee for sure! My dad the naval officer taught her that. Give me a big serving of cream, heavy cream in fact.

  4. VexillaRegis says:

    St W, you’re probably right, because borsjt usually is completely red from the beet root. The white things, are they dumplings or something else?

  5. StWinefride says:

    The white things, dear Vexilla Regis, are delicious little uzckas! They are small dumplings filled with mushrooms. They are affectionately known as “little ears”. Delicious, and for me, Christmas Eve wouldn’t be Christmas Eve without them, and the beetroot soup of course.

    However, a positive identification has not yet been made so I am going to google “Veselka”. Have noticed Fr Z posting from there before, however, my memory is not what it once was!

  6. Doug says:

    Zeselka! I used to travel to New York often on business and my daughter and I enjoyed eating at Zeselka. I’d say it was our favorite place: we ate there the most often, anyway. Glad to know it’s still there.

  7. StWinefride says:

    Veselka is Ukrainian. Could be either borstj or barszcz. Lwow, where my mother was born used to be in Poland but is now in the Ukraine and known as Lviv. Very close to Poland though. So I guess it could still be barszcz.

  8. contrarian says:

    Hope you are enjoying your trip to NYC. I know you’re a Manhattan guy, but since you love Chinese food, you should really take the 15 minute subway ride (take the 7 from Times Square) out to Flushing, Queens, where the REAL Chinatown is located.

    Since I know you love Shanghai Dumplings, you should eat here:

    The wait staff is cranky and rude, but the food is to die for.

  9. OrthodoxChick says:

    I googled Veselka and found out that it is in the East Village. Didn’t that neighborhood take a pretty big hit during Sandy? I’m glad that things seem to be getting back to normal there and that local businesses are open.

  10. contrarian says:

    Not that part of the East Village. Certainly, there was damage there, but the real damage was a bit further south and east–Alphabet City and such. But yes, back to normal.

  11. WMBriggs says:

    Welcome to the city!

    Like most of your columns, this one inspired me; especially that last pic. Plus I note it’s almost 5.

    P.S. contrarian is right. Flushing is the place to go.

  12. Former Altar Boy says:

    How blessed you are, Father, do still have your mother. And what a blessing it must be to her to have a priest for a son. But the important question is: Does she make czarnina?

  13. acardnal says:

    The martinis look enticing. “Like mother, like son,” I guess.

  14. mamajen says:

    I’m so happy for you that you’re able to spend some time with your mom in a great city. It’s really nice this time of year. Enjoy!

  15. Catholictothecore says:

    Borscht! Mmmm… Have a wonderful time with your mom, Fr. Z.

  16. benedetta says:

    I have always liked MOMA. Had a membership there once upon a time.

  17. acardnal says:

    Is that duck?

  18. wanda says:

    Have a great time with your Mom. Food pics make me hungry. Where in the world can you still enjoy a cigar these days?

  19. kallman says:

    Dear Father

    As you would know smoking cigars causes squamous head, neck and laryngeal cancer as well as accelerating atherosclerosis including in the coronary arteries. Since we need good priests so badly I would urge you to cease this habit, humbly I remain.


  20. StWinefride says:

    Kallman, you wrote what I hesitated to write!

    ‘Tis true, dear Father Z!

    We are stewards of God’s gifts; God has blessed you with good health and called you to be another Christ. God has a mission for you that you must fulfill until He calls you home! We desperately need good Priests – you are not your own. Imagine Our Lord at your personal judgment, showing you how much more you could have achieved had you not cut short your life by smoking?! How would you feel?

    God knows me and calls me by my name.…
    God has created me to do Him some definite service;
    He has committed some work to me
    which He has not committed to another.
    I have my mission—I never may know it in this life,
    but I shall be told it in the next.

    Somehow I am necessary for His purposes…
    I have a part in this great work;
    I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection
    between persons.
    He has not created me for naught. I shall do good,
    I shall do His work;
    I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth
    in my own place, while not intending it,
    if I do but keep His commandments
    and serve Him in my calling.

    Blessed Cardinal Newman

    I vote for, and pray, for Father Z to stop smoking!!

    [LOL! Gosh, that was presumptuous. Noooo…. there is only voting here when I ask for voting.]

  21. JonPatrick says:

    They used to say coffee, eggs, and shrimp were all bad for you and now they’ve decided they are good for you after all. I just read a report extolling the benefits of drinking up to 4 cups of coffee a day. So I am expecting in a few years they will find cigars have some wonderful properties and are actually good for you in small quantities :)

  22. pberginjr says:

    It’s well established fact that Fr. Z enjoys a cigar on occasion, I don’t think we need to scold him on these sorts of habits. If you are going to point to cigars, you might as well say something about the martinis and wine we see (more often), the flying around the world (after all one of those flights might go down), or living in the northern stretches of these United States on a farm (what if the power went out in the winter and he froze; surely a priest should live around more people where he can more adequately share his gifts, etc.). I mean is the occasional cigar something that we need to scold this priest, who encourages us and has shared so much, about? Also St. Pius X smoked; so did Bl. John XXIII. We are a part of a Church that blesses wine for the dinner table (Dec. 27), and, frankly, Fr. Z is probably more likely to get lung cancer, etc. from all of the thurible swinging than smoking a cigar on occasion, maybe we should get rid of those too. Let’s not be health fascists.

  23. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    kallman said, “As you would know smoking cigars causes squamous head, neck and laryngeal cancer as well as accelerating atherosclerosis including in the coronary arteries.” “Causes” is a very strong word: does anyone demonstably “know” that “smoking cigars” not only can (?) contribute (!) to “accelerating atherosclerosis” but as a single factor necessarily produces “squamous head, neck and laryngeal cancer”? I would be interested to see the evidence! If it does, does it do so in relation to a certain manner (deliberately inhaling? – deeply?), frequency, term-of-persistence of smoking, type of tobacco leaf, processing/production, cigar? If not, in what sense is “causes” being used?

    When I shared a house with various medical and scientific graduate students and young researchers, they were always stressing, in all sorts of contexts, the importance of ‘co-factors’ against former and popular belief in ‘single causes’…

    Should one, in doubt, assume any and all possible ‘co-factors’ are against one?

    Or is practical prudence a possibility, there being an ‘usum’ which ‘abusus non tollit’ – in this case, where cigars (and, for that matter, alcohol and caffeine and fatty foods) are concerned?

    pberginjr does well to take note of the thurible – I think there is a certain tradition of a certain sort of Protestant criticism of the use of incense which includes attacking it as physically ‘unhealthy’, ‘risky’, etc., and I seem to recall glimpses in recent years of a wider ‘anti-secondary-smoking’ attack on incense being pursued! ‘Health fascism’ in the sense of an ideology of pesudo-scientific scientism monolithically imposing its will coersively seems not a little part of the further-aspiring tyranny we face these days!

    My ‘wet blanket’ question concerns the flexibility of Advent abstinence where alcohol and cigars are concerned – are there ‘rules’ – or ‘guidelines’?

    My final question is, does anyone have a favorable or unfavorable or mixed critique of Paul van Nevel’s intriguing-looking “Art of the Cigar” CD?

  24. StWinefride says:

    My goodness, the Let’s carry on Smoking brigade are out in force today!

  25. pberginjr says:

    I don’t even smoke, I just think it’s patently absurd to bother our host about it.

  26. StWinefride says:

    Till the day I die, pberginjr, I will never stop caring about my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

    And I am sure that Father Z is perfectly capable of ignoring comments from his readers. He’s been blogging long enough.

    You use words such as “scold” and “patently absurd to bother our host”.

    Strong words.

    You do not recognise compassion perhaps?

    God Bless!

  27. jarhead462 says:

    There actually is evidence that smoking natural leaf tobacco (such as in Father’s cigar) may help prevent, or at least minimize certain diseases of the brain, such as Parkinson’s.
    In any case, let’s not berate our gracious host, that’s like going into someone’s house, and criticizing the décor.
    Semper Fi!

  28. Imrahil says:

    I have never been able to imagine how the habit of smoking cigars could be connected with morality or immorality.

    G. K. Chesterton, On American Morals (apology for the title which is not mine)

  29. VexillaRegis says:

    ***Fr Z, I made a post around 8 am (your time zone), about remembering in who’s salo(o)n we are , it showed up as usual, but now it has vanished. Just to let you know there may be a technical problem on your blog. I don’t imagine I was censored ;-)

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    StWinefride asks pberginjr, “You do not recognise compassion perhaps?”

    But one may recognise that “viscera” may be (however unintentionally) “crudelia” (and not only “impiorum”). I am reminded of C.S. Lewis, “Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. […] Their very kindness stings with intolerable insult.”

    A “caring about my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ” which so easily imagines one of them will “cut short [his] life by smoking” begs a question about which more care should be exercised, as far as I can see.

  31. Jon says:

    St Chesterton on the pernicious habit:

    (Thanks for the reminder, Imrahil.)

  32. jarhead462 says:

    I never told G.K. to stop smoking. I told him that he should lose weight ;)

    Semper Fi!

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