Friday, March 15, 2013

Russian Tea Party and Russian Feast

One day we were reading a book that had a samovar in it, and the older boys were really interested in that, so we looked up more information about them. And that got us talking about tea-drinking customs and how indispensable a cup of tea is to socializing, etc. in some places. I happen to love warm drinks, herbal tea among them (I drink raspberry-leaf tea a lot during pregnancy, but I like lots of other herbal teas too) so we decided to have our own tea party (minus samovar, unfortunately).

I did have some sugar cubes on hand, which is strange as I can't remember where or why I got them (I don't add sugar to my herbal tea). But it was perfect because we could ask each other, "One lump or two?" :) I wonder if there's a Russian equivalent to that? And I got out the tea things Nana gave me before she died, which may just be the nicest dishes I own. We had a lovely time trying out different teas (I have a lot of loose herbs, so we enjoyed mixing our own as well). The children said they wished we had the custom of always offering tea whenever there were visitors!

Another day, we cooked up a Russian Feast---well, as Russian as we could get with our limited knowledge and resources. I had borrowed a Russian cookbook from Heidi, so we made Blini and two kinds of vereniki (dumplings? But I'm still not quite sure about the difference between vereniki and pierogi. I think pierogi are maybe fried/baked instead of boiled or something?). We also had deviled eggs ("stuffed eggs" as they were called in the cookbook). The blini were really good with jam and sweetened condensed milk on them (something we wouldn't have thought of using, but we'd tried it in Russia and it was good!). They are not as thin as crepes, and they're bubblier because they use a yeast batter. Very interesting and good. And we filled some of the vereniki with a cottage cheese mixture, and some with a mashed potato/chive mixture. We just sort of made those up as we went. They were both really tasty. We had enough to freeze for later as well (they took a long time to make/fill just because there were so many of them, but they were easy enough to do).

Everything was really good. There wasn't anything really adventurous in the mix, like caviar or liver pâté or whatever strange things they eat there---but it was still fun to try some new recipes and learn a little more about these foods. Russian foods reminded me a lot of Danish foods, actually, as I looked through the cookbook---lots of fish, interesting meats, etc.  I guess since the two countries are neighbors, that's understandable.

1 comment:

  1. After reading through your blog I first wanted to cry (you are so amazing) but then I reminded myself that once in awhile I have good ideas too. Just not lately. But . . . I'm feeling better and next weekend Timothy and I are going away together for a few days and Timothy said I could take a little (lot) of time to plan for life and school and basically get my feet back under me. I'm looking forward to that.

    So--Roman history unit, here we come!


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