Monday Meal Review: Belarus

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I cannot lie. Sure, I've tried. But I learned early on that lying is much more humiliating than the truth. No matter how bad the truth seems to be. Of course, not being able to lie has its distinct disadvantages. Like having to admit embarrassing things, like how I got stood up this week. No, not by my husband (he knows better than to do that - love the sweet man). Remember the lightening bolt of good fortune I had a few days ago? When I ran into a real, live Belorussian (at … [Read more...]

Recipe: Strawberry Kisiel (Thick Strawberry Puree)

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Makes about 1 1/2 quarts Strawberry Kisiel is easy to make and very tasty. The sweet dessert remains light and refreshing. Unless, of course, you serve it over a bowl of vanilla ice cream... which I totally recommend. Ingredients: 1 lb fresh strawberries (or other seasonal berries) 4 cups water 4 Tbsp cornstarch sugar to taste (between 1/2 and 1 cup is about right) Method: 1. Puree strawberries with sugar in a blender or food processor. Pour into a pot and heat over … [Read more...]

Recipe: Rye Bread

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Makes 1 large loaf, or 2 small My husband called this "the best rye bread I ever ate."  A nice, dense crumb, with a mild rye flavor. The sugar and honey make this loaf wonderfully addictive. Ingredients: 1 1/4 cups warm water 3 tablespoons honey 1 Tbsp sugar 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast 1 3/4 cups rye flour 2 teaspoons salt 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour Optional: caraway seeds (for top of loaf) Method: 1. Place … [Read more...]

Recipe: Borshch/Borscht Soup from Belarus (Beet Soup with potatoes)

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Serves 6 This soup is popular all over eastern Europe, specifically in the Ukraine. This version hails from Belarus where they add big chunks of potatoes. The longer it cooks, the happier this Borshch tastes. Ingredients: 1 large onion, chopped 1-2 large russet potatoes, as desired 2 Tbsp vegetable oil 2 beets, diced 2 carrots, sliced 2 turnips, diced 1/2 a green cabbage, sliced thinly 6 oz can of tomato paste 1 Tbsp sugar 2 Tbsp vinegar salt and pepper 32 oz beef … [Read more...]

Recipe: Mushroom stuffed Draniki (Potato Pancakes/hash browns stuffed with mushrooms)

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Makes about 6 Draniki Pan-fried until crispy and hot, mushroom stuffed draniki taste like pumped up hash browns. Really great comfort food. Belorussians eat these with sour cream, although I know Americans will like them with ketchup. Ingredients: Mushroom filling: 1 oz dried wild mushroom blend (or a handful of fresh mushrooms) 1/4 cup minced red onion 1 tsp dill salt pepper Draniki: 1 1/2 lbs of potatoes, peeled 1/4 cup flour 1 egg 1/4 cup … [Read more...]

While I’m Cooking: Belarus Video

Here's what the language sounds like: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Hx_PSBGiBY&feature=related] Rocking out: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eyClcPxHXLk&feature=related] … [Read more...]

Fun Fact Friday: Belarus (Poll)

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At traditional Belorussian weddings guests chant "Gozko" after the groom drinks from his glass. "Gozko" means bitter. The chanting urges the groom to kiss the bride, an act which should make his drink sweeter. If you catch a cold in Belarus, they might offer you any of these remedies: - vodka with salt and pepper - milk blended with raw egg yolk and honey - raspberry jelly - raspberry tea Much of Belarus cannot be farmed because of falloff from Chernobyl (70% of the … [Read more...]

Technique Thursday: Tornadoes and a video

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Dear readers, Our regularly scheduled programming has been interrupted by severe weather and tornado warnings. I do apologize, but all my brain power has been consumed by "fear of the tornado."  My husband claims I have a particularly irrational "fear of the tornado." Irrational? How can my fear of instant, windy death be irrational? I mean look at this: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbcm6TZNxcA&feature=related] Irrational? No, I don't think so. The method of death … [Read more...]