Friday, 12 February 2010

Maslenitsa

This week is Maslenitsa(Pancake) week in Orthodox Church calendar. The week before the Lent, seven weeks before the Easter.
The feast is known from pagan times when Russians said "Good-bye" to the winter and welcomed the spring, warmth and the sun. So the pancake symbolised round hot yellow sun.
The Orthodox church added to the feast the idea of forgiving, reconciliation, preparation to the time of the Lent.

For many Moscovites it is the time when we cook bliny (pancakes) and invite our friends and relatives to taste and enjoy the food together.

I made this photo in chain fast-food cafe, specialising in bliny with different filling. Here:


My grandma's recipe (if you want to join our Maslenitsa celebration this week):

I litre (quart) cold milk,
3 eggs,
2 cups of flour, well, she added it by eye...
1/2 tea spoon of salt
1 table spoon of sugar (amount depends on your preferences)
3 table spoon of vegetable oil
First - blend together milk, eggs, salt, sugar, oil and flour.
Second, last and most important  - is the consistence of the mixture. It should be like drinking yoghurt: you'll look silly if you eat it with the spoon, but it definitely not as thin as water.

Heat the frying pan (diameter 24cm/9,5"), add oil. Fill 2/3 soup ladle with the mixture. Pour it into the middle of hot pan and allow the batter to spread  inside the pan, tilting it. That makes very thin layer to be cooked fast, in 1-2 minutes. Then turn the pancake by the spatula to the other side for 1-2 minutes more frying.

Do not worry if the first pancake will be spoiled, it is OK. We have a saying: "First bliny is always spoiled", meaning that first experience in any field often turns disaster.
Bliny needs time to make friends with pan, spatula, oil and your hands. So second one, but usually third one  will turn perfect.
Can be served with butter and different fillings:
Meal: meat, or mushrooms, or cheese, or salted salmon, or caviar
Dessert: honey, or milk, or sour cream or jam.
Enjoy!

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