A Week of Blini

The week before Great Lent is called Maslenitsa (known in English as Pancake Week or Cheesefare) during which you can eat everything but meat. In Russia it’s a great time of festivals and festivities. Saying goodbye to Winter (except not really because I am still freezing) and getting ready for Spring. The toppings for the blini (non-breakfast pancakes) range from fish, sour cream, caviar, etc to cheese, jam, apple puree and so on. My favorite combination is sour cream, chopped eggs and smoked salmon. Delicious.

One night I made blini for myself and my husband at our apartment. I used my friends’ recipe that I tried early last fall (sometimes blini are good outside of Maslenitsa) and they came out pretty well. I have to say my dear lady friends did a much better job than I did! Although I made them in Moscow, the first time I ate blini from this recipe, in September, it felt more like I was in a little Russia. We were at a cabin in Pennsylvania that was COVERED in little Russian chochkis. We went mushroom picking the day before and sang Russian songs around a camp fire. So it really was like both times I was in Russia 🙂 Except this time I got to use Russian ingredients – like my favorite water here (never had an opinion, but this one is delicious – Cone Forest), Russian milk AND flour that is special for making blini, as you can see by the picture of a blini stack on the front of it. And Russian eggs that sometimes still have little feathers in the carton.

The recipe is basically to beat/whisk one egg with some milk (like french toast coating), add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of sugar. Gradually add flour (mixing/whisking between each addition) until the batter is the consistency of sour cream, then thin out with seltzer water until you are ready to fry. Then ladle into a hot pan (with some butter) and cook it like a pancake.

There is a saying “S Pervom Blinkomom” that comes from the fact that the first pancake always come out messed up. It applies to things you try the first time and it doesn’t come out great…with practice it gets better. It translates to “With the First Blin”…for me it’s “With Every Blin”.

Anyway, all the festivities we participated in were great. At our friends’ apartment we had a filling out of marscapone, smoked fish and mustard. Definitely interesting. The blini there were super thin. I want to try his recipe next year – he used butter in the batter and not in the pan. No yeast and no seltzer water.

A few parks in Moscow had great festivals that we went to with AMAZING (best I have ever had) blini made to order. I had two, and probably could have had more. One with smoked salmon and sour cream and the other with mashed potatoes, crispy onions and mushrooms. So good! Still dreaming about it. We went to three festivals the last weekend. So I had five separate blini occasions. It does get old. And then you take a break for a day and suddenly you want more…it’s a blini phenomenon.

but now we are back to lent…


One Comment to “A Week of Blini”

  1. Miss your blogs — Love going back to your Lenten recipes — definitely going to try the gribniye kotlety — am salivating just thinking about it — but don’t know if the soyannaise is as good as the postnyiii in Moscow…….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: