Tuesdays With Moisi ~ Blintzes

This is one of my favorite photos of our Pop and Mom, Moisi and Nadia. It was taken at a celebration of our brother Leonard’s marriage to Mandy in 2006. The celebration happened in Dallas, Texas. Another favorite photo below of me and my sister Lana at that same celebration in Dallas. Thirteen years younger and for me many pounds lighter.

I’m sharing our mom’s recipe for her blintzes. Nadia’s Blintzes were the favorites of many especially our Pop. We learned all of our Russian cooking from our mom.

A few years ago my sister Lana took photos of me making blintzes that I’m including here. I nicked these photos off her blog.

Nadia’s  Blintzes

6 eggs
4 cups whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1-1/2 cups flour
1/2 Tbsp. oil

Scald the milk. Beat the eggs. Slowly add the milk to the eggs while continuing beating. Add salt, sugar and oil, beat until blended. Slowly beat in the flour until combined.

I use two 10″ heavy Teflon pans to cook the blintzes. You might want to just start with one till you get this process down. Heat the pan. Coat the pan lightly with oil. (I use a piece of cheesecloth to coat the pan with oil and if needed I’ll coat again into the cooking process). Use a 1/3 cup measure to dip into the mixing bowl (you don’t have to fill to the top just use a uniform measure of the liquid for each blintz) Pour into frying pan and swirl the pan to coat the bottom evenly.

Cook until the blintz turns a nice golden brown. With a spatula loosen the edges and flip the blintz and brown on the other side. Remove from pan and let cool on a dish cloth.

Repeat the process. Sometimes the only hindrance to these flipping and cooking well is the temperature of the pan. You’ll have to experiment to get it at the magic temp. Start at medium.  After the blintzes are cooled you can stack them. They can be frozen at this time if you would like. This recipe will make approximately 24 blintzes.

Cheese filling for the blintzes:
1- carton of ricotta cheese (8 oz. size)
(You can also use cottage cheese, hoop cheese or farmers cheese)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. sugar
16 ounces of half and half
1/2 cup butter, 1 stick

Beat all the ingredients till smooth except half and half and stick of butter. Spread about 1 Tablespoon of cheese onto one side of blintz. Roll up and place in a 9×13 baking dish. They can be layered. Melt one cube of butter and pour over the blintzes. Bake in 350 degree oven until heated through. Heat up to 8 oz. of Half and Half until is is warm but not boiling. Pour half and half over blintzes to cover and continue baking until half and half boils. Remove from oven and serve with sour cream and preserves or syrup.

For a savory filling:

Saute 1 large onion in oil and season with salt and pepper. Add 1 lb. hamburger (15%) and brown. Add salt and pepper to taste. Dice enough broccoli to make 2 cups. Steam until broccoli just turns bright green. Combine meat, broccoli and 1 can of cream of mushroom soup and heat through. Scoop about 2-3 T of mixture onto blintz and fold in the sides to form a square. Place in a baking dish. Melt butter and poor over the filled blintzes. Bake in a 350 to 375 degree oven until heated through. Serve and if you want to make additional sauce you can serve extra sauce with the savory blintzes. Oh I almost forgot, you can serve these with sour cream if you’d like, also.

HT: Bagdanov Family Cookbook

Tuesdays With Moisi

Шашлык ~Shashlik (Barbecued lamb Skewers)

1 leg of lamb de-boned
3 large onions sliced
Juice from 4 lemons mixed with 1/2 cup olive oil and 4 cloves of garlic crushed.
Lawry’s Seasoning Salt and pepper

Cut the lamb in pieces about 1-1/2 inches thick to 2 inches square. Trim off excess fat. Place a layer of onions in a large pot, then a layer of meat, season with Lawry’s and pepper, then sprinkle with lemon juice oil mixture. Repeat layers until all meat is in the pot ending with onions and lemon juice mixture. Cover and let stand in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or better overnight, stirring occasionally to let all the meat marinate thoroughly.

After the meat is done marinating, separate the meat from the onions. Thread the meat onto skewers, and broil outdoors over hot charcoal embers, turning the skewers occasionally to brown the meat on all sides. Now for the modern method you could use those fish cages to put the meat in and BBQ it on your gas grill. This is a lot simpler by far, but some swear by the old school method.

Serve with rice pilaf and a cucumber, tomato, onion salad.

Growing up when we were part of the Russian Molokan Church I remember the annual all church picnics we had at Brookside Park in Pasadena where there were several open grills cooking this wonderfully marinated lamb. So succulent, so yummy. We’d have rice and salads with it. What a highlight of the year those picnics were! For special family gatherings our pop was the one who marinated and barbequed the lamb or other meat.

Tuesdays With Moisi or Nadia

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The first part of this post was written by our daughter Katie a few years ago. I’m featuring Nadia (babushka) today instead of Moisi for Tuesday With Moisi. The photo above was taken in 2013.

    • Gimme my Babushka’s cooking and I’ll be content

    • The sort of Russian/Persian cuisine that my Baba (Grandma) makes… I would be a happy camper for a year with yummy borscht, galupsi, kulyich, syrny paska, lapsha, varenky, shashlik, and a million other treats that I would butcher just as badly trying to spell in English…I can say most of them but they’re sure hard to type. Just make sure you give me a good supply of sour cream, and can I bend the rules to include my Mom’s “green borscht” which is spinach soup we chop up hardboiled eggs in? I was never entirely sure where that soup’s origins really lay…I could never get sick of all the lamb and cabbage and butter filled goodness, heck I even like the Russian candies my Deda (Grandpa) keeps around though none of my cousins do. My mouth is watering already. ~ Katie
    • borsch-snoqualmie-001
    • Many Borsch recipes include beets in them. The familiar Borsch that we grew up with and that we had at Molokan Church Meals did not have beets in it. Here is my mother’s recipe. Our people don’t pronounce Borsch with a “t” on the end.

      Nadia’s Borsch

      For the Stock:
      1 Seven Bone Roast or Chuck roast if you can’t find Seven Bone
      1 onion
      1-3 celery stalks with leaves
      2-3 carrots
      2 bay leaves
      5-10 peppercorns
      Salt to taste

      Salt and pepper the roast and sear it on all sides. Put the roast in a stock pot and cover with water. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Simmer and cook until roast is fork tender. Remove the meat and set aside. Discard the stock vegetables.

      Soup Ingredients:

      1 head of cabbage shredded (green is what we use)
      1-3 carrots grated
      1-2 onions diced
      1 bell pepper seeded and diced
      2-3 stalks of celery diced
      1 jalapeno seeded and diced (optional)
      2-3 potatoes diced
      2 cans stewed tomatoes blended in blender (we have those that don’t like chunky tomatoes)
      1 can tomato sauce
      1/2-small bunch of dill (to taste)
      1 handful of chopped Italian parsley
      salt and pepper to taste
      1 can of garbanzo beans drained and rinsed (optional)

      Saute onion, bell pepper, celery and jalapeno if you are using one until onion is translucent.
      Add these ingredients to a blender along with the two cans of stewed tomatoes.
      Blend and add them to the beef stock along with all the other ingredients.
      Bring to a boil, then simmer until cabbage, carrots and potatoes are tender.
      Taste and see if the soup needs more salt or pepper at this time.

      The Borsch is ready now.

      My mother doesn’t include this in her recipe but when she made borsch at my house once I saw her add a half a cube of unsalted butter at the end. :) My mother mashes most of the potatoes to thicken up the soup a bit.

      You can serve the roast alongside the borsch with a good loaf of bread and of course…sour cream.

I made this pot of Borsch on Sunday and we’re enjoying it again today. I also took a couple of containers to Dan and Jamie’s today. We watched Addy while Dan and Jamie made a trip to Spokane to do some shopping.

My Mom’s Roolyet

I posted the recipe that we finally perfected that tastes like my mom’s nut roll. Head over to the Mennonite Girls Can Cook blog to see the recipe and instructions. Click here.

I’m happy to have arrived home safe and sound from Southern California on Wednesday morning. Now I’m doing laundry and sorting through some mail. I’m hoping to get around to some blogs soon.

It was so good to see family and friends over my seven days in Orange County. I arrived on Wednesday and we had a birthday dinner for my pop on Thursday at my sister Kathy’s. Then on Friday we had a sister day in Huntington Beach. On Saturday we had another family gathering at my sister Vera’s and we honored my sister Kathy, my pop and niece Debbee who all have May birthdays.

On Sunday evening Vera and I had a lovely time at Ken and Heidi’s. Heidi was my best friend and partner in crime in my college years and beyond. She and Ken met and were engaged during a period of time that Heidi was living with Dear and me. We have been good friends for all these years and it was nice to enjoy an evening together.

Ken and Heidi have a slice of paradise home with an outdoor space that really reminds you of something you would call a tropical paradise.

Our fellowship, the weather, the setting and the food were wonderful. While we were eating outside a Bobcat chose to walk across the far side of their outdoor space with no interest in us, thankfully. I heard recently that bobcats really aren’t interested in attacking humans.

On Memorial day we enjoyed a barbecue at my niece Debbee and Lenny’s home in Huntington Beach. Red, white and blue were the colors of choice on this day. Before we ate a friend of the family prayed and thanked God for those who served and gave their lives for us and the freedoms we enjoy. We enjoyed burgers, ribs, corn on the cob, salads, sweet watermelon and a few desserts. Thank you Lenny and Debbee!

On my last evening in Southern California Vera and I met up with Dear’s brother, sister-in-law and two of three nieces. It was another good time to catch up with what is going on in their lives. Cell phone photos are hit and miss in the darker restaurant.

Thank you Vera for letting me crash at your place and for being my private chauffeur while I was in Southern California.

Hello June! We are starting the month off with rain here in the Puget Sound area. We’ll see how long June gloom lasts. I have gloomy things to do inside so I’ll go with the flow and soldier on with sorting, trashing, shredding and recycling things I should never have stored away! Addy’s expression in this next photo just about covers the task set before me.

I love her expressions! Thank you modern technology. Snap and send has never been more appreciated!

Cherry Varenya ~ Russian Tea Sweetener

This was one of my most visited posts in 2016. I first posted this in 2008. I’m adding a photo to the top of the post. If you look carefully you’ll see a glass bowl of Varenya on the table next to the tea cups in front of my paternal grandfather (dzedushka) and grandmother (babushka).

img578The Russian immigrants I grew up around would make and enjoy this Cherry Syrup made with whole pie cherries in their hot tea. They used this syrup in place of sugar to sweeten their tea. I called my mother this week (April 2008) to get the following recipe from her to share for The-Sweet-and-Savory-of-Yummy.

This is a very simple recipe for Cherry Varenya. This is a syrup made with Cherries to sweeten hot tea with.


Cherry Varenya

1/2 Cup Water
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Whole Sour Cherries (Pie Cherries)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice

You would increase the proportions of this recipe according to how many cherries you have on hand that you want to make into Varenya.

Boil the water and sugar to make a clear simple syrup. When the liquid is clear add your cherries and let it boil for 10 to 20 minutes (depending on how hard the cherries were to begin with) At the end of the boiling add 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to help preserve the brightness of the syrup.

You may want to can it at this point. (I don’t know how to can anything so you are on your own here!)🙂

You can do this process with sliced lemons, too, to make a Lemon Varenya.


Lemon Varenya

When I was young our family would go to a Cherry Orchard somewhere near Lancaster, California in July when the pie cherries were ready to harvest. It might have been in the Leona Valley. We would pick cherries all day and take home upwards of 40 pounds of cherries. That’s a lot of Varenya. When we picked this much my parents would give about half of the cherries away to other relatives and friends who couldn’t make the trek out to the Cherry Farm. Then it was a full day of preparing the cherries for Varenya. Washing, cooking and canning.

The photos are quite dark in this post and I’ve learned a few things since 2008 about taking photos of food and brightening them up before posting them. The photo of my grandparents is an old film photo scanned.

Hope the end of the year 2016 is going well for you. Maybe a cup of tea will help to brighten your day. Blessings…

Sweet Cheese Spread for Kulich ~ Seernaya Paska

My Russian heritage affords me some really good Easter eats. Every year we look forward to having our Easter Bread which we call Kulich in Russian and my Mennonite Friends called Paska.

We also make this yummy cheese spread to spread on this Easter Bread!

 


Seernaya Paska for Kulich (Russian Easter Bread) The X and the B are for Xpucmoc Bockpec (Christ Arose)


Seernaya Paska

Ingredients:

18 – hard boiled eggs /
3 pounds Farmers cheese /a dry curd cheese like a dry cottage cheese can be substituted.
1 pint whipping cream /
3 cubes unsalted butter (12 oz.) /
3 cups sugar /

Press the Farmers cheese through a sieve. (This is the hardest part of the recipe) If you find a very small curd cheese you won’t have to do this to the cheese. I usually use a wooden spoon and press it through a wire strainer a little at a time. Separate the egg yolks from the whites. (You will not be using the whites).

Press the egg yolks through the sieve. Cream the sugar and butter together. Beat in the egg yolks. Beat in the cheese. Add whipping cream and mix well. You will place the mixture into a strainer lined with about 3 layers of cheesecloth. You will need enough cheesecloth to wrap up and over the top of the cheese. Place the cheese mixture into the cheese cloth lined strainer. Bring the ends of the cheese cloth up and tie the ends on top of the cheese in a knot. Place the sieve into a larger bowl suspended with enough room for the cheese to drain without sitting in the drained liquid. Place a plate on top of the cheese an place a heavy rock, brick, or other weight on top of the plate. Refrigerate over night.

 

If I had a nifty mold like this one I would press the cheese into it and let it drain overnight. When you take the mold off you will have a great defined decoration on the Cheese with the traditional XB and a cross.

So far no one in my family has one of these so ours looks like a dome because of the sieve we use to drain it in like in the photo at the top of the post. You could use a flower pot and get more of a domed effect. I’ll have to make it this year and take some photos of the paska in a nicer shape. Here’s an older wooden version of a mold.

This recipe is enough to feed an army. If you don’t have to feed an army here’s a scaled down version :0)

If you just want a normal amount, cut the recipe in thirds. (6 cooked egg yolks, 1-lb. cheese, 2/3 cup whipping cream, 1 cube butter and 1 cup sugar. Enjoy!

Farmers Cheese or Hoop Cheese can be hard to find. There are Russian delis that sell a dry curd cottage type cheese that will work. If you can find a dry cottage cheese at the grocers that will work too.

A Russian Christmas Cooking Day!

For the first time in well, ever, I was around for the annual making Vareniky for Christmas Eve Event. This year we all gathered at my niece Debbee’s house for the cooking. My mother Nadia was at the helm keeping us on track. Here’s the crew of mother, daughters, daughter in laws, and granddaughters, and great grandson. The youngest granddaughter was here, too, with photos to follow…

 

We were making Vareniky, which we have for dessert on Christmas Eve. The recipe and description of what they are is here  from last years event if you are curious…

 

 

I think we ended up making close to 200 of these lovelies!!

 

Some of the guys showed up, too, hoping for a treat or two!

 

And Miss Hope is here from Dallas for her very first Christmas!

Photobucket is holding all my photos from 2007 to 2015 hostage and has replaced them all with ugly black and grey boxes asking for a ransom to have them re-published. Such a frustrating bother as I go through each post to delete the ugly boxes.