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Monday, May 7, 2012
A Russian Feast - Sharing Russian Culture and Food with Friends
Around the World in 12 Dishes - Russia
We started our journey the same way Phileas Fogg did in London, UK, and have now traveled to a country dear to our family's hearts - RUSSIA.
As we cook Russian food often (Borscht is such a fun dish to make and eat) and Blini is about the yummiest food ever, that we decided to add an even bigger challenge to this month - sharing our culture with friends! It was SO hard to choose the recipes we wanted to make. A typical Russian meal would not have so many choices - maybe a main dish and a salad. Because we just harvested potatoes from our garden, a potato salad was called for! Salads of all kinds are great ways to get kids in the kitchen and excited about eating healthy. This salad is called Salad Olivier, and has been made in Russia for many years. I can make it, thanks to a food blog called Smitten Kitchen! This is more of a typical winter dish as the main ingredients are root vegetables which can be stored for longer times. We used frozen peas instead of canned and the addition of fresh herbs gave it a more summery taste to it. Not only did my 2 year old harvest the potatoes...
He also harvested the fresh herbs, added the chopped vegetables (I pre-cooked, pre-chopped, and pre-measured everything), Added the sauce, mixed everything together, and topped it with the fresh herbs that he ripped into little pieces. He even insisted upon carrying it to the table. He was so proud.
I also made Golubpsi, or stuffed cabbage and Piroshki, some were stuffed with meat and the others potatoes. We cheated (is this cheating?) and bought prianki (a gingerbread bun / cookie) and some Baltika (Russian Beer)! I would like to try to make the prianki someday =)
Then, to top off our Russian feast - our good friends (and blogging buddy!) came over to enjoy an evening of good food, lots of laughter and an awesome discussion about cultures.
As a kindergarten teacher (pre-babies), my students' parents would often invite my husband and I over to their homes for dinner. We ate Chinese, Lebonese, German food and much more. This was an amazing way to not only learn about other cultures, but also to get a deeper insight into the students I was working with. It is one thing to read about a culture, but it is more memorable and meaningful when you are able to get a "taste" or a glimpse into that culture.
My kids were able to teach their friends something special about their heritage AND have the importance of their heritage celebrated by their family and friends - now that is some really powerful learning going on!
How to join the fun!
Cook a dish from Russia: The goal is to explore this country through FOOD and activities if you wish. Make a typical dish (sweet or savoury) from the country with the kids, take photos and have fun!
Typical dishes:Borscht, a beet and cabbage soup, Blini, Pelmeni and Pirozhki (Here is a link for more inspiration: Russian cuisine).
Print your passport: Click here to download, comes with space for a photo of the child with the dish. Here is a little cover for it if you wish :)
Color a placemat: Once colored/painted or whatever other way you want to do this, you can laminate it or put it between clear contact paper to use it over and over. Great conversation piece for you and your kids. Click here to download it.
Make a craft: you can make a country related craft with the kids [optional - Here is our Russian Pinterest Board with some ideas!]
Fun fact: Every day over 9 MILLION passengers ride the Metro, Moscow's vast underground subway system. In a single day, an average of 9915 trains operate between 5am - 1am, making the New York subway system seem like a miniature child's toy.
Share with us: Our Russia challenge starts on May 6th and will remain open for a year, so attach a link to your blog to enter the linky party or go to the comment section and post a photo together with what you did together with your child(ren).
<a href="http://www.glitteringmuffins.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1145.photobucket.com/albums/o502/theeducatorsspinonit/world.jpg" alt="Around the world in 12 Dishes" width="125" height="125" /></a>