tasty nom nom

Here Comes the Russian Food

Dear E,

A favorite Russian food of mine is blini (bliny), little Russian pancakes. The round crepe-like pancakes are traditionally eaten at maslenitsa to welcome the return of the sun. Maslenitsa happens at the end of winter or just before Lent, so N has often resisted making blini outside of that time. Tradition... but I don't see why we can't eat them multiple times a year, especially in a sun-starved Seattle fall!


N and I prefer the buckwheat version of bliny, and N made the dough following a recipe similar to this one at theKitchn. Topped with any combination of smoked fish, chopped hard-boiled egg, onion, sour cream, caviar -- yum! They can also be filled with jam if you're in the mood for a sweet treat.

N bought a collection of smoked fish at Arbat, a Russian grocery store in Kirkland. I didn't recognize one of the fish in the package and dug into the trash to check the label. Escolar. Huh. I broke a self-rule and googled the fish from my phone at the table, and I am glad I did! The first hit was this blog post, Use Caution When Eating Escolar! Escolar, butterfish, waloo: also nicknamed "ex-lax fish" and "Olestra fish" for reasons you can guess. Yikes! Take away: don't eat more than 6 ounces in a sitting and it's ok to search the web about food you're unsure about before eating.


Pelmeni are boiled Siberian dumplings, served many different ways. We prefer a combination of beef broth, vinegar, and hot Russian mustard, maybe a touch of melted butter (without water). Wintry comfort food to be sure.

After dinner, we played a round of Settlers of Catan. Again! When will it end? I had a horrible game, but you pulled off a win, with the largest army!

After a treat of pumpkin ice cream and ginger snaps, we were too full to play anything other than a game of Uno.


Would it be wrong to misplace our copy of Settlers of Catan?

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