Jul 18, 2010
Meet the Piglet – he’s a part of our team as well. He really supports me when I’m upset or tired. He loves wild strawberries, thick cream, and cottage cheese
Today RussianSeason turned 1.
A year ago, on a hot and sunny summer day, my Mom and I took the plunge and started a blog on foods that we were grown with and that were hardly well-known abroad: Russian, Soviet and Eastern European. We felt like we had to tell the world more about Blinis, Kulichi, Ukha and other basic dishes of traditional Russian cuisine. We also needed to share some good old Soviet recipes such as Vinegret, Anchovy Stuffed Eggs, and Custard with Kisel. We thought you’d be surprised to hear that one of the most delicious Latvian desserts is made with rye breadcrumbs and cranberries, that Filini pasta can be eaten with milk and sugar, and that you can make jam-filled buns in a steamer.
Our first post was about a mushroom soup. Why mushroom soup? Maybe because I love chanterelles and could have them every day. Or maybe because mushrooms are an essential ingredient of Russian cuisine. Later, Stano (my husband-to-be, hehe) joined us and translated his favourite recipes into Slovak, so we have a Slovak version too (okay it’s a little bit out-of-date but that’s because the Chief Translator is currently very busy).
As we moved on, we couldn’t resist the temptation to cook and write about foods from other corners of the world, so the blog became more “international”. And the more we cook, the longer our huge to-do and to-try list grows. In fact we still haven’t even made very basic Eastern European foods such as Pelmeni and Vareniki, but I’m sure we will. It’s just Foodgawker, Tastespotting, and our blogroll that are too distracting! :) We discovered hundreds of inspiring blogs and made a lot of wonderful virtual friends. I never knew that foodie world was *that* huge and friendly.
To celebrate out first anniversary, we made a festive jelly/panna cotta type of thing. We’ve already made this with yogurt, grapes, and canned peaches before and it looked (and tasted) very pretty. This time, we tried to stick to the most natural, seasonal ingredients: thick sour cream and local strawberries, wild blueberries, and raspberries. I really liked the sour cream jelly for its very milky taste and its soft, silky texture (I’m not sure if Panna Cotta can be made with sour cream, so in order not to hurt anybody’s feelings, I’ll call this just sour cream jelly). And the assorted fresh berries scattered in the jelly just scream summer, don’t they? It’s such a shame strawberry season is almost over though; it was untypically short this year, perhaps due to the heat. But, there’re still blueberries, currants, plums, and all the gorgeous summer recipes we’ve yet to try.
1 cup raspberries
1 cup blueberries
500ml thick sour cream
5tbsp + ¾ cup sugar
5 full tsp gelatin
We used a Tupperware Jel-Ring Mold, 24cm in diameter
Divide strawberries in two equal parts and crush one part of the strawberries with a pestle or a fork. Add 300ml boiling water and 5 tbsp sugar, bring to a boil and put through a sieve to get rid of strawberry pulp. Soak 2 teaspoons gelatin in a couple of tablespoons cold water until gelatin softens, then add it to the strawberry syrup and stir over a low heat until all gelatin dissolves. Leave to cool to room temperature.
In the meantime, halve the remaining strawberries and arrange some of them in your jelly mould. Add some raspberries and blueberries. Pour the strawberry gelatin mix into your mould and put into freezer for about half an hour.
Soak 3 tsp gelatin in 1/3 of the milk. When gelatin softens, add it to remaining milk and stir over a low heat until gelatin dissolves. Leave to cool.
Combine sour cream and ¾ cup sugar and slightly beat with a fork. Stir in the milk&gelatin mix. Gently fold in remaining blueberries.
Spoon the sour cream mix into your jelly mould on top of the berry jelly, adding raspberries as you go. Raspberries are too tender to stir them directly into sour cream, so we like to arrange them in the mould, layering with sour cream mix.
Refrigerate for about 4 hours or overnight.
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