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Russian, Eastern European and international cuisine brought to you by a mother and a daughter

Sea Buckthorn Juice

Sea Buckthorn Juice in a small jar

Yesterday Ivanka finally allowed me to go veggie-shopping to the farmers’ market. She is learning to walk and she refuses to stay in her stroller for more than 15 minutes. The farmers’ market, however, is located in a 25 minutes walk from our home. She can make a few steps on her own or walk for a longer time holding my hand, but this distance is still too long for her. Besides, where would I put all my bags if not into a stroller? I missed the splendid farmers’ market so much. The small market we have across the street just doesn’t compare with it - giant carrots, stinky garlic (last year’s leftovers?) and wrinkled blueberries are some of my anti-favourites.  So I was extremely happy when Ivanka graciously allowed me to take her to that further market! We bought as much fruit and berries as I could squeeze into the baby-stroller bags.

It’s pretty amusing actually that our daughter already has her own opinion on a lot of things. She thinks, for example, that food crumbs that fall on the floor are the best delicacies ever. I just can’t stand the sight of her digging a tiny clot of yesterday’s omelet from under the stove and trying to eat it. I even started to mop the floor every other day: Sisyphean efforts, as a true foodcrumb connoisseur will always find something delicious even on a freshly cleaned floor :)

Some other things Ivanka thinks are cool include eating toilet paper, destroying flower pots and chewing shoe sponges. But of course there’re also a lot of good, and beautiful, and exciting things she likes. We were surprised to note that she prefers cats to dogs. She does like dogs, but when she sees a cat… she sings serenades, she’s in love! She loves to listen to music and dance and sing along. She loves flowers. Her favourite colour is yellow. I just think that’s so tremendous to discover her new preferences, likes and dislikes!

Sea Buckthorn

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Apple Coconut Vanilla Lattice Pie

Apple Coconut Lattice Pie

When it comes to buying fruit, I always give preference to fruit that originate from a nearer country - local farmers produce being the perfect option of course. In January, when supermarkets run out of Latvian apples, I choose Polish because they look the worst. I mean, you will never convince me that apples that keep until May are actually edible. No no no. So, while I’m always tempted to buy some of those crisp, green, glossy Granny Smiths, I opt for the slightly bruised, smaller apples from Poland.

Red apples

Bruised apple

If you take a look at these apples I brought from Slovakia, you will notice that they are imperfect. Their shape isn’t perfectly round, their colour isn’t perfectly even, their skins are bruised. These are real apples from Stano’s Grandmother. And I had to use them up urgently while they still were juicy and firm. And I had a block of margarine that also needed to be used up. So I started with these two ingredients, whipped up a flaky and a not too sweet dough, and tossed the apples with freshly scraped vanilla seeds (you can’t always use cinnamon with apples after all). Something else was missing. A layer of creamy and sweet coconut paste! Somehow I’ve never thought of pairing apples and coconut in a cake before, but surprisingly, they made a gorgeous couple! The sweet smell coming from the kitchen warmed up the chilly August evening, and the fact Stano had two (!!) pieces of the pie made me think it was pretty good. Of course he said he would have preferred it without coconut (he always chooses the right words, you know), but he ate it! So, let me introduce you my first lattice pie - you will notice that the lattice pattern isn’t perfect either, I made an error at a certain point, but this didn’t make the pie taste any worse. I love it the way it is. And the lattice - I will certainly do it the right way next time. Read the rest of this entry »

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RussianSeason.net is a food blog run by two Russian-speaking women - a mother (Natalia) and a daughter (Alina) - living in Latvia. Natalia is a professional artist and Alina is the co-owner of a web directory of Russian-speaking businesses in Europe. We both cook and Alina writes posts and takes photos.
In our blog you'll find a range of (mostly tweaked&adapted) recipes from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltics, and former USSR. But we can't restrain ourselves from experimenting with other cuisines too :)
Stano is the guy behind the Slovak version of this blog. He is currently living and working in Latvia and is also known as the Man Who Makes Alina Eat A Lot Of Cakes, because he hardly ever eats cakes or pies she bakes. He doesn't have a sweet tooth, you see. Stano also provides us with traditional Slovak recipes - such as Halušky that he's been promising to make for 7 months now :) Just be patient - we're sure he will eventually do it!
Ivanka is the largest cross-cultural project Alina and Stano have been ever involved in:) We hope she will be a foodie too when she grows up!
Our email address is: russianseason@gmail.com

Priyatnovo appetita! (Bon appetit!)

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