Saturday, October 24, 2009

... russian food

shchi

when i went to the soviet union in 1989, i ate a lot of food that i knew nothing about. meals appeared in front of me and i usually just ate them without worrying specifically about what i was putting in my mouth. we had a lot of jokes about mystery meat. i also recall a lot of caviar, but that's another story. but the thing i remember enjoying the most was shchi, a russian peasant-style soup made from cabbage. for something that sounds so blah, i promise you, it's a taste explosion in your mouth.

shchi

that looks like it needs a big ol' dollop of dilled sour cream.

shchi with dill sour cream

that's better.

so, the other day as i was looking at two giant heads of cabbage from our farm share, i had the idea to try to make shchi for the first time since i had it over 20 years ago. i found a somewhat authentic-looking and meat-free version online, and it also didn't hurt that this recipe had a baba-yaga story on the side. i'm a sucker for baba-yaga.

russian black bread

and i figured that since i was already doing the russian thing, i should make some russian black bread to accompany my soup. and make it i did! what a delicious loaf of bread. anything that you put molasses, chocolate, vinegar, whole wheat flour, rye flour, caraway seeds, and fennel seeds into has to be delicious, right?

russian black bread

it was terribly delicious. and because it was such an enormous pot of soup and because i made two loaves of bread, i am still enjoying this meal several days later.

in fact, i think i have been eating so much shchi and black bread, that i started having russian dreams involving much vodka and chaos. as it should be.

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