Little Arms, Soft Pretzels and Blini Lunch

This is Evie’s first year learning about Lent and in school they were told this story of the “little arms”.  It is a cute story and she always looks at pretzels upside down now.  Here is the story and the recipe.  I hope you can read it. If the text is too small click on the picture it should bring it up in a new screen to increase the size. If you cannot read it let me know and I can repost the story. Of course we finished the story by making the pretzels, which she thoroughly enjoyed, the last batch got a little silly with an E, candy cane and heart.  The pretzels were really good fresh out of the oven with a little honey mustard.

IMG_5971

IMG_5972

Mixing the dough and kneading, Evie love the kneading…

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

ImageThis morning we also had another food adventure, and it was a whole new experience.  We went for a blini lunch at a local Russian Orthodox Church. Evie was excited to go to this event because we recently read a book that she brought home from school on library day about the Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. We are not Russian, orthodox or even know much about Russian food and culture.  Today we were educated!

“Blini are round and hot and beautiful like a glorious sun,” said Russian writer Alexander Kuprin (1870-1938).  Blini are cooked all year but are traditionally associated with Maslenitsa, Butterweek, a celebration to drive out the long cold winter and welcome spring.

“No meat is allowed during Maslenitsa. Therefore, we prepare the delicious pancakes ofbuckwheat, rye, or wheat flour. They are served with hot butter, sour cream, eggs, herring, salmon, and, of course, caviar. They are also served with honey, marmalade, and marinated fruits. Towards the end of Butterweek the ingredients are skimpier and more humble. We grieve for the festivities as we prepare for the seven weeks of Lent that follow.”  (Alla Sacharow, Classic Russian Cuisine).

This little church hall was decorated with a few Russian artifacts/folkart.  There was also an area called Babushka’s attic, where Evie bought a pretty hand painted Ukrainian Easter Egg.  There was live Russian music and, of course, food.

Image

Our lunch consisted of borscht with pumpernickel bread, blinis served with sour cream chopped egg and spring onions and Russian teacakes for desert.  It was DELICIOUS!

Image

Image

They were also serving different vodkas, but it was a little too early to try vodka at 11:00a