Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Let's learn some Russian

Well seeing as i'm visiting Russia I thought I should brush up on the local lingo.

Here's a few simple phrases that might just come in handy :-)
English Greetings:Russian Greetings:
Hi!privEt Привет!
Good morning!dObraye Utra Доброе утро!
Good evening!dObriy dEn/ vEcher (day/evening) Добрый день/ вечер!
Welcome! (to greet someone)dabrO pazhAlavat’ Добро пожаловать!
How are you?kak dela? Как дела?
I'm fine, thanks!harashO! Spasiba Хорошо, спасибо!
And you?a u tibyA? А у тебя?
Good/ So-So.harashO/ tAk sibe Хорошо/Так себе
Thank you (very much)!spasiba Спасибо!
You're welcome! (for "thank you")pazhAlusta пожалуйста!
Hey! Friend!Ey, drug! Эй, друг\ Эй, приятель.
I missed you so much!Ya tak sil'no skuchAl/a (female) pa tibE
Я так сильно скучал/a по тебе
What's new? Chto nOvava? Что нового?
Nothing muchNiplOha/ NichivO Неплохо\ Ничего.
Good night!spakOynay nOchi спокойной ночи
See you later!da vstrEchi/ da svidAn’ya до встречи/ до свидания
Good bye!pakA/ da svidAn’ya Пока/до свидания
Asking for Help and Directions
I'm lostya zabludils’a Я заблудился
Can I help you?Ya magU vam pamOch? Я могу вам помочь?
Can you help me?Vy mOzhite mne pamOch? Вы можете мне помочь?
Where is the (bathroom/ pharmacy)?Gde nahOditsa (vAnnaya/ aptEka)?
Где находится (Ванная/ Аптека)
Go straight! then turn left/ right!idite pryAmo, patOm nalEva/ naprAva
Идите прямо, потом налево/направо
I'm looking for john.Ya ichU DzhOna Я ищу Джона.
One moment please!MinUtu, pazhAlusta Минуту, пожалуйста.
Hold on please! (phone)PadazhdIte, pazhAlusta! Подождите, пожалуйста!
How much is this?SkOl'ka Eta stOit? Сколько это стоит?
Excuse me ...! (to ask for something)izvinite! / prastite Извините\Простите
Excuse me! ( to pass by)izvinite! Извините!
Come with me!PaidyOmte sa mnOy! Пойдемте со мной!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The menu is...

After much research, and considering my abilities and opportunity to secure the necessary ingredients, I have selected the meals for my Russian menu.

For the main I’ll be embarking on Pelmeni – a sort of dumpling consisting of a beef/pork filling wrapped in thin dough and boiled in salt water.  Here’s the recipe I’ll be using.
For dessert I’m going with a Sharlotka (Apple Charlotte). It’s a take on an apple sponge cake. Looking forward to tackling this one – sounds delicious. Once again, here’s the recipe.

All in all I not only think the meals will be delicious, but I think I can tackle both with reasonable success. The fun part will come in making the dough for the Pelmeni – haven’t made dough in a long while, but hey what is cooking without a little mess, and if worse comes to worse I should be able to make damper with it LOL J

So this weekend I’ll head to the supermarket to stock on the supplies needed. Then next weekend, when my nephews are over, we’ll all pitch in and ‘travel’ to Russia together.

As always feel free to try these out for yourselves and share your experience. Perhaps you might tackle another Traditional Russian dish. I found quite a few out there that made the mouth water.

Until next time - Пребывание хорошо (stay well).

Monday, 20 June 2011

Russia - Did you knows

Well my food adventure is coming along. I have begun researching traditional Russian dishes and along they way i am also learning more about the country. So i thought i would share what i have found. Feel free to share what you know.
Also if you have any Russian recipes please post them. The more i can get my hands on the better :-)
наслаждайтесь (enjoy)
Climatic facts about Russia
Because of its size, Russia presents a drastically different atmosphere depending on your location. Most of the country has a continental climate with distinct periods of warm and cold weather that increases as you travel east. Temperatures for Moscow and St. Petersburg range from highs of 32 C in the summer to lows of -25 C in the winter.

Demographic facts about Russia
Russia has a population of 145.5 million people, 80% of whom reside in Western Russia and two-thirds of whom live in cities. Moscow alone claims eleven million citizens, standing as the largest city in Europe. St. Petersburg boasts less than half that, with a mere five million residents. 1 in 4 Russians is retired, with the average age being 30 years old and growing every year. The normal Russian family consists of three people.

Economic facts about Russia
Given its vast supply of natural resources, Russia depends heavily on mining. It is the world’s leading producer of energy and military technologies. Some of the fastest growing sectors in the Russian economy include telecommunications, finance, construction, and energy production. The economy is still transitioning from a command to a market structure, and although most enterprises have been privatized, domestic prices on energy are not established by market forces.

Living standards
Russian living standards plunged after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In 2007 standards climbed to the level of 90 and continue to improve as Russia closes the gap with developed countries. Many attribute this spectacular recovery to petrodollars.

Language facts about Russia
The official language in Russia is (shockingly) Russian. This language uses the Cyrillic alphabet instead of Latin and is one of the five most spoken languages in the world.

Cultural facts about Russia
Most Russian cities have social lives comparable to New York City’s vibrant scene. In regard to the arts, Russia has always occupied a prominent spot on the world scene. The Bolshoi Theater and Pushkin Art Gallery in Moscow, the Mariinsky Theater and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg – these are considered to be some of the best art institutions in the world. In St. Petersburg alone there are 2,000 libraries, 221 museums, 80 theaters, 100 concert halls, 45 art galleries, 62 movie theaters, and 80 nightclubs, and over 100 concerts, shows and festivals each year. If that isn’t enough to occupy your time, Russians place great importance on friends and family, resulting in anniversary and birthday celebrations that will blow you away.

Ethnic diversity
Russia is home to more than 100 ethnic groups and indigenous people. Slavs account for about 75% of the total population. The densest areas of Russia are near the Ural Mountains and in southwestern Siberia.

Religious facts about Russia
Russian Orthodox is the official religion in Russia. 20% of Russians practice Islam while Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism are not wide spread but have small roles in Russian culture. Many of Russia's most famous sites are former or present churches, signifying the important role that religion has played in the past. The Russian Orthodox Church, diminished during the Soviet period, has in recent years begun to recover in popularity and strength.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

I'm off to Russia!

Well the dice has spoken.

My first cooking adventure is from Russia.

I sat down last night and pulled the following countries from my atlas:

  1. Morocco
  2. Egypt
  3. Russia
  4. India
  5. Cuba
  6. France
and with a roll of the dice number 3 came up.

So now the fun begins :-)

I am giving myself a week (and with your help) to track down traditional Russian recipes for a main and dessert.

Then i'll have a week to gather all the ingredients before serving up my Russin feast to my frist victims, oops i mean guests -my nephews who will be down for their school holidays.

So please feel free to post any recipes you come accross. This time next week i'll announce what will be on the menu :-)

Even if you can't find a recipe, but find some interesting facts about Russia put them up so we can all learn a little something as we travel.

For example:

Did you know Russia is the largest country in the world and constitutes one-seventh of the world’s landmass and spans eight time zones? This expansive area allows it to neighbor more countries than anywhere else on earth, as well as touch twenty-two bodies of water and hold twelve seas within its borders.

Имейте большую неделю каждый!  (Have a great week everyone!)

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Who’s up for a challenge?

I have always wanted to travel around the world experiencing unique cultures and seeing, in real life, all those images I grew up seeing at school. So far I have managed to get to five, but there are so many more that need to be ticked off the list.

However, unfortunately due to budgetary constraints, at this point in my life I am unable to do this, but why let a small thing like money stop me? So, using my imagination and the collective knowledge of you, my friends, and anyone else who wants to read this, I have decided I am going to travel around the world via a food journey.

Basically I plan to explore the world through food - well at least try to  J.

I know this is in no way the complete experience, but I figure what better way enhance one’s culinary skills then by tackling dishes from every country on the planet. That is right, I did say every country.

My plan is every couple of weeks tackle two ‘traditional’ dishes (a main and dessert) from a country around the world. Have some friends round, serve them up (hopefully not poisoning anyone) and share the experience and theirs on here.

How will you choose the country you visit every fortnight? I hear you say… well using my trusty atlas I will select six countries giving them a number 1-6. Then by rolling a dice whatever number comes up will be the country I visit. So if Thailand is a 1 and I roll a 1 then we are going to Thailand!

Now it wouldn’t be an adventure without travel buddies. Every trip needs them and that is where I’m hoping you will help me out along they way. You see I don’t have that many recipe books, let alone books containing recipes from around the globe and whilst yes i do have the internet, som eof those special family recipes just can't be tracked down through Google. So, what I am hoping for from my travel buddies is some help in tracking down recipes that I can cook and that my local butcher, supermarket, fruit and veg markets etc... can help out with ingredients wise. J

So get ready dust off those cook books and hit up the relatives for those good old family recipes passed down through the years… lets travel the world together!!

Oh, and by all means feel free to travel from your kitchen as well. I think it would be great to see others pick up the idea and run with it. Just imagine people everywhere ‘travelling’ via their kitchen.

So when will i start?
The hope is soon - few things to sort out first e.g., ensuring i have cooking utensils LOL, but rest assured the jet is almost ready to take flight to our first destination!

Stay tuned J