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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Mas’lenitsa!

Russian-Blini(or, “Blini I Don’t Need to be Eating”)

It’s that season when the faithful Russian Orthodox need to be penitent.  Not of that persuasion myself, I’ve always found that a bit of penitence goes a long way.  So the 40 days before Easter were called, once upon a time, “Myasapusta” (meat-free), later giving way to the name “Mas’lenitsa”, or Butter Week.

Apparently, the cheese, the butter, the rich foods would precede the prayer and fasting of Great Lent.   During Lent, meat, fish, dairy products and eggs are forbidden.  Because there are some pagan elements to this cessation-of-winter spring holiday, the favored food appears to be the round and sun-like pancake.

In the Russian scheme of things, their “pancakes” are not what most of us would imagine.  These are Russian blini, closer to Blinithe French crepe, however, made with buckwheat flour and yeast.  I’ve been making blinchiki for decades, not at any particular time of year, but simply for pure enjoyment, and I must admit, I have never used these two specific ingredients, so it may be time to try that and see how they shape up.

And then you’re left with the fun of fillings-!  My family generally prefers a cottage cheese and cream cheese mixture filling, but anything from salmon, to jam, to honey may be used, as well, depending on your tastes.  Nutella wouldn’t be bad for a dessert blin, as well.

tumblr_mhdaiti8Yz1ryhmp6o1_500Once you have the mixture inside, you can wrap in the right and left, and then roll/wrap both the top and the bottom.  It may look like a fat sausage shape.  Or, alternatively, you may wish to fold in half, and in half again to form a triangle.

When it comes to blini, less is more.  Don’t stuff them too full (like I do), but instead, place a smear to a spoonful in the center of your thin pancake.  That way, the thinner they are, the more you can eat-!

Happy Butter Week… to be followed by fasting and forgiveness.

(More details about the holiday in the 3-D Adoption Talk Chat Forum.)

 

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