Old Russian food in a modern metropolis / Lifestyle / Nezavisimaya Gazeta

It turns out that vodka, aged for three days in the oven, was called a pot.

The bread and pies were baked over high heat and the milk was simmered in a slightly cool oven and the porridge was baked. Photo by RIA Novosti

Aunt Tasya, my mother’s sister, was very small and the food she cooked, on the contrary, was always very large. I remember, I was surprised by the size of the cutlets he made, the pies he made. The crumbs scattered on Napoleon cake also looked more like small pieces of dough than crumbs. But that did not hurt: he cooked amazingly tasty and generously.

That day I was greeted by a dining room covered in flour and Aunt Tasya in a plaid apron. He invited me to participate in the cutting of homemade noodles.

Where we lived – me, brother, mom and dad – there was no kitchen at all and another family of three lived in the next room. The gas stove was almost under the hooks where the outer clothes were hung. And yet, sometimes, very rarely, my mother fried sweet wood for us, it never crossed anyone’s mind to ask her more. I ate in kindergarten, my brother at school and my parents at work. At home we were satisfied mainly with sandwiches. That’s probably why I love them so much to this day.

It is not the same with Aunt Tasia. Although her room was also in a shared apartment, the apartment itself was large and the room was close to the kitchen. the apartment had a warm bathroom and toilet, and the kitchen had a sink. We were deprived of all these comforts. Right on the stairs, behind a thin plywood door, there was an unheated toilet and a sink with ice water, common throughout the floor. Although our house – an old mansion surrounded by a large garden – had a great location: it was located on the Voznesensky Strip (then Stankevich Street) behind the building of the Moscow City Council (now City Hall).

They took me to Aunt Tasya and Grandma to wash even when my parents were very busy. These were happy journeys.

Aunt Tasya gave me a not very sharp knife and told me, at first under her supervision, to cut long strips of dough, making them short. Somehow I coped with the task, and the cottage cheese noodles are still confusing my imagination. I highly recommend it, especially as a family activity, if you involve children in the construction.

Noodles are easy to make, but incomparable in taste with the purchased ones, which have also disappeared somewhere in recent years. The word is Turkish, as evidenced by the repetition of a vowel “a” – harmonization – and means “small pieces of dough cooked in broth”.

In many fairy tales the characters move lying down.
in a Russian oven. Cartoon frame
“In a certain kingdom …”. 1957

By the way, only noodles with boiled milk is an old Russian food. Varenets (curd from the same baked milk) was also added to the pasta or homemade curd was cut. The pasta is perfectly baked in the oven not only with cottage cheese, but also with any available additives – eggs, meat, cheese, vegetables – that is, those that are on hand.

A wit said: “When noodles hang in your ears, think if such a decoration suits you”. About the ears – everyone has their own taste, but for the stomach, pasta is a pleasure!

But the well-known saying “Skiing and porridge is our food” is good, perhaps, only for Central Russia. In the north they rarely ate porridge, but outside of fasting there was a lot of fish, flying meat (the so-called hare and hunting). In the south, in good lands and good owners – there were many pies, and pancakes, and vegetables, fruits and products made from them.

Porridge boiled and rested in a Russian oven can not be compared to what came to light in our burners or even in a modern restaurant oven. In general, the Russian stove is a house in which a second house was planted – a five-wall hut. The Russian stove was heating the hut, the clothes were drying near it. They washed in the Russian stove, slept on it, cooked on it and on it. It is not for nothing that in Russian fairy tales the heroes do not fly on flying carpets, but move, lying on a Russian stove.

The cooking in these ovens is long, but the taste of the dish is completely unique. There were three degrees of heat in the oven: “before the bread”, “after the bread”, “in the free spirit”. Depending on the temperature, one or the other food was prepared. In the great heat they baked bread, pies, meat in the oven. The milk was simmered in a slightly cool oven and the porridge was baked.

Russia knew five basic grains: rye, wheat, millet, barley and buckwheat. Oats were not so common – they mainly made a product of crushed flour, which was called oatmeal. It was not cooked, but boiled. It is nutritious, easily mixed with water, milk, fruit decoction.

The most popular food among the ancient Slavs was boiled millet, but the most Russian porridge is, of course, buckwheat. Kashi was cooked in two types: crumbly and viscous. In the crushed, having baked, they just put oil and put it in the oven to bake. For the viscosity, the cereals are boiled in a large amount of water, then the water is drained and milk is added, cooking the porridge. The crumbly porridge was seasoned with bacon, fried onions, cottage cheese, peas and mushrooms. The sweet porridge was seasoned with pumpkin, raisins and berry decoction. It was served with honey, molasses or jam.

But cereal from cereals was very popular and delicious. They added cottage cheese, meat, mushrooms, vegetables, apples. In the Russian oven the kroupenikia are excellent, especially since some of them were served with boiled (correctly speaking – boiled) milk.

The word “casserole”, which we now use as a synonym for krupenik, is Polish, came to Russia in the 19th century. To the Russians, “pot” meant vodka soaked in berries and herbs, aged in a Russian oven for three days – then the ingredients of the spindle have time to evaporate. What a healthy drink left with Russian cuisine …

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