I have recently come across this inspiring artist, Oles iz Luboistoka. As you’ve probably gathered, he is not an English performer. He is a Russian singer and song writer, who lives in an eco village called Luboistok. The village is comprised of family domains, who strive to be in harmony with nature, improve the space they live in and be happy (please see the Ringing Cedars series for details on family domains).
I am so moved by his music that I’ve decided I must share it with the English-speaking world. I’ve picked one of the songs called “Swamp and River” and tackled its translation in the most accurate manner. You can listen to the song below (as well as download it). It’s completely legal, Oles offers ALL of his music for download on his website!
It’s not quite winter yet, but there is a definite feel that it’s coming. The morning air is chilly and crisp, and it’s almost time to bring out the warm comforter blanket. What I love about Autumn and Winter seasons are those delicious opportunities for soups and stews. Given my Russian heritage, I would like to share this Bortsh (Борщ) recipe that makes frequent appearance in our household. It’s healthy, it’s in-season and it tastes great!
1/2 head of cabbage (or silverbeet, as we have discovered)
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 to 1 cup of tomato paste (can also add fresh tomatoes)
2 table spoons of vinegar
2 table spoons of olive oil for shimmering vegetables
dill, parsley, black pepper and salt to taste
Peel and cut potatoes, set to boil in about 4 cups of water
Peel and thinly slice beetroot and carrots. Heat up oil in the pan and shimmer beetroot and carrots on low heat for at least 10 minutes (or until tender). Add vinegar and lemon juice to the mix. This will release the deep red colour of the beets.
Cut the onions and add them to the carrot & beetroot mix about 5 minutes before they are done
When ready, transfer the carrot & beetroot mix to the pot with boiling potatoes
Add salt, pepper, cabbage, tomato paste to broth and cook on medium heat for about 20 mins
Now the secret ingredient: cut raw garlic, dill, and parsley into small pieces. Put in a cup and mix well. Let them sit together while the broth is boiling.
When broth is almost ready, add the secret ingredient mix. It will add a lot of flavour to the soup, but don’t over-cook it! After 3 mins, turn off the pot and let it sit for 10-15 mins on the stove.
Serve with toast and sour cream for a truly Russian experience. Enjoy!
Kissel is essentially a fruit drink that’s been thickened with a bit of starch. It’s like drinking jello :). Kissel is a popular after-dinner drink in Russia and can be served hot or cold. I like my kissel hot, perfect for winter!
I’ve written in an earlier post about my Rhubarb find at Saturday’s Farmer’s Market and how to turn it into a delicious crisp. Today I decided to venture into the land of childhood favourites with kissel. It came out great! Delicious and warming, highly recommended.
1 cup of chopped Rhubarb (can also add strawberries or apples)