Larissa and Antonovka
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This year we have the standard St Petersburg November of rain, snow, and wind. My brain fills with words such as Charlotka, Ushanka, Sharmanka..
Once upon a time in New Jersey…
There’s something about pronouncing Russian words po-slo-gam, by syllable, that’s pleasing… Kol-got-ky, Mo-chal-ka!
I spoke these gems on the phone to my future mother-in-law.
She told Larissa, “Who is that crazy man that says underwear and bath scrubber to me. No respect!”
Just trying to build my vocabulary!
As Russian as Sharlotka apple cake…
Larissa loves cooking this cake for us… and for her daughter’s family. They live perpendicular to our apartment, and one floor up. We often get a phone call when we come home and push down on the light switch.
Whip this up when the guest is already on the front step! Gosty na parogee! cyrillic Гости на пороге
This cake is easy and fast to make. It requires 3 or more sliced apples, 3 or more eggs, a cup of flour, a cup of sugar, and the usual little bit of baking soda in a spoon, mixed with vinegar. Optional ingredient ideas… cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice (to make sweet apples more tart), sour cream, vinegar, salt.
Russia’s Antonovka apples…
Antonovka are best for this cake. We brought home a rucksack bulging with apples. Now Larissa buys Antonovka at the open air markets. I guess the best American substitute would be Granny Smith or MacIntosh.
Whip eggs, blend with sugar, add flour and a vinegar/baking soda solution. You can use a whisk, egg beater, or blender.
Just pour the dough into a greased flat pan sprinkled with crumbs. Add apple slices, and pour more.
A friendly controversy…
Some people stop there, but Larissa and Bkatya make layers! You can add more slices, pour dough on top, until there are three or more levels, adding the remaining dough to top it off.
This is less a Tempest in a teapot and more just another way to enjoy Sharlotka.
Either way you do it…
Cover with crumbs, place in a 350F (180C) preheated oven. Cooking time is 20 minutes to one hour. It depends which way you prepare it. It’s ready when a toothpick comes out clean. Place on a wet cloth for 5 minutes to cool, flip, and enjoy. We often top Sharlotka with ice cream.
Thinking about sharlotka makes me hungry and happy!
If my mood is dampened by the dark cold of autumn, I get cheerful reading food blogs. I’m surprised there are only a dozen or so active Russian cooking blogs in English.
MacDonald’s 12 Recomended Russian Cooking Blogs… my gift for our Readers! Just click on the blog name.
I searched for flavorful blogs that will help you remember old times or find what you can cook in your kitchen. My favorites reflect the personality of the author and usually have good food photography.
Being an expat… and skuchno, Cyrillic скучно, meaning nostalgic, lonely, homesick… are inspirations for Russian food blogs… Some writers have a baby or toddlers, another is by an older man.
I put this list together so you can easily bookmark or follow any that you enjoy.
Bkatya by Katya, near Boston. She has a Turkish husband, and writes the cuisine of ‘my 3 countries’, as well as other impressions of the area.
Kansas City With the Russian Accent ‘Whatever comes to mind of one Jewish-American’, Meesha includes Koscher food narratives, including gefilte fish.
Moscow Gourmet Kitchen written by Irina Vodonos in Seattle includes details on this tasty cake… with a dough lattice top. This blogger gives cooking classes and caters, while also writing grant applications and attending the University of Washington for her masters. She writes a warm narrative.
RusCuisine writer Olga has instructions for sharlotka with links to Russian Food Direct and RusClothing. Good cooking tips. Click stories and consider getting their cooking email.
Natasha’s Kitchen from Treasure Valley, Idaho is published by a Ukrainian-American woman. She has a variety of recipes and shares some about her life, too.
Russian Season in Latvia. Russian and East European recipes cooked by mother Natalia and daughter Alina. Russians are a large minority in the Baltic States. It is translated into Slovak by Stano, the son-in-law.
Let’s Make Some Russian Food about Ukrainian and Russian Food. Kristina Nedeoglo is from Sacramento California. She arrived in the US in 1991.
Russian Food and Recipes From All Over the World. Cristina Turcanu lives in New York City. She is from small landlocked Moldova, famous for tasty food and great wines.
MacDonald’s Trivia A Romance language close to Romanian, Moldovans switched to Romanian Latin script from Cyrillic in 1989…except in Transnistria where Moldovan is still written in Cyrillic.
Everyday Russian Food… written by Sputniktomorrow, somewhere in the USA.
Windows to Russia w ritten by fellow expat and blogger Kyle Keeton and his wife Svet, from Moscow. They have a Russian Foods category that is worth many visits. They have a great selection of news and other features.
Mendeleyev Journal in Moscow and Phoenix has a top Cuisine of Russia section.
Anastasia's Blog is the food part of the Moscow Russia Insider's Guide
The long dark winter is a great time to check this blog list for recipes and taste the results. Remember, food is a predictable pleasure. Enjoy!
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