Voices from Russia

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Sofia Rotaru Serves Pancakes with Jam and Myrtle, and Olga Sumskaya Prepares Nalistniki with Cream Cheese for Her Daughters

On Monday, for all Orthodox Christians, Maslenitsa begins.Komsomolska” asked our stars what kind of pancakes rule in their home.

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Sofia Mikhailovna Rotaru: It’s the steamed milk in the dough

Sofia Rotaru, according to her friends and relatives, always cooks perfectly. Even the simplest pancakes from Sofia Mikhailovna’s kitchen are lush and rosy. Her daughter Svetlana exposed the star’s culinary secret. “The recipe is really simple, flour, one egg, milk, and salt”, Svetlana told us. “But the secret is that, before adding the milk to the dough, you must add hot water, and mix it in well. Then, you can add the milk. Your pancake batter will always be homogeneous”.

Another secret of Sofia Mikhailovna’s pancakes is the filling. Svetlana told us, “We grow a lot of things in our garden, so we have homemade jam with our pancakes at Maslenitsa. Everyone especially likes filling made with fig or pineapple guava jam”.

Dietary treats from Irina Bilyk

Irina Bilyk, like a real star, always keeps fit. However, even during Maslenitsa, Irina watches her figure. Therefore, she kneads low-fat yoghurt into her pancake dough. “You need to take two glasses of yoghurt, 3 eggs, flour, a little sugar, and soda dissolved in a little vinegar. These are my favourite pancakes; I ate them when I was a kid. Их можно есть с мясом или повидлом, или без ничего, они очень диетические. You can eat them with meat or jam, or just by themselves, they are very good when you’re on a diet”. The pop diva adds softened butter to the dough.

Maslenitsa fun with Gallina

Popular Ukrainian singer Gallina enthused, “Maslenitsa was one of my favourite holidays ever since I was a little girl”. Gallina is well known as a very openhearted hostess and it’s traditional for her to gather at home with her friends on the last day of Maslenitsa, Forgiveness Sunday. Certainly, she always invites her kum, who’s also the godfather of her daughter Sofia, Batiushka Vasili. She said, “We make pancakes when we see the winter and spring meet, which was especially long-awaited this year. In addition to pancakes, we’ll have traditional Ukrainian food on the table. For sure, we’ll have borscht. Even in the old days, everybody thought that you should have a lot of fun on this day and stuff yourself with all sorts of goodies, because, after Maslenitsa, there comes the 47 days of Lent. It’s tough, but I do my best to keep it”.

By the way, her recipe for pancakes was passed down in her family for generations. Smiling, she said, “Baba Masha taught my mom, Galya to make pancakes, and she, in turn, taught me. This year, my daughter Sofia will be in the kitchen helping me. I do my best to pass on to her a respect for our family traditions”. Gallina told us that she‘d never forget the taste of the pancakes her baba made; they were light and delicate, like lace. There are many recipes for pancakes, but here’s the traditional recipe passed down in the Gorbal family, 3 to 5 eggs, milk, flour, and sugar. The main trick is to add vegetable oil to the dough and beat all the ingredients together thoroughly. This gives you an unusually thin and tasty pancake. However, Gallina loves to experiment with different fillings, and on her desk, there are a variety of pancakes stuffed with red caviar, poached salmon, berry jam, and honey. Yum!

Vasili Lazarovich: You fill ‘em with anything

By the way, Vasili Lazarovich loves homemade food. Vasili, who represented the Ukraine at the Eurovision-2010 competition, gave the following advice, “To make the dough lush and without lumps, one must use the highest grade of flour and eggs. You can make fillings from just about anything. In our house, we’re very fond of pancakes with poppy seeds and honey. But sometimes, you add chopped nuts instead, and you can replace the honey with condensed milk. I also like pancakes filled with fruit, especially apples and plums”.

Sumskaya pampers her daughters

Olga Sumskaya (1966- )

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Olga Sumskaya knows a thing or two about good food. Anechka, her younger daughter, adores her mother’s pancakes. Therefore, Olga prepares them not only during Maslenitsa. “First, you must make the dough, 1 cup milk, 2 eggs, 1 tablespoon sugar, a little salt, and four or five heaping tablespoons of flour. There’s a little secret to my pancakes. I add a tablespoon of olive oil to the dough. Beat the mixture together in a food processor, and make sure that you add the flour and butter into the machine gradually. This way, you avoid lumps in your dough. To cook them properly, pour the dough onto a well-heated and greased griddle”.

She says that her family likes three different kinds of fillings. “My youngest daughter is very fond of apples and chocolate glaze. Peel and core the apples, cut them into slices, sprinkle them with sugar, and nuke them in the microwave for 3 minutes. Then, you mash them coarsely with a fork and stuff the pancakes with them. It’s simple to prepare chocolate glaze to pour over pancakes, melt a bar of chocolate in a pan set over boiling water, then, add a little milk or sour cream. Another great filling for pancakes is poppy seed. Boil it for 10 minutes, then, drain it in cheesecloth, and spin it with sugar in a food processor. Then, spin it until it’s well-combined and add a little honey to the mixture”. For those who love traditional nalistniki with drained cottage cheese, Olga says that you should mix the drained cottage cheese with sugar, egg, and raisins. Stuffed nalistniki are baked for 20-30 minutes in the oven, and are served with sour cream.

5 February 2010

Yekaterina Kamenskaya

Oksana Goncharuk

Комсомольская Правда (Komsomolskaya Pravda (Kiev): Komosomol Truth (Kiev))

As quoted in Interfax-Religion

http://www.interfax-religion.ru/?act=print&div=10927

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