Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

15 August 2012. RIA-Novosti Infographics. Is It from Bees or Is It from a Factory? How to Distinguish Natural Honey

 

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On 14 August, the Russian Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of Honey Spas (Honey Saviour), since olden days, it’s been the start of the honey collection season. People believed that the honeycombs in the beehives were filled to capacity in mid-August. Today, many producers of honey don’t wait for the natural maturation of the product, so they use many dodgy industrial tricks. To find honey without impurities and various additives is difficult. In order to make more profit, unscrupulous manufacturers product dilute honey with sugar syrup, and add flour, starch, chalk, and even sand. The result is something that looks like natural honey. However, attentive consumers notice an “off” consistency, foaminess, lack of flavour, or an unnatural sourish odour.

14 August 2012

RIA-Novosti

http://en.rian.ru/infographics/20120814/175213399.html

 

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

14 August 2011. A Point of Unity. August: The Month of Feasts, Part One. Orthodox Feast of the Procession of the Honourable Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord (“Honey Spas”)

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Editor’s Foreword:

August is chock-a-block with all kinds of Christian celebrating all across the board. Orthodox have three holy days… the Procession of the Honourable Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord, the Transfiguration of Our Lord, and the Assumption of the Mother of God (14 August, 19 August and 28 August). Catholics have three holy days… the Transfiguration, the Assumption, and the Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (6 August, 15 August, and 22 August). WHEW! There’s a whole lotta celebratin’ goin’ on here! Real Christians know how to GET DOWN and GET HAPPY! That’s how you can tell the Sectarian (Evangelical/Penecostalist/Mormon) phonies (and those influenced by them) from the Real Deal Christians… Christians DON’T have the “pious”, earnest, and dreary look of the “Evangelicals” (with all due apologies to the REAL Evangelicals, the Lutherans… the Sectarian dweebs stole their name). REAL Christians sing and dance… they might even pass the jug! Oh, the humanity! Don’t forget… He changed water into wine… not wine into water. What did Thomas Aquinas say? Ah, yes… you can have a nip to the point ad usque hilaritatem. You can have a smile, but don’t get pie-eyed… that’s simple enough, wot?

Here’s the first of this month’s feasts that I’m going to feature… the Orthodox feast of the Procession of the Honourable Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord on 14 August. We Russians call it Myodovy Spas… “Honey Spas”… “Honey Day of the Saviour”… and we bless… HONEY! No foolin’… why do you think that we call it HONEY Spas? Think that blessing honey and eating it might have something to do with it? Enjoy this, and the other four parts of this mega-photo essay… REAL CHRISTIANS KNOW HOW TO PRAY… REAL CHRISTIANS KNOW HOW TO PARTY. The Good Lord gave us the wherewithal to do BOTH

BMD

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Unidentified location in the Ukraine

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Kuzminki-Lyublino Historical Park (Kuzminki Raion. Southeastern Okrug. Federal City of Moscow. Central Federal District). RF

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Gomel (Gomel Oblast). BYELORUSSIA

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Gomel (Gomel Oblast). BYELORUSSIA

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Honey Spas. To the Feast!

Mikhail Timofeyev

undated (2000s?)

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Holy Trinty Mariinsky Monastery. Yegorevsk (Moscow Oblast. Central Federal District). RF

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Holy Trinty Mariinsky Monastery. Yegorevsk (Moscow Oblast. Central Federal District). RF

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Unidentified location in Byelorussia

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Unidentified location in Byelorussia

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Honey Spas

Yelena Vilkova

2009

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Medyn (Kaluga Oblast. Central Federal District). RF

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Medyn (Kaluga Oblast. Central Federal District). RF. The hierarch blessing the honey is Metropolitan Kliment Kapalin of Kaluga and Borovsk (1949- )

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Medyn (Kaluga Oblast. Central Federal District). RF

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Medyn (Kaluga Oblast. Central Federal District). RF

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By the Beehives

Aleksandr Makovsky

1916

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14 August 2011. There’s Something About Honey that’s Makes a Bear Kinda Funny…

Editor’s Foreword:

After putting together the Honey Spas post above, it inspired me to find some more “bearish” stuff on honey… remember, “There’s something about honey that makes a bear kinda funny, especially when it’s time to eat”… and, “There’s bears in the gutter and be careful not to utter a sound that might disturb them” (from an old Fugs song, I believe). I also include some “Bear Vids”… including that Russian fave, Vinni-Pukh… who’s the Russian take on “Winnie the Pooh”… MUCH better. If you see Vinni once, you’ll NEVER watch Winnie again!

BMD

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This is Vinni-Pukh… our well-loved Russian version of Winnie the Pooh…

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“Vinni-Pukh rules! American Cartoons are turning our kids’ brains to mush!”

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Here’s the original Soviet-era Vinni-Pukh cartoon… dialogue in Russian… from the 70s… if you click the “cc” in the lower right-hand of the screen, you’ll get English subtitles…

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How’s this for a honey container?

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Bear to the rescue! Get outta his way… he DOESN’T look happy…

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The Seven Little Goats and the Wolf… the bear rescues them, natch… dialogue in Russian, from the 50s…

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Here’s Masha with apples… perfect for Yablochny Spas (“Apple Spas”… the popular name for the Transfiguration). I think that the image is actually for the “Day of Knowledge“… the first day of school on 1 September.

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Маша и медведь (Masha i medved)… Masha and the Bear… one of Russia’s more beloved cartoon characters (they appear on Спокойной ночи, малыши! (Good Night, kids)… its been on since 1964; all of Russia knows Dyadya Volodya and Tyotya Valya)… very little dialogue… VERY suitable for VERY little ones… this one’s about New Year‘s and how Masha and Mishka the Bear have to help Ded Moroz (Gran’pa Frost = Santa Claus)… Masha gets to be Snegurochka, Dede’s sidekick… sweet, and fitting for toddlers (and adults, too).

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How ’bout some more Masha and the Bear? They’re goin’ fishin’…

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“Where’s the honey? Don’t blame ME. Dontcha know, I’m allergic to sweet things…”

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Sunday, 21 November 2010

21 November 2010. “Proshu k Stolu!” That’s “Good Eats” in Russian… Homemade Horseradish Vodka. Zalpom!

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Tsar Pyotr Veliki decreed that the owners of Russian post house inns had to have at least 5 quarts (a little less than 5 litres) of this traditional drink available in the cellar for frozen travellers.

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Many people think that horseradish is the archetypical Russian spicy-aromatic plant. From 1500 BC, people used it to make the strongest and most spicy condiments. Most folks believed that it not only stimulated the appetite, but also activated vital forces (that is, it was “randy goat weed”). Doctors used it to make rheumatism ointments as well.

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Horseradish was the most popular condiment amongst all the Slavic peoples. Gradually, it moved throughout Europe. At first, only the simple people ate it, workers and peasants, then, the “better” people started to add it to daintier dishes such as oysters and meat. Besides this, people used horseradish to flavour strong drinks; they often mixed it with wormwood and costmary. Innkeepers gave it to tired travellers to help them recover from the rigours of their journeys.

Horseradish Vodka is easy to prepare at home. For this simple process, one will need:

  • 1 litre vodka (the good stuff, please, no potato squeezin’s)
  • 200-300 grammes (8-10 ounces) horseradish
  • 50 millilitres (a little over 3 tablespoons) honey (Flower honey is best, as it gives more colour)
  • 3 black peppercorns
  • 1 bud cloves

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Wash and slice the horseradish, and warm the honey in a small pot over low heat. Put the horseradish into a bottle, then, pour the warm honey over the horseradish. Add the cloves and the peppercorns. Pour in half of the vodka and shake the corked bottle thoroughly to thoroughly mix the ingredients.

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When the vodka and honey are well mixed together, pour the rest of the vodka into the bottle. Shake the bottle a bit more to combine everything, and place it in a dark cool place for at least three months. Good proper horseradish vodka should even be aged for at least six months, for such a period is required for the drink to become smooth, transparent, and very healthy. Zalpom!

English Russia

http://englishrussia.com/index.php/2010/11/17/home-made-horseradish-vodka-cheers/#more-25152

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