Tuesday, April 12, 2005

This is for Roger! This is how I make blini. No half shell for this Venus. It needs to be turned once on my cast iron skillet to achieve perfection. Posted by Hello

22 comments:

Kitten said...

That looks yummy...and even more yummy is a MAN who ca cook.
Happy Tuesday, Russell!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Thanks kitten. I know for a fact that the blini are yummy. Happy Tuesday (and Wednesday too, as we are a half a day in the future here)!

Gama said...

What's a blini?

Russell Ragsdale said...

Russian blini are a little like a French crepe, gama. They are fantastic right out of the pan! I'll be posting how to make them at some later date.

Roger Stevens said...

So that's what it looks like but what's in it?

You might be surprised to learn that it was the answer to a question on University Challenge on Monday.

From that I gleaned it's like a pancake made with buckwheat flour.
Is that right?

Anonymous Poet said...

Yummy! Indeed.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Good question roger! Before the revolution in Russia, they were indeed made from buckwheat flour (smaller in diameter and thicker). Therefore people teaching blini making outside the former Soviet Union were teaching the West the old style of making them. Meanwhile inside the FSU the recipe was transforming to respond to the FSU's promotion of wheat as an agricultural product. For many decades now it has been a very thin white flour pancake which the people still enjoy very much and make at home from scratch. And a p, as you so rightly said, they are yummy!

Roger Stevens said...

Ah...

Maybe I should write to University Challenge and put them right.

So a blini sounds much like a standard pancake...

?

Russell Ragsdale said...

Probably not a good idea, roger! Most of us love our illusions! Those who fled the revolution thought of the blini as a set and stable thing. Those who listened to them were looking for special (insider) information. Reality is outside of both of those paradigms. We who speak English like to think this is the only right form of the language. The truth exists outside of our fondly held illusions.

The blini batter is far too thin for a pancake (about the consistancy of milk just on the verge of being cream).
The surface dynamics of the cooking process make it really closer in taste but not texture to the waffle. It, like the French crepe which probably (somewhere during its evolution) inspired it, is vastly different than the sweet thick doughy wonder of a pancake.

Food, language, art, life are all in a constant process of change (not necessarily evolution). Happily, we poor short lived mortals get a moment in the sun to enjoy what is out there and we get to put our fondly held illusions on how great the current fad is without the burden of real knowledge.

My advice: don't shake the poor idots; reality is more than any of us can handle! That is why human consciousness is a filter and fill function and we see so little of the posible view.

niki said...

I am hungry! I love French crepes.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi niki! Do you make blini with white wheat flour in Romania? Share you recipe with us. And come on over, you can sit at my kitchen table and eat blini hot from the pan!

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi roger! Sorry about the long, preachy post. I do get in a bit of a mood sometimes! ;o)

Roger Stevens said...

That's okay. I wasn't really going to write to University Challenge. The whole language is interesting isn't it?

So - I'm looking forward to the blini recipe
:-)

Russell Ragsdale said...

Roger, I think the whole spectrum of change is fascinating from food to language to deciding Darwin's survival of the fittest idea isn't going to make it. I'd like to get people posting their favorite blini recipes kind of like your top five thing but but unfortunately the topic is terminally restrictive.

I'm in the process of creating a Spring dinner menu to post soon, so the blini will have to come a bit later. But, never fear, I'm alrady planning it with photos and all. Blini making is a complicated art and I love it. Can't wait to make some more!

Hang on the recipe is coming!

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Have you got the orriginal buckweat one I'm on a gluten free diet. All the recipies I've tried for anything resembling a pancake are enogh to put you off food.

Russell Ragsdale said...

Sue, if I don't have it somewhere in my collection, I'm sure one of my colleagues has it. I have seen it in collections of turn of the century (1900) Russian recipes and also in Russian emigrant cookbooks published between the 50's-80's. I'll turn one up for you!

Julie said...

What all do you do w/ a blini? I have seen them used here in the states w/ caviar, but they are smaller, usually spinach and thicker. they kind of look like sweedish pancakes which I guess are kind of like crepes also.

Russell Ragsdale said...

I love them with sour cream and jam for late breakfast on a lazy Saturday. They also fry ground beef and onions and add cooked rice to it. Then they roll the meat/rice mix in blini (like a little pillow), put a tablespoon of sour cream on top and eat them up 2 or 3 to a serving!

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I've posted several comments that seem to have got lost in ciber space, is anyone else having problems with polta-blog?

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

Ignor my previous comment I just found one, Polta-blog again.

Sue hardy-Dawson said...

That would be really great, I have just finished an essay which I have no love for, will have to hand it in before I can become more objective

Russell Ragsdale said...

Hi Sue! Glad you found your posts. I get them as an e-mail and sometimes have to really go searching to find them all. This blog is becoming a little too cumbersome - I'm in the process of writing a new template for it so it will be easier to use. Congrats on finishing that essay. I am an essay writer as well as poet (late life discovery thanks to having to write a newspaper food column for several years). The last essay (formal) I wrote, however, was 23 typewritten pages with something around 65 footnotes. It is pratically impossible to read and has ground to a halt the series of essays I was working on. Yuk!!!

Briefly speaking (that will be a real change), you have my condolences!