Sunday, February 21, 2016

Munching in Moscow

Today was mostly all about food. We all woke up very late, because of our long travel day yesterday and our late night last night. So, our first act of the day was to walk over to a cafe we had carefully selected weeks beforehand, a type of Russian Luby's, where we would be able to see and point to our choices, instead of ordering blindly off a menu. When we got to where we thought it should be, we couldn't find it, so Jeff asked a security guard in the metro station where it was, and he pointed to the parking lot next door, where the restaurant used to be. So, we decided to go with Plan B: the very next restaurant over from the newly paved parking lot. It wasn't very Russian and even had English menus, but it did provide us with sustenance. However, the portion sizes were fairly small, and our group was still a little peckish after that meal, so we walked across the street to another cafe for "second breakfast," which was happening well past lunch time. We lingered for quite a while over our food and drinks, enjoying each other's company and observing the locals. Eventually, it was time for our cooking class with Taste of Russia, which we had set up a couple of weeks ago. We met our facilitator at a shopping mall and then headed over to the local market, where we picked up all the super-fresh ingredients for our dinner, which we were to prepare in the class. The market was amazing, and we had the best time looking at all the wonderful fresh foods and tasting samples the Russian vendors happily handed out in abundance to our "very large family." From the market, we headed over to the cooking school, where we spent several hours preparing and enjoying three incredible Russian dishes. It was such a great day, and we had the best time!

Russian pancakes for breakfast or lunch or whatever

The domed roof of the shopping mall was beautiful!

Fish Face

Moscow Market

You are not supposed to take photos inside the market,
so I really felt like I was living on the edge when I took this photo
with my cell phone, while discreetly holding the phone at my hip.

Ready to start our Russian cooking class

Kneading the dough for our Siberian Dumplings

The boys (big and small) were really interested in grinding our own meat.
(Meanwhile, Ruth was working on the strawberry sauce for our dessert.)

Rolling out the dumpling dough

1st Course: Solyanka
Broth-based soup with sausage, pork, potatoes, carrots, onions, salted pickles,
olives, and fresh dill, chives, and parsley

2nd Course: Siberian Pelmeni
Dumplings filled with a mixture of pork, beef, onion, and salted pickles,
topped with cream and fresh herbs

3rd Course: Syrniki
Little pancakes made with cottage cheese, sugar, eggs and flour,
fried in oil and topped with cream and homemade strawberry jam

True to form, we got every dish in the kitchen dirty while cooking.
But, we got to have all the fun of cooking, without having the burden of cleaning up!

We all successfully graduated from the class and had a great time doing it!

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