Whoa – the past few days have been a whirlwind of family visits, cooking, cleaning, eating and drinking! Unfortunately, no time to take food photos or post any new recipes. But I did discover something that’s giving me culinary inspiration for the new year. While organizing some book shelves, I uncovered this gem of a 1959 Soviet-era cookbook! I love books – especially old books – so when I moved out of my parents’ house to my own apartment a decade or so ago, it was only natural that I “steal” some of my mom’s remaining old Russian books for my personal collection. One of them was the “Kulinaria.” First published in 1959, it was meant to be a recipe and technique guide/manual for professional chefs and restaurateurs in the USSR. Apparently, the book was so popular that the first printing sold out within days and a second printing was made available in a larger volume to the general public.
Having spent hours pouring over the various recipes and LOTS of appetizing color photographs, I decided I am going to start working my way through some of the recipes “Julie and Julia”- style, and adding a bit of my own flair in the process. First, I’ll have to get the metric system right, as of course, all the measurements are in grams and not cups or tablespoons or anything helpful of that nature!
I did find that the book truly exemplifies classical Russian cooking with minimal ingredients, and root vegetables, fish, whole grains, and sour-cream as starring ingredients, which is exciting to me, as I attempt to create more Russian-esque recipes for the blog. To make things a bit more fun and challenging, I will post a photo out of a book (if one exists) along with a photo of my finished dish. So stay tuned for my Kulinaria experiments!
Doesn’t the image below look delicious? It’s the first page of the “cold dishes” section – the dish pictured is a poached fish salad, with lots of veggies and hardboiled eggs. And you have to love the open-faced black and red caviar sandwiches in the background!!