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Maslenitsa is Feb 16th to Feb 22nd. Happy holidays!
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Maslenitsa by Leonid Solomatkin, 1878
Maslenitsa, the Holiday of Spring and Blini
 
Maslenitsa is a week-long holiday that comes at the end of winter, meant to usher in the spring and celebrate the new warmth and coming bounty by eating tons of blini and merrymaking in the snow. It's an ancient tradition that's been evolving since pagan times and is still celebrated enthusiastically throughout Russia and Ukraine.
 
Blini with Caviar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter (or cooking oil), for dough
  • 2-3 table spoons of cooking oil (or a piece of lard approximately 2x1x1 inches) for frying
  • 1 lb of caviar (salmon roe if you're regular, or whatever sort your butler brings you if you're fancy)

Preparing the batter

Put the eggs, sugar, salt, flour and milk into a bowl and mix thoroughly until smooth. Pancake batter should be smooth, without lumps, with a density like half-and-half or cream. Then start adding milk gradually, stirring constantly. At the end, add the butter or vegetable oil; it will help keep the pancakes from sticking to the pan. Let the batter sit for about 15 minutes.

Cooking

 1. Warm up a frying pan (preferably cast-iron) and lightly brush it with cooking oil. If you are using lard, prick it with a fork to use as a handle and rub it over the surface of the pan. 

2. Fill ½ to ¾ of ladle with batter (depending on the size of the pan), begin to pour the batter into the pan, tilting it slightly in every direction, until the pan is covered in an even layer of batter.

3. Fry the pancakes on medium heat for 1-2 minutes until lightly golden on the bottom, but not dry on top. Flip pancakes with a flat spatula (these pancakes are very thin and delicate, so be gentle). Err on the side of rawness and do not over-fry.

4. The second side will fry very quickly. When the pancake is lightly golden on both sides, you can dump it out onto a plate by flipping the pan over.

Eating

Spread ½ -1 tbsp of caviar over a pancake and fold it twice. You can also start with a thin layer of melted butter over the pancake.

Surprise someone with a gift of blini and other recipes, get them the Kurochka recipe postcard set.
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