The year is not over yet, but I can already sum up some results.
This year in the library I conducted a series of programs Taste of Russia. There were 4 of them by the number of seasons in the year. Taste of Russia was a program about a favorite (or popular) dish of the season.
In winter, I talked about the history of Olivier salad. I learned a lot for myself. It turned out that the salad-dressing was the main thing in the Olivier salad. I also learned why the salad has so many names: Olivier, Capital, Winter. The salad is always a success.
In spring the conversation was about Russian pancakes blini and Maslenitsa ( the oldest surviving Slavik holiday). It was interesting to see the reaction of visitors to the national Russian fun during Maslenitsa – fist fight “wall to wall”. I showed them an excerpt from the film “The Barber of Siberia” ( Сибирский цирюльник).
Cold Russian soup Okroshka became a theme of summer Taste of Russia. For myself I learned that perhaps the boatmen on the Volga river were creators of this summer soup. This dish was too unusual for Americans. Most of the audience used kvass (liquid from the soup) separately from the other ingredients. I’m not offended, even my husband doesn’t eat okroshka. However unlike him his relatives noted the refreshing taste of summer in the soup. It was nice.
In September, I gave the last autumn program about potato pancakes. Americans know them as latkes . But they did not know that latkes can be prepared from different vegetables depending on the available local ingredients, not necessarily from potatoes. Swedes pleased me with 4 types of potato pancakes. They seem very fond of potatoes.
So, 4 Seasons – 4 dishes. The program ended. I never thought I’d get paid for cooking.
I don’t know about next year’s program yet. So far, I’m glad that one went well. I like that some Americans are interested in learning about Russian culture and traditions. And I’m really happy to share my knowledge.