Can You Believe The September International Food Challenge Is Already Here?

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October 1, 2014 by Joanne T Ferguson

Russian-blini-whatsonthelistCan You Believe The September International Food Challenge Is Already Here?

Yes, I now know it is the 1st of October!

They say, “Time flies when you are having fun!”

I WISH I knew WHERE time goes…YOU?

It must be in some magical place, in some magical land, as time seems to go by quicker and quicker these days!

I remember it used to take “the WHOLE year” for Father Christmas aka Santa Claus to arrive and these days, it seems like it was JUST the holiday season and Father Christmas is set to arrive again; at least in Australia when he arrives at the annual Christmas Pageant on the 8th of November; will be right around the corner too!

I had this blog post almost done, when I was sitting at my computer this morning singing the Mother Goose version of this childhood rhyme:

Thirty days hath September,
April, June, and November;
February has twenty-eight alone,
All the rest have thirty-one,
Excepting leap year, that’s the time
When February’s days are twenty-nine.

I then did “the knuckle thing!”

For those who are not familiar with “the knuckle thing,” you start by making a fist; all in fun of course.

You then start at the top of your index finger knuckle singing the above rhyme starting with the month of January.

All the tops of the knuckle months have 31 days!

Please say you are laughing “with” me today?

Do you remember “in a blink of an eye” how last month I asked people if they were Curious Which Recipe I Chose For Our 1 Year International Food Challenge Celebration?

I created Joanna’s Andalusian Zucchini Tortilla, which I might add was very yummy!

Spanish-tortilla-Zucchini
For those who have been following the series, would know The International Food Challenges continue to be an effort of sharing passions for all world cuisines hosted by Sara from Sara’s Yummy Bites.

IFC-logo-October
This month’s challenge was Russian Cuisine, which Sara shared “is diverse like its area.”

I enjoy these food challenges every month, because not only does it allow me to experiment with a different cuisine, but I genuinely enjoy learning more about the particular country.

I must say there have been SO MANY changes in Russia since I studied the country in school, sometimes it is difficult to keep current.

Russia has an extensive political and social history, so I thought a general overview might be in order, eh?

Did you know Russia is the largest country in the world?

Russia is located in northeastern Europe and in northern Asia; the region now referred to as Eurasia.

Russia-world-map                                Image Courtesy of worldatlas

From 1922 until 1991, Russia was known as The Soviet Union.

The Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

For simplicity (including my own understanding), post-Soviet states who were formerly part of the Soviet Union, are now 15 independent states.

Post-Soviet-states                           Post-Soviet states in English alphabetical order:

1. Armenia; 2. Azerbaijan; 3. Belarus; 4. Estonia;
5. Georgia; 6. Kazakhstan; 7. Kyrgyzstan; 8. Latvia;
9. Lithuania; 10. Moldova; 11. Russia; 12. Tajikistan;
13. Turkmenistan; 14. Ukraine; 15. Uzbekistan

These 15 states are divided into 5 groupings; each region has “its own traits and cultural factors.”

Where I get “a tad confused,” is the remaining 12 republics who seceded from the Soviet Union, became the Newly Independent States (or NIS); the NIS, then formed The Commonwelath of Independent States (CIS); most joined the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO); those remaining joined the European Union and The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

I don’t know about you, but FANG (one of my many food names) is getting hungry and Sara chose 3 authentic recipes (and links “as a guide”) from this Russian Cuisine to challenge us all with:

1. Medovik – Honey cake
2. Blini- Russian pancake
3. Russian Borscht -Soup with vegetarian and meat version

I think these are great recipes indeed!

I chose to make the blinis as I have an “extensive history” in making them, but have not made them for many, many years.

“What does THAT mean?”, I “hear” you ask?

You are very attentive today!

MANY years ago, in a land far, far away, I used to work at a very exclusive country club.

I worked there for many years, as at the time, it was a means to an end; meaning I was being paid VERY well for what I did!

Every day was a new party and to me, it never “seemed like work,” despite the exhausting hours!

I was introduced to a “unique, VERY wealthy world” at a young age and I was perceived as “cute with a smile that illuminated a room!”; the members gravitated towards my stations.

Once a month, there was a members party, which I used to get invited onto the dance floor and….oh, I better keep those stories for another day! lol

During the Hors d’oeuvre hour also known as Cocktail Hour, I generally was in charge of the Blini with Caviar and “top of the line” Russian Vodka station; no wonder I developed a love for “great tasting Russian vodka” at an early age, as some members could not leave without sharing a vodka and “Na zda-ró-vye” (A Russian toast) with me! lol

I found it “amusing” when “first timers” asked for “extra caviar” on my “individually made in front of them” Russian blini.

To say I watched “in amusement” HOW many of them them choked and looked for places to remove “the offending, yet acquired taste of caviar!”

Are you now laughing “with” me?

Blin, blintchik or blintz is essentially a thin pancake.

Blinis are similar to crepes, but are thicker and have a “rising agent” in the batter.

For a bit of fun, I created the blinis three ways, but chose to keep it simple, not stuff them and who doesn’t think any breakfast or dessert pancake isn’t “a tad whimsical” when it is covered in icing sugar?

Breakfast-dessert-blini Blini-pancake Pancake-blini
Are you a fan of Russian Cuisine?

Have you ever experienced a blini?

Have you ever made one?

If you were to fill a blini, what combination would you do or would you prefer them simply warmed with icing sugar like I do?

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33 thoughts on “Can You Believe The September International Food Challenge Is Already Here?

  1. Fi Ní Neachtáin says:

    I don’t think I’d ever had a blini. I’ve had crepes though which look quite similar.

  2. Jaime says:

    What an awesome challenge. I love blinis! I will be honest, I haven’t explored Russian as much as I should. We have some really great places here. Now, I’m off to get a cookbook!

  3. kira says:

    These recipes look delicious. I’d love to give them a try. We love trying different foods from all over the world!

  4. Those pancakes and crepes look delicious. I am a huge fan of crepes. I make them at least twice a week at home

  5. This looks like a good experience! I wish I could cook. I love food but I’m just not that great in the kitchen. These pancakes look divine.

  6. Russ R. says:

    The blinis look good! I don’t think I’ve ever tried Russian food but I’m always about gastroadventures – I’d definitely want to try it. I hope we’d have events similar to the International Food Challenge, it would probably be super fun.

  7. I like the blinis. They look so special with a little confectionery sugar on top.

  8. I never knew that there is an International food challenge in September. All I know of September is beautiful weather, back to school, and my birthday!

    Amanda

  9. I thought for a second, I was losing my mind. I was like, what I missed the rest of the summer monhts? Lol. This fest sounds like wonderful!

  10. Michele says:

    I am not much of a cook or baker or candlestick maker–but do love good food. You can skip the caviar thank you very much–I don’t like it one little bit–Blinis on the other hand topped with sugar–oh yes–maybe filled with raspberry or strawberry preserves -heaven.

  11. mommacan says:

    They look so yummy! These are on my bucket list to learn to cook. I watched on the sidelines during a cooking class one year and was to afraid I would make a mess in front of the two chefs teaching us. lol
    Pam

  12. Joy @ Yesterfood says:

    Joanne, this was such a fun and informative post- the Russian history and its area makes a lot more sense when you explain it! As for the blinis, they look amazing. I have never made nor even tasted one….this needs to be remedied soon, wouldn’t you say? I have pinned this post so I can find the recipe again soon. 🙂 Thank you for sharing this with us at Treasure Box Tuesday, and thank you for the wonderful adventures you always take your readers on! 😀

  13. Your blinis look fantastic! I love cooking recipes from other countries and cultures. This sounds like a neat challenge. Thank you for linking up with #FoodieFriday! Come back this week to see if you were featured and to link up more tasty recipes. http://akitchenhoor.blogspot.com/

  14. Looks good Joanne!

    Thanks for coming and linking up at The Weekend Social. Please be sure to come back next week starting Thursdays at 9PM EST The Midnight Baker ! I hope to see you there!
    Judy@ http://www.bakeatmidnite.com

  15. taranoland says:

    The pictures of your blini are excellent, makes me want them badly!!

  16. jenniferrosborn says:

    Hey Joanne, Those blinis look good and so does the tortilla with zuchini. I’d love to branch out and cook more international meals. I tend to stick to Mexican and Italian, which are pretty Americanized.

    Thanks again for saying hi from SITS 🙂

  17. I love this. These blini (s) are created in many cultures. yours look great!

  18. I think many cultures have a thin pancake like these. My husband refers to them as Swedish Pancakes – basically a crepe filled with goodies.

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Joanne T. Ferguson

Passionate Home Cook who tries to inspire one recipe and one event at time!

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