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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2013 at 06:59

#summerpleasures … #holidays #Russia #summer #countryside #russian #barbecue #bbq #cooking #garden #mushrooms #flowers #friends #all_shots #fun #table #linandara_retro #soft_tones #artishfolk #linandara_people #linandara_russia #дача #лето #сад #друзья #шашлык

In Uncategorized on July 28, 2013 at 05:22

#summerpleasures #rain #cooking #garden We started our #summer feasts with neighbours when we were little kids with few berries from the garden. Now it’s 4 course #barbecue, #Russian, English and Spanish spoken at the table, world wide adventures discussed, our own kids present… #bbq #Russia #artishfolk #linandara_russia #linandara_retro #soft_tones #all_shots #linandara_people #leaks #retro #шашлык #дача #друзья

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2012 at 17:14

#ужин …. #cooking in the #garden #tonight … #fire #pot #campfire #summer #evening #Russia #linandara_russia #linandara_stillife #food #countrylife #countryliving #outdoor #living #all_shots #casserole #flame #home #bricks #summerpleasures #weeds #sunlight (Taken with Instagram)

Wild Food in September: Himalayan Balsam and Cherry Laurel fruit

In cooking, eco-friendly, healthy life, organic, wild nature on September 27, 2009 at 06:29

Both invasive (but beautiful) plants are abundant by the river where I live (Wales). Cherry trees have plenty of fruit, and the balsam has flowers and seeds on different stages of ripening at the same time. After reading the articles here and there, I collected some wild food (under surprised glances from some locals) and made cherry laurel and Himalayan balm petals jam (I added to it a little bit of orange juice and plenty of brown sugar). I had to do quite a lot of skimming. Now I am very happy with the jam, its dark (apart from little bits of chopped pink petals) and doesn’t taste too sweet, in fact it reminds me of true cherry jam cooked with pits (mine one was without pits). We don’t eat much jam at all, so I made just a little, mostly to use later as a middle layer in cakes. As for Balsam seeds I found them very tasty, sort of nut-like, but they don’t need shelling. I hope to collect more before the winter. Happy foraging!

Monsters on the beach

In cooking, pets and domestic animals, wild nature on April 22, 2009 at 11:59

We’ve been to Norfolk during this Easter holidays. We spent most time walking along beautiful beaches and building sandcastles with kids. Everything was perfect, except dogs. And the noisy vehicles shown on the picture (forgot the name). Several times a day a real monstrosity (e.g. Rottweiler or German sheep dog) would run to us scarring everybody to death. Then in a few minutes relaxed owners would appear and we would be lucky if they say something like “he won’t bite”. No apologies for the fright, spoiled clothes and ruined sandcastles. I’ve actually seen (in the past) some dog owners who enjoyed scarring people with they “pets”. Anyway, I think all dogs should either be on a lead or wear a muzzle when out of their owners garden. Even at home, there are stories of small children being killed by family dogs appearing on the news all the time. They are animals and predators, after all. And that horrible mess they live on the streets and in the parks… No, its not that I hate the dogs, not at all, its just would be so much better if some owners been more responsible. Sometimes you can see notices “no dogs on this beach” but it seems that lots of people do not really care.

Also we discovered a beach walk of horrifying beauty between villages of Mundesley and Overstrand (don’t attempt it in high tide or you will drown and keep as far away as possible from the collapsing cliffs). The scale of sea erosion is astonishing (a destroyed narrow-gage railway on the picture), and freshly exposed colorful cliffs remained us the Grand Canyon and Painted Desert. I’m wondering, if anybody cared to slow the erosion down, maybe the solution would be to plant lots of native bushes like sea-buckthorn, blackberries and wild roses. They also produce edible fruit although I’ve never seen anybody picking it in the UK, which is a great pity. Sea-buckthorn fruit is stuffed with vitamins and also makes a great cordial and a liqueur. People grow it in the gardens and sell the berries in the markets in Russia.

Sticking cloves into oranges…

In cooking, crafts, kids, music, traditions on December 10, 2008 at 11:19

That’s what my kids are busy doing now. Not just oranges, of course, but any citrus fruit I could find in town. I think its called “making pomanders”. Smells really great. Some of them actually dry for ever like this.

Also on the picture: crepe paper garlands similar to ones my mother taught me to make back in Russia: cut two long stripes of differently colored crepe papers, put slightly narrower one on top and sew them together (better using sewing machine). Then cut the edges carefully with scissors every centimeter or so making sure you won’t cut the thread. Fluff it a bit and its ready to be hang across the room. We used to do them from four corners to the lamp shade (making sure they won’t get too hot to catch fire) and I had a real jungle for the New Year celebration.
There also some last year’s paper chains kids made and the charity shop tinsel.

A great way to recycle numerous kids drawings (I do photographs of the good ones first) is to make paper snowflakes out of them and stick with blue tack on the windows. Its a double recycling, as the kids draw on the paper my husband used at work for printing on one side…

We bought a nice tall Noble Fir Christmas Tree form a local grower who kindly delivered it to our door. This kind of tree doesn’t drop needles EVER.

Speaking of citrus fruit, almost every time I peel one, I put the peel in a potpourri bowl. Also you can try putting some of it in the hot oven or working microwave oven just for few minutes (make sure it won’t burn) to release the aroma.
Another seasonal fun my kids found is listening to all kind of Christmas music on Last.fm and from my Russian, Ukrainian, European medieval, English, French, African and Philippine collection.

Christmas Turkey

In computers, cooking, healthy life, organic, shopping, writing on December 5, 2008 at 11:36

Mrs Sad and Angry 🙂 is back: I wanted to buy a turkey in the Iceland shop. But found out they all are “ready basted” with E numbers. Thank you very much, eat your E-E-E yourself! Why can’t they have JUST TURKEY? They never have.

Also my browsers go mad when I’m trying to read other people’s blogs in Google Reader – I guess its because I’ve subscribed to so many of them. I do enjoy reading you, people out there!

I’m into publishing my old poetry on a Russian poetry site at the moment and surprisingly, there are some people who even like it! Amazing

Fighting additives

In cooking, eco-friendly, good life, healthy life, kids, organic on November 20, 2008 at 09:52

An interesting site about natural living:
I’ve read Janey Lee Grace book “Imperfectly Natural Woman” last year and in some respect it was an eye-opener, especially about unnatural fragrances and other additives. Well I think most people still don’t suspect that if you can smell something – there is some substance in the air and it may be very bad for you. Natural essential oils are easy available, I think lavender (for headache and just very nice smell), Olbas (oil mix for blocked noses) and tea tree (for scratches, etc) are must have in any household. But people still use artificial perfume dispensers to mask perfectly natural cooking smells… Instead you can either open the window, or peel an orange, or boil a bit of apple with cinnamon. I sometime put some mandarin peel in the microwave or hot oven (just for few minutes).

Few years ago I bought a little packet of child juice drink (you know, that square type, with a straw) and found out it was full of artificial colourings. Why??? There is no way a child could see what color is his drink inside the carton.

Another thing which bothers me is additives (colorings, flavourings, even perfume) in medicines. Why again??? I’m an adult person and can swallow any bitter pill if really needed. Even kids at eight can. As our funny doctor said: stick it into his baked beans…

Saying all that, I still have lots of problems trying to feed my family healthy food. I don’t have a strong will, and even small amount of nagging, moaning, screaming or frowning makes me give up. My son often points to me how much factory made food is better than mine. All those E numbers which enhance the flavour plus I’m not a very good cook… Well yesterday improvisational “curry” sauce was a success and I even was asked to make more of it:

Take 2 chopped onions, 2 garlic cloves, some fresh ginger, a teaspoon of
oil, a little bit of lime, cranberry and orange juice, plus a lot of your
favorite dry curry spices (e.g. coriander seed, chili, cinnamon, allspice, curry
leaves, black pepper and so on) and put with enough water in a food processor.
Process until smooth then gently boil for 5-10 min, adding creamed
coconut. Could be added to meat or vegetables when they are almost

Russian preserve

In cooking, eco-friendly, good life, healthy life on October 30, 2008 at 09:22

Best way to preserve fruits is to mush them with sugar & keep in the fridge (our outdoors if it below freezing in winter – it can’t freeze). Very popular in Russia. No cooking, so vitamins are preserved.

Mix 1:1 with sugar for most fruits, put a layer of sugar on top of the jar. You won’t need an airtight lid. It normally keeps OK till next summer. If any mold appears on top – just discard it, the rest of preserve will be fine. For more healthy option you can try to substitute sugar for honey or agave syrup. We do this way our homegrown blackcurrants, white and red currants (last two are better filtered – they make clear jelly – I think its due to high pectin content), kiwi (actinidia), gooseberries, raspberry, rosehip, buckthorn, strawberry, juneberry. Same for wild cranberries, bilberries, lindenberries, dewberries. For the more acidic fruit better to add more sugar (honey, syrup). Use food processor for convenience. There is similar way of preserving sorrel & other herbs with salt.

Frankly I think ordinary cooked jams are a bit of waste of time – they don’t have any health benefits. Although we do apple + aronia (black rowan) or apple + burberries jam or plum jam when we have to much of fruit.

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