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Holiday Greetings from Russia

A letter from Olga Tuzova

First of all, I'd like to tell you that we enjoyed greatly the meeting with Dr. Sulisbuy in the S/MORE Chat room. Thank you!

I'd like also to send my warmest congratulations and best wishes with the Christmas and New Year.

I'm afraid we are a little bit late with our cuisine talking, but as they say, better late than never. In my defense I can only say that I have 12 (!) very different classes to teach and I'm only a classroom teacher of Computer Science. It's a pity, there are only 24 hours in a day! :-(

Well, Russian Cuisine... Very soon people all over the world will meet one of the most wonderful holidays - Christmas. But not in Russia. Oh, yes, there will be Christmas in Russia, but two weeks later - on January 7. Christmas in Russia is not the main winter holiday, the main holiday - New Year Day. On the eve of that day children get presents from Ded Moroz (Father Frost). It's a long story to explain why it's so strange in Russia. Let it wait for a more appropriate moment.

So, New Year Day. This holiday is celebrated in every home, in every family. It's a family holiday, though teenagers try to escape somewhere with their friends. Let it be so, sometimes. At 12 o'clock all the family gathers at the table. No, they gather a little bit earlier to say farewell to the old year. What can one see, and more lucky one eat, at the table?

There are different salads and salted mushrooms, salted cucumbers and tomatoes, fish, cold meat and, of course, potatoes. Russian people like potatoes very much and eat it a lot. They also eat a lot of bread. When the Russians live abroad they miss our Russian brown bread greatly. Of course, at night people don't eat soup, but soups are very popular in Russia. I'm afraid, the names of the soups are hard to be pronounced, but they are not hard to be swallowed with great appetite. So the Russians like to eat shchi (cabbage soup), especially overnight shchi and sour shchi with mushrooms cooked in baked clay pots, borshch (beetroot soup), rassolnic (salted cucumber soup), solyanka (meat or fish, salty vegetables) and other thick soups.

There are a lot of different cakes and pies at the bakers, but the best samples are sure made at home.
Let's put our noses into the Granny's stove. Here is Kuluebyaka - multi-layers stuffed pie, and there is Kalach - airy-soft wheat bread. And have you ever eaten Rasstegay, an open pie with pieces of fish? I'm afraid, no. All this you can find in the Russian Granny's kitchen. You are welcome!

And there is a special story about Russian blini. But as blini is a main meal on a Russian holiday Maslenitsa, I'll tell you about blini when the winter decides to leave us... Now enjoy winter, enjoy snow, enjoy Christmas and Russian cuisine!

All the best, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Olga Tuzova, Ph.D.
Computer Science teacher,
International School of General Education,
St.Petersburg, Russia,
E-mail olgatu@ort.spb.ru
URL http:\\www.ort.spb.ru


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