Soviet Cuisine: Potato Delights II

Potatoes & mushrooms is an old classic combination that always gives a great delicious result. Recipes based on these two ingredients are very ancient in the Russian cuisine. There are infinite ideas & ways of cooking. Here are two traditional dishes that are frequent guests at the New Year table & not only…

Russian Potato Mini Pies (Pirog’i) With Mushrooms Ingredients:

Potato Dough: 1 kg. of peeled washed potatoes, 2 egg yolks, flour – a bit if necessary, oil – 2 tbsp.

Filling: dried /fresh mushrooms, 2 onions, 2 eggs, bread crumbles – 1/2 glass, oil – 4 tbsp., salt, pepper.


Potato Dough: boil potatoes, drain water, leave it to cool down for 10 minutes. Smash it well. Add oil, eggs, flour if necessary. Mix everything well. Prepare the filling.

Filling: wash & boil mushrooms, cut or slice them,  add salt, pepper, fry with oil together with chopped onions.

Shape circles from the dough, put some filling with a spoon, make half-moons & fix the seam well. Cover with fresh eggs, roll in bread crumbles. Fry with oil. Cool down. Serve with sour-cream.

Fried Potatoes With Mushrooms Ingredients:

peeled potatoes – 1kg, fresh/ dried mushrooms – 500 gr.,  1-2 onions, sour cream 1/2 glass, oil -3 tbsp, 1 bay leaf, salt, pepper, 1 sprout of parsley.


Wash, cut or slice mushrooms. Peel off & chop onions. Salt, pepper, fry together with oil. Cut potatoes into pieces, add into mushrooms & onions, fry together. Then add a bit of water, sour-cream, the sprout of parsley & the bay leaf. Cook at a low heat for 20-25 minutes. Serve decorated with cut parsleys.

Enjoy the meal! 🥕🥔🥦

PS. The recipes are translated from authentic Soviet Culinary Books.

Maria KethuProfumo

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Soviet Cuisine: Potato Delights

Alike the Turkish delights that are a proud symbol of certain cuisines of the Middle East & the Maghreb, potato delight are a fundamental proud part of the Russian cuisine. Strangely enough, a root crop from far hated America has become an object of inspiration & respect in Russia. These days we cook our traditional potato delights. 🙂 They are integral participants of all the feasts & celebrations!

Russian Shepherd’s Pie (Without Meat) Ingredients:

potatoes – 1 kg, 2 eggs, 3 onions, milk – 1 glass, oil – 3 tbsp., sour cream – 3-4 tbsp., some salt, some pepper.


Wash, peel the potatoes, boil it well. Meanwhile peel & slice the onion, fry until it is golden. As soon as the potatoes are cooked, add hot milk, eggs, oil, salt & pepper, mix it well. Prepare a deep baking dish: layer the potato in turn with the onion: 1st level-potatoes, 2nd level – onion, etc. Cover the upper level with sour cream.

Roast the pie in a preheated oven for about 20 -25 minutes. Serve with a sauce based on milk, sour cream or mushrooms.

Classic Russian Shepherd’s Pie Ingredients: 

See the recipe above plus 500 gr. of minced meat on choice (pork, beef, veal, chicken, etc). PS: To my mind the beef one is the best for the dish of the kind.


Cook the potato mash as described in the previous recipe except the onion. Just chop it & add into minced meat. Cover the baking dish with dry bread crumbles, layer potatoes & the meat. Cover the upper level with sour cream.

Roast for about 30 minutes. Serve with similar sauces or other on your choice.

Enjoy the meal!🧅🥕🥔

PS. The recipes are translated from authentic Soviet Culinary Books.

Maria KethuProfumo

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Sergio Cammariere: Settembre

Esteemed Readers, the spirit of September is fading. The autumnal equinox is on the way. Let’s celebrate it with this wonderful instrumental composition by our poetic Cyrano. Enjoy the music & views of Sicily!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Sergio Cammariere: Gli Angeli Siamo Noi

Esteemed Readers, to celebrate this Indian summer approaching soon I offer you this wonderful music poetry by our Cyrano named “Gli Angeli Siamo Noi/ We Are the Angels”. Let it be so! Enjoy the music! 🍁🍂🌞🌞🌞

Maria KethuProfumo

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Voyage de Siam par L’Abbé de Choisy 1685-1686 XVIII

Esteemed Readers, our voyage continues. We fight furious winds & terrible rolling. Please, keep you luggage well locked not to lose anything especially gifts you have acquired at the Cape! We do our best to provide you a secure trip.

Aboard the Oiseau, 15 June 1685

“We are sailing but the ship is rolling too much. This (wind) challenge made us comprehend something: the Oiseau moves smoothly on a board reach but she is rolled with a following wind. Something else: my writing table has turned over. This note will be short: where should I take the ink? Shaking serves me an excuse…”

Aboard the Oiseau, 16 June 1685

“This morning we have been with all sails set. In a moment the wind changed from the North to the South. As soon as it happened we halted sheets & thought we have lost our mast. Everybody set to work, nobody made prayers: both the Jesuits & the Missionaries participated. Everybody did as much as he could.

The altitude is 37 degrees 40 minutes. We shan’t gain more in altitude but if we manage we shall change the longitude. Tonight we have watched the Lunar eclipse that Mr. Cassini (NB: a great astronomer) won’t see for certain: he is too far from here as well as you, the Europeans. The penumbra began at quarter past six in the evening. The Eclipse itself did at twelve minutes to seven & sixteen seconds. See what Father Fontenei & me observed in details: the eclipse lasted for 1 hour & 10 minutes. We saw the lunar disc becoming redding & small when it was illuminated. By means of (special) glasses we watched a huge smoke covering the lunar body. Our poor Mandarins who esteem the moon so much went out of their den which, in confidence, they never leave. They came to see this pathetic condition of the moon but did not stand the view & returned back to sleep…”

Dieu Vous Ait en Sa Sainte Garde,

Vostre l’Abbé de Choisy ”

Voyage, part I:

Voyage, part II:

Voyage, part III:

Voyage,part IV:

Voyage, part V:

Voyage, part VI:

Voyage, part VII:

Voyage, part VIII:

Voyage, part IX:

Voyage, part X:

Voyage, part XI:

Voyage, part XII:

Voyage, part XIII:

Voyage, part XIV:

Voyage, part XV:

Voyage, part XVI:

Voyage, part XVII:

Image: Aubusson, tapestry.

Maria KethuProfumo

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Saints of the Russian Orthodox Church: Prochor Lebedn’ik /the Saltbush-Worker

Saint Prochor Lebedn’ik/the Saltbush Maker (  -1107) is the monk, the Saint & the Miracle – Worker of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Too little is know about his childhood. His hagiographies tell about him already as a monk who was pious & very ascetic. He had nothing but water & bread he learnt to make from a plant of saltbush that was a wild herb in Russia. His skill of making flour from saltbush gave him the name Lebedn’ik/Saltbush-Worker. 

That was a period of constant wars in Russia. Together with them other calamities including a widespread famine took place. It made common people to use saltbush to make bread but it was bitter. They addressed to the Saint Prochor begging him for bread. He never refused & managed to feed everybody who came for help. The bread was delicious as the Saint blessed it before giving otherwise it was hard & bitter. Monks of his fraternity became very jealous & decided to steal some bread to be convinced that blessing of the Saint Prochor was a Divine miracle. Indeed, the taste of the stolen pieces was unbearable. That was the first miracle that made the monk Prochor famous.

The second miracle was him amazing capability to turn ash into salt. The Saint blessed ashes, they became salt & he gave it those who were in need. Rumors about this wonder reached Prince Svyatopolk (1050 -1113). There was a great lack of salt due to constant wars so when the Prince heard about a monk giving salt for free he decided to steal it from him. As a result, the salt turned into ashes & the Prince remained empty-handed. The ashes were thrown away but they became  salt again in several days. Convinced that it was a Divine miracle & learned more about the Saint Prochor’s deeds, Prince Svyatopolk felt ashamed & visited him in person for repentance.

The Saint Prochor & Prince Svyatopolk became good friends. The Prince strengthened his Faith & served well to the Holy Virgin. They made an agreement to bury in person the first who would die, so when the Saint Prochor Lebednik/ the Saltbush-Worker perished the Prince interrupted his military campaign & fulfilled his duty.

Saint Prochor the Lebednik/ the Saltbush-Worker is celebrated on the 10th of February & on the 28th of September.

Maria KethuProfumo

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La Gazette 1634: Historical News Today

Esteemed Readers, there are curious tidings coming from Italy. Today we broadcast gli affari italiani/Italian affairs important for the period of the Thirty Years’ War (1618 -1648).

Rome, the 15th of August, 1634: “Last week Sieur Chigi di Sienna, – who is going to be charged as an Apostolic Inquisitor, – the Commander de Savure & some other persons departed from Malta by the Pope’s galleys that set sail in Messina directing by the General Priory Nari. On the 5th of the given month Marquis de Sainte-Croix sailed to Cività Vecchia with 7 galleys he had delivered from Barcelona. (He was going) to make a fleet in the Kingdom of Sicily. The same day on the occasion of the feast of the Notre-Dame-de-Neiges Cardinal Antonio the Archpriest of the Santa Maria Maggiore said the Mass in this church accompanied by 35 Prelates & members of the French Grands (NB: Nobility). After a wise Sermon by P. Monstre Iacobin, the Maître of the Sacred Place, snow-white rose & jasmin petals fell down from the church vault. Besides, the Cardinal had ordered again to make it richly decorated (for this feast).

On the 6th (of the given month) His Holiness pealed the bells of the Chapel di Monte Cavallo he frequented since his inauguration to celebrate the 12th anniversary of his Pontificate… His Holiness said a short Mass for conquering of Ratisbone. The ceremony was modest due to d’Aldringer’s death & other loses of the Imperialists…

The Spanish Ministers are in trouble in Milan, (NB: The Duchy of Milan belonged to the Spaniards that time), since Cardinal Monti possessed a diocese in this city. Cardinal Alboroz imprisoned some Canons & ordered the Abbot Befozzo, the Chapel Steward, to leave the State of Milan within 24 hours…Urgent Couriers are sent there to appease the disorders. The Spanish Ministers have been excommunicated…”

Venice, the 16th of August, 1634: “There are news from Malta. 6 galleys of the Order (NB: The Order of Malta) opposed the Barbary Corsairs under commande of Don Carlos Waldine, the General of the Religious galleys. They fought against 15 thousand (pirates) from Tripoli, 3 huge vessels & about 20 canons. (The Order) possessed these ships after a great battle: they made 337 Turks slaves, liberated 150 Christians put into irons & returned two vessels belonging to Marseilles back as they had been sea-jacked by these very corsairs. (Another good tiding): the vessels of the Captains Village, Sillon & Garnier, armed at war of Malta, returned in their port captured 2 Turkish Ourques (NB: a special kind of a vessel) with plenty of slaves valued of 80 thousand escus…”

Vive le Roy!🎉🎉🎉

Maria KethuProfumo

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Russian Ballets: The Polovtsian Dances

“The Russian Seasons” (1909-1929) arranged by Sergej Diaghilev (1872 -1929) in Paris contained plenty of Russian ballet’s gems. We mean not only full ballets. There were so-called one-act performances that might challenge our famous dancing masterpieces. “The Polovtsian Dances”, a dancing performance included in the opera “Prince Igor” by Alexander Borodin, is one of the kind.

In fact, it is a wonderful manual of rich Russian folklore. It expresses the spirit & authenticity of small peoples who inhabited the country yet before the October Revolution. It is a tribute to our profound Slavic roots & spirit.

Here is a wonderful reconstructed version performed by the Moiseev’s Ballet.

Enjoy its joyful vibes, Esteemed Readers!

Maria KethuProfumo

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Louis XIV Asks Riddles VIII

Esteemed Readers, the summer is coming to the end, so let’s farewell it with a philosophical riddle. Good luck!

“It was yesterday; it is to-day, it will be to-morrow! What is it?”

REPLY to the Riddle posted on July 27, 2022:RIVER BANKS, TREES, RIVER

Dear John, you have been closer with your version.

My congratulations with a new riddle victory!🎉🎉🎉

Maria KethuProfumo

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Soviet Cuisine: Roasted Rabbit

Esteemed Readers, why not to cook a roasted rabbit? This delicacy is a frequent guest in the New Year menu. I offer you two recipes, both belonging to the authentic Russian cuisine.

Roasted Rabbit In White Sauce Ingredients:

1 rabbit – about 3 kg, 1 carrot, 1 onion, some parsley, some oil, pepper, salt.


Wash the rabbit, cut it into pieces. Fry a bit with oil in a pan, then put it into a roasting dish, add vegetables, pepper, salt & roast at a medium heat until it is ready (about 30-40 minutes). Turn the rabbit each 10-15 minutes & pour with the roasting juice. Place the roasted meat into a serving dish & make sauce from the roasting broth: just boil it with little water. Filter the sauce, pour the rabbit with it, add boiled/fried potatoes, rice or buckwheat & serve.

Roasted Rabbit In Sour Cream Ingredients:

1 rabbit – about 3 kg, 2 carrots, 2 onions, 2 sprouts of parsley, salt, pepper, vinegar (on choice) – 1 glass, sour cream – 2 glasses, flour – 2 tbsp., oil – 3 tbsp.


Wash the rabbit, cut it into pieces. Put the meat into a casserole with water (1 litre), add vinegar, leave to be marinated for 2-3 hours. Then place the rabbit into a deep roasting dish together with vegetables, salt, pepper, pour with oil & roast in a preheated oven. Turn the rabit each 10-15 minutes & pour with the roasting juice. Add sour cream & cook for another 20-30 minutes. Serve with your favourite garnish.

Enjoy the meal!

PS. The recipes are translated from authentic Soviet Culinary Books.

Maria KethuProfumo

Posted in Christmas, Cooking, cuisine, culture, folklore, Food, fun, Happiness, Lifestyle, New Year, news, recipe, ricetta, Society, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments