Awesome cookbook that captures authentic recipes and techniques. It is not watered down/simplified, however author does provide some guidance on ingredients and the setting surround the foods consumption. It will take me a bit to cook through everything and I want to do more research on the sour meat techniques but a few of the simple snack recipes turned out on point. Add this book to your collection if you are serious about learning, eating, cooking Thai. A road trip to Pok Pok is also in the works. Stay tuned for more dishes!
Pictured below- plaa lek thawt krob (fried tiny fish) and yam met mamuang himaphaan (fried cashews with salt, chiles and green onions)
I received a copy of this book from blogging for books in exchange for my honest review.
I really enjoy ‘food lit’ or books about food, chefs, and stories with food woven in. This book falls right into that category. Igor Klekh’s poignant, humorous, and authentic (at least to this reader) voice is translated by Slava Yastremksi and Michael Naydan into an entertaining read about Slavic food.
This book is more about the essays and musings of Igor although does have some recipes which more resemble general ingredient suggestions or inspirations than a true measured and instructional recipe. Unfortunately I was really hoping this book would have enough of a recipe to enable me to create three dishes I encountered on my trip to St. Petersburg this summer: okroshka (could soup made with kvass), solyanka (a spicy hot soup) and a pinecone jam (not sure of name, and yes, pretty random but was delish).
The okroshka is mentioned in section title The Kitchen of a Hot Summers Day, but Klekh really dissuades the reader from trying it with phrases like “it does not possess the merriment of” (p125) and “what will we do about the color?” (p126). However, the suggested alternatives sound delightful. The recipe for solyanka appears in the Hangover Cookery section, which as you can imagine is witty and relate-able if you have ever imbibed too much. The solyanka ‘recipe’ is quite descriptive but assumes more baseline knowledge and experience with flavors and Slavic soups. I have more ‘market research’ to do before attempting. Lastly, there are jam recipes highlighted (of which, like many recipes in this book vodka is noted as ingredient), but no pine cone versions, so my quest continues to recreate.
I would not suggest beginner cooks attempt to make any of the items in here as there are steps missing, a lot of assumptions for technique etc. While I am not a beginner cook by any means, I did attempt one recipe to see if it produced the results as tastefully described by Klekh. The recipe for prianiki (a gingerbread or spiced shortbread like treat) nabbed my attention at “The secret is in the mount of fat that goes in it” – all about butter, which I do not fear. However, I followed the recipe as written and found the cookies to be lacking flavor, and tough and dense. They also remained in the ball shape versus spreading into cookie form. In looking at other prianiki recipes, the ratios are quite different but this might just reflect the time period and family version of this recipe.
Overall I recommend this book for people with a love of Slavic food, heritage and an adventurous soul for eating and cooking and reading about eating and cooking. The descriptions of the food and experience surrounding their consumption are quite enjoyable, you will learn more than you thought possible about salo (pig lard) and almost taste the differences between Slavic culinary traditions (Ukraine vs. Russian and beyond).
“Napertysia Horniatkom Kashi” – Eat till you burst. Excerpt from essay by Mikhail Epstein presented on page 44.
This is a tale of two baked goods whipped up on different days but from the same awesome vintage cookbook, courtesy of Trinity Treasures (from Trinity Episcopal in Everett, WA a la 1965). I love love love cooking out of vintage recipe books, it is a something of a challenge, in part that recipes are written assuming a lot more kitchen knowledge than you find today and the ingredient ratios are different and often they are more simple but still flavorful. There are also some that are just not that tasty. Both the Barney Google Cake and the Applesauce Cake (I made it more like a quick bread) were selected to help use up some of my canned jams and sauces in the pantry. This makes them quite versatile.
Barney Google Cake or Bars
Bottom Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs (I used 1)
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon sugar, optional
at least 3/4 cup jam, not precise per se. I used fig jam!
1/4 cup softened or melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar (white is fine too)
3/4 cup coconut flakes
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Lightly grease or line with parchment paper a 9×9 square pan or if doubling a 13×9
Mix together the bottom crust ingredients. Sugar is optional.
Press into the bottom of the pan. It is a bit like shortbread.
Spread the jam on the crust. or dollop allover.
Mix together the topping ingredients, except coconut until smooth. Then add and mix in the coconut.
Spread topping over the jam filling.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Need to let cool a little bit before diving in.
Note: easily doubled to fill a 9×13 pan. Use any jam you want. Also simple to use gluten-free flours, such as GF oat bran flour. I also added 1 tablespoon to the shortbread like bottom crust and use unsweetened coconut flakes.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups applesauce or ‘purees’
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cup flour
Optional: nuts, raisins, cranberries, 1/2 cup oatmeal, fresh or frozen berries
Preheat oven to 375 F. Prepare either a cake pan or loaf pan/pans with parchment paper. I doubled the recipe and made a full size loaf and three mini loaves.
Mix together all the wet ingredients. Adding the flour and then finally hand mixing in the add-ins like nuts etc.
Pour or spoon batter into pans. I had a little of this left over unsweetened plum and pear puree that I was canning, which was used instead of applesauce, and I also drizzled some on top of the dough before baking.
This version has some random frozen raspberries, dried cranberries and plum/pear ‘sauce’. Feel free to change up your spices too.
Bake for 30-45 minutes until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Notes: Thank you Marilyn T. for submitting this simple and flexible recipe. It easily doubles and can use a variety of ‘sauces’ and add-ins. I halved the sugar from her recipe given the fruit’s natural sweetness and my desire to make this more of a ‘breakfast’ bread vs. dessert.
So Google was a word before Google was the web? Yes! Some sleuthing revealed Barney Google was a likable but fallible rumpled top hat horse jockey type cartoon character with goggle eyes (google is a play on goggle), who eventually was usurped by his sidekick Snuffy Smith, a bodacious hillbilly (by Billy DeBeck). Barney was married briefly to the formidable Mrs. Lizzie Google. His cartoon theme song also inspired the memorable rice-a-toni jingle apparently. I guess he liked cake or found himself in ‘jams’ (one of the ingredients? ) Does anyone have other information, I wish I could ask my Grandma.
Inspired by another recent vintage cookbook acquisition from abebooks.com! Innocently flipping through the pages of the 1960 Amish-Dutch Cookbook, the second recipe presented caught my eye. Why? Not quite sure but it must have been my inner pie putting out the vibe or the mention of anchovy paste (do not fear) and cloves. I enjoyed making this pretty simple but really savory pie, a proclaimed favorite of the Berkshire Hotel in Reading, PA. What is the Berkshire Hotel? Appears to be memory now according the GoReadingBerks facebook page, although one in its hay day hosting the famous, such as Mae West and Duke Ellington, according to faithful Friends. Below are the ingredients and instructions, with my “upgrades”, like more sausage and eggs (from 6 ea. to 7), Dijon mustard (instead of dry) and fresh mushrooms instead of canned. Such as the tree is, such is the fruit….. Also, the Amish Dutch Cookbook didn’t include the recipe for “cream sauce” as called for but my wicked searching skills found Mr. de Gouy’s cream sauce recipe. Crisis averted!
Sausage and Egg Pie –a Berkshire Hotel Favorite adapted from Louis P. de Gouy’s The Gold Cook Book [p.6.]
7 sausage links (we used breakfast links the first time around)
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoon butter, softened
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 cup or so of fresh sliced mushrooms
½ teaspoon dijon mustard
½ cup cream sauce (see recipe below), I used all that I made from recipe
1 premade pie crust (knock your self out and make from scratch if you want); if frozen, defrost at room temp
½ cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream (like half-half)
¼ cup dry sherry
1 bay leaf (but not really sure what this achieves)
Instructions – Cream Sauce
Mix ½ cup heavy cream with bay leaf, 1 clove, 1 crushed peppercorn and scald.
Note: I didn’t have whole cloves so just used the ground gloves; same for peppercorn – just used a few twists of the pepper grinder. You can taste this later to see how strong the cloves are or are not and adjust up accordingly
Scalding just means to bring it to a boil
Strain – if you have whole clove and peppercorn.
Melt 2 teaspoons butter in another small sauce pan, add 1 teaspoon flour and stir until smooth. Add a dash of salt, if using unsalted butter, and add in the strained cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thicken.
I did just try to add the butter and flour into the pot with scalded milk, it was lumpy, as a result I think, but ultimately didn’t affect the end result IMHO
Taste your cream sauce and guage how strong the clove is… My last picture on the right shows the final sauce, since I forgot a photo in the sauce pan
Brown sausages. We cooked up the whole package and froze the rest for quick breakfasts.
In a small bowl blend 2 T softened butter with anchovy paste together and spread the mixture on the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate.
Cover anchovy butter with layer of mushrooms
Arrange the sausages spoke-fashion on the mushrooms and break an egg into each space between the sausages.
You can see how have 6 sausages vs. 7 isn’t a big deal.
Season with a dash of cloves (refer back to your taste of the final cream sauce and cross reference with love of clove), cayenne pepper and touch of salt. I would go easy on the salt, since you will add sherry later
Add mustard to cream sauce and pour evenly over the eggs.
Prep the pie crust. In my case, take it out of the package. Make sure it is 1/8 inch thick.
Cover the pie with the crust. Make a hole in the middle the size of a dime with a knife and pierce with a fork to let steam out while baking
Brush the crush with cream.
Bake in a moderate oven, aka 350 F, for 30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.
Remove pie from the oven. Pour sherry throught the hole in the crust.
I used a funnel and poured slowly, letting the liquid run in and disperse inside the pie
Return pie to oven and bake for another 10 minutes or so.
This was a surprising delicious recipe, with hubby wanting seconds! Not to salty, but really could end up that way, so be careful. There isn’t a anchovy taste and the mushrooms are just full of flavor from soaking up the anchovy, butter and sherry. It isn’t an overly cheesy recipe (in fact no cheese, just the ½ cup cream sauce) and light on crust, if you aren’t a crust fan. Not scrambling the eggs was interesting and fun to eat. I think you play around with different sausage.
In coming up with a title, I was looking for something catchy. And came across a ton of great Amish Dutch idioms. A few favorites:
A man who gives his children habits of industry provides for them better than by giving them a fortune