I Miss Russia (Not)

What I really miss is mom and grandma's cooking, mama, papa, gammmmma and grandfather. (Although I would miss them even more if they had a kitty-cat. Hint.)

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing like a hearty pot roast with rice and thin gravy compliments of Sue to make me go "Mmmmm". That's something I can only get at the Bakalor's household. I don't know of anyone else who slow-cooks meat drowned in Coca-Cola. My point is, you can't really win. When I'm in Russia, I miss the US; when I'm in the US, I miss being in Russia.

I've been craving Russian dishes lately. Last week I made borscht. (It's really "borsch". No "t". I don't know why Americans stick "t"s where they are not needed.) Mom sent me two pages of instructions that I followed the best I could considering she doesn't use any measuring devices. I was really skeptical as to how it would turn out, but it was awesome. I mean, it was really good. The picture does it no justice.

That satisfied my craving for something Russian. But only for a week. I got the recipe for cabbage pie from mom a couple of days ago and made it today. It's still in the oven. I tasted the filling though. It's so good. Here is the recipe:

Cabbage Pie

1 1/2 cup of milk
1 egg
2 tbsp yeast
2 sticks of butter (cut up a little)
750g of flour (4-5 cups, I'm just guessing. I weighed mine.)
1 tbsp sugar

1. Dissolve yeast in half of the milk heated to about body temperature. Add a little sugar to the milk/yeast mixture. Give it a stir.
2. Sift flour into a food processor. Add the butter and pulse. (You can also just sift the flour in a bowl, add the putter and cut it up with a knife.
3. Add egg, sugar, the rest of milk and the milk/yeast mixture. Mix until a dough forms. Cover with a towel and get started on the filling.

4 hard-boiled eggs (I used 5 because I looove 'em)
1/4 head of cabbage (I used 1/2 because I love cabbage)
1 onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp butter
1/2-1 cup milk
2 tbsp butter

1. Cut and saute onion in 1 tbsp of oil. Cut cabbage and boil it for 3 minutes.

2. Drain the hot water. Now we need to squeeze water out of the cabbage and put it in the pan with the onions. Pour a little cold water over the cabbage so as not to burn yourself. Saute cabbage and onions together.

3. Add 2 tbsp of butter and a little bit of milk. Cover and let the milk evaporate.

4. Peel the eggs and cut them into the pan with cabbage and onions. (My mom and I always try to dirty as few dishes and counter surfaces as humanly possible. I've always been conscious of that, so you will always see me cut things in my hands right over the pan. Mom can even cut potatoes really thin like. I don't do that unless it's just to quarter them.)

5. Mix everything together and salt. The filling should be a little over-salted so that some of the salt gets absorbed by the dough. Filling is done.

Putting it All Together
1. Once you're done with filling, punch down the dough and divide the dough almost in half. (That's confusing. We want the dough on the bottom to be slightly thicker. So, make one "half" a little more than half. 5/8 to 3/8 maybe.)

2. Butter a 9''x11'' pan. Put the slightly bigger "half" into the pan and start stretching it to fill the bottom. Spread the filling on top of the bottom layer leaving the thickness of your finger on all sides uncovered.

3. Roll out the rest of the dough and transfer to cover the filling. (Hopefully yours will work out better than mine. Press the two dough layers together. Make incisions in the pie so it doesn't explode.

4a. Put the pie in the oven at 110F (40C) for an hour. (Sue's oven has this really cool setting called "Proof". I didn't know it existed in the 5(?) years that I've been around. Today was the day. After it's done "proofing" turn the oven to 375F (200C) keep checking on it until it's golden brown.

4b. (optional) I looked at it after about 20 minutes in the oven. It looked a little dried out so I did a basic egg wash just in case. I don't really know if it was necessary.

5. Take it out, cover with wax paper and a towel. Leave for a while.

Egg wash much?

After I finished I took two pictures of my excited self. I got a haircut, but you can't really see my hair. It's pretty neat.

Woooooooolf Parade is awesome.


  1. That borsch(t) looks gross. I bet it tastes good though :)

  2. Man, Kevin. You are such a nay-sayer. It was awesome.

  3. "I heart CS" should be renamed to "I heart food - and occasionally CS and JT." Sorry, JT. You're apparently not worthy. The evidence speaks for itself. (blog label counts 70-32-30, with JT tied with "friends" in a distant third place)

    As for awesome borsch, can we appeal to Tillie for an independent opinion?

    As for always being homesick for your "other" home, what a nice problem to have. Many people don't even have one family that loves them, much less two. I'm really happy to see how well things are working out for you and V. Hats off to B&S for their part in giving you and V a stable start in life here, to your parents for giving you the chance, and to you and V for making the most of the opportunities you have.

  4. If only I had known. I remember sitting in the Boelter engineering library procrastinating studying for the upcoming Discrete Math midterm and thinking, "What should I name my blog? Why am I making a blog to begin with?" I think I was on the "I-just-finished-an-awesome-program" high when I decided on the name.

    Besides, JT came along long after I made the blog. So you can't really compare the number of his entries to food's. And I do love food. Unfortunately iheartfood.blogspot.com is taken.

    As for your comment on families, Doug, I wholeheartedly agree.

  5. Haha. I have no clue, dad.

  6. Culinary Science! Freud was working within you to create a clever double entendre.

  7. The борща was delicious!

  8. Правильно будет "Борщ was delicious!" :-)


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