Tag Archive: tsarist russia

The Romanov Family

Everybody has OPINIONS about the Romanov remains… YouTuber Ask A Mortician gets into the real details.

Bake Quest #4 February – Beets

This would be my second entry for this month’s Bake Quest:

Russian Borscht

Despite being one-half Ukrainian, it wasn’t until I was in my thirties before I discovered the joy of Borscht. Borscht is a traditional Russian peasant soup. The people would use whatever vegetables were on hand, however, beets and potatoes and onions would have to be considered essential ingredients. There are as many variations on Borscht as you could imagine. Usually there’s some protein added, usually sausage or even pork or chicken, but to make it vegetarian, just throw in some beans or lentils or barley instead. For this batch, I used some sausage and a handful of barley. Below we have a large onion, a couple cloves of garlic, some sausage, potatoes, beets, green beans, zucchini, and tomatoes:

Chop the onions and garlic and sauté in olive oil or butter until translucent and golden brown, about 8 minutes. (So many wonderful dishes start just like this.)

Add the whole beets, the “hard” veggies (potatoes or carrots, for instance), and enough water to cover.

Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer, covered, for approximately 20 minutes. Remove the beets with a slotted spoon and soak in cold water until ready to handle.

Add any meat, or barley or lentils, and “medium” veggies (green beans or asparagus, for instance), and continue simmering while skinning the beets.

Rub or slice off the beet skins, and slice the cleaned beets.

Return to pot along with the “soft” veggies (zucchini or tomatoes, for instance), and any fresh herbs (rosemary for me cause it grows in my yard).

Add more water as needed to keep consistency in proportion with veggies. Return to simmer. The Borscht will be quite red-colored by now. (In fact, remember to not be alarmed the next morning in the bathroom!) Add seasonings. I used about 2 TBSP kosher salt, about 1 TBSP ground pepper, and a good splot of Sriracha sauce (hot sauce). Stir and let simmer, covered, for a while longer, about 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. For me, this meant adding another 2 TBSP salt. Then it was perfect!

Garnish with one of the Russian peoples’ few culinary extravagances: a dollop of sour cream.

Color (!) Pictures From Tsarist Russia

My friend K9 sent me this link. (Thanks again!)

“With images from southern and central Russia in the news lately due to extensive wildfires, I thought it would be interesting to look back in time with this extraordinary collection of color photographs taken between 1909 and 1912. In those years, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii (1863-1944) undertook a photographic survey of the Russian Empire with the support of Tsar Nicholas II. He used a specialized camera to capture three black and white images in fairly quick succession, using red, green and blue filters, allowing them to later be recombined and projected with filtered lanterns to show near true color images. The high quality of the images, combined with the bright colors, make it difficult for viewers to believe that they are looking 100 years back in time – when these photographs were taken, neither the Russian Revolution nor World War I had yet begun. Collected here are a few of the hundreds of color images made available by the Library of Congress, which purchased the original glass plates back in 1948.”

There are 34 photos in all.


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