Today is a very special day in Russia known as Maslenitsa. It signifies the end of a week long festival that celebrates the ending of winter and the start of spring. Since it takes place the day before the start of Lent, Maslenitsa is a time for great feasting, as Lent prohibits the consumption of meat and dairy.
The holiday’s name comes from the Russian word “maslo” meaning butter. Russian pancakes, more popularly known as blini or crepes, are the traditional food made on this wonderful holiday. And, of course, butter is one of the main components. It is said that the beautiful round, golden pancakes symbolize the warm sun and the imminent coming of Spring.
I honestly would have forgotten that today was Maslenitsa had my mom not reminded me
BOOM. Instant homesickness.
And to make matters worse (and more depressing), apparently Anya and her mom came over to my house to eat blini and Borsht (a traditional Russian beet soup) with my parents.
All I could think about was how much I would have loved to be sitting around the kitchen table with the people that I love, eating my mom’s amazing blini topped with caviar and other goodies, drinking tea, and just enjoying life.
😦 😦 😦
Oh it’s times like these that I will never outgrow no matter how old I am, and I’m totally fine with that 🙂 Home truly is where the heart is ❤
So to make myself feel a bit better, I decided to take part in the festivities instead of miserably moping around.
I am quite the health freak, so I decided to make a healthier version of blini using whole wheat flour and no dairy/eggs.
Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner huh?
The result? An immediate homesickness remedy!
RUSSIAN WHOLE WHEAT BLINI
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-1 cup non-dairy milk (I used soy milk)
-2 tsp. honey
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 tsp. baking soda
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-pinch of salt
*caviar (YUM my favorite)
*fresh fruit with honey/maple syrup
*butter and a sprinkle of sugar
*Nutella (another favorite of mine…soon I’ll show you how to make a homemade version!)
*peanut butter and banana slices
1.) Coat a 12″ skillet with cooking spray and preheat on medium heat (do not turn up the heat too high as it will make your life much more difficult when making the blini).
2.) Combine all ingredients and whisk together.
*NOTE: Don’t worry if the batter looks too liquidy, the thinner the blini are the better they taste! I used a 1-to-2 flour-to-liquid ratio, but if your blini are too thin to even flip over and are falling apart, then add more flour as needed.
3.) Use a soup ladle to carefully pour batter onto the skillet while simultaneously moving the skillet around to spread the batter.
4.) Allow to cook until little bubbles start forming on the surface (about 1-2 min). Use a spatula to carefully flip the pancake and allow to cook for another 2 or so minutes.
5.) Transfer onto a plate and allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.
I’ll be completely honest with you, I had a very hard time achieving the right consistency. I must have made 3-4 batches before I approved the taste and consistency of the blini.
Have fun with the recipe! Mess around with it and see what the outcome is! This is a great basic recipe that has so much potential for unique adjustments, so be creative!
This must have been from my second batch. The blini had better consistency but were still pretty thick.
Hey, practice makes perfect right?!?
Hmm so now that I calmed my homesickness, my mind is clear enough to think about what I want to give up for Lent starting tomorrow. It needs to be somewhat of a sacrifice- in other words, something that would be difficult to be without for the 40 days of “fasting.” Traditionally, people give up meat and dairy, but I would prefer something more personal and meaningful to me (I barely eat meat and dairy anyway).
“You only give when you love.”
~From Russia With Love~