Okay, so fairly, some of you have pointed out that my last post didn't so much of tell how cool Russia is as it did point out how not entirely it sucks. So this post is all about how freakin' awesome Russia is. Period. Exclamation point. Asterisk. Question mark.
Awesome Thing about Russia #1: Sweet holidays.
Russia has much better holidays than America, possibly better than any other country. For example, not only do they celebrate International Women's Day (March 8th) with gifts and flowers, but they also celebrate Army Day (which is technically Defender of the Fatherland day, which is essentially Men's Day, since Russia has mandatory conscription) on February 23--mark your calendar! Men get gifts, too, and lots of guy movies come out in theaters on this day.
They also celebrate Knowledge Day, which is Sept. 1st. This day not only does the whole country celebrate lifelong learning, but all the schools in the country start. The first day is laid-back; everyone gets tea and cake and listens to a speech by the principals and other special guests. And everyone dresses up and gives the teacher flowers.
I definately think we should add these holidays to our calendar.
Awesome Thing about Russian #2:
Awesome Thing about Russia #3: Cultured Folk
Everyone in Russia is cultured. Everyone. It's weird. The poorest people on the street, they can all quote Pushkin. The test that you have to take to go to college, the equivolent of our SATs, you have to memorize several nationally-significant poems. People go to the ballet and opera. Chess is a spectator sport.
Awesome Thing about Russia #4: Good Eatin'
Not all Russian food is my fav, but there's lots that is truly yummy. For example: Piroshki.
Canisters of ready-to-bake biscuits
One small head of cabbage
One small onion
½ clove garlic (or to taste)
1 tsp dill
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dice the onion. Sauté with garlic in butter or oil until clear. Meanwhile, slice cabbage and boil until soft. Drain cabbage, add onion, garlic and seasonings. When cool, spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into the center of a squished-down biscuit. Fold the edges of the biscuit in half and seal shut.
Bake at 350° F until golden brown.
There are a lot of variations you can make on these pirgori pockets: rice and hamburger, mashed potatoes and mushrooms, or, if you have a sweet tooth, maybe jam, sliced apples with cinnamon or strawberry and rhubarb. Experiment—these always taste good!