Sunday, March 17, 2013

Wrapping up Maslenitsa Week

It's the final hour of Maslenitsa Week here in Russia, the week when blini, or Russian-style crepes, are cranked out like. . . like hot cakes.No surprise there! ;)

Blini are traditional fare for Maslenitsa for reasons both pagan and religious. As per old Slavic tradition, blinis' being round like the sun makes them perfect for welcoming springtime. Then, with pre-Easter fasting just around the corner - Orthodox Easter being May 5th this year - blini help the home-cook use up milk, eggs and butter which are excluded from a strict Orthodox fast as are meat and fish. In fact, maslenitsa, pronounced MA-slen-ee-tsa, has as its root the word for butter, maslo. 

Last week, I imagined that this would be the maslenitsa that I'd get good at cranking out blini. I have, after all, invested in a special blini skillet and off-set spatula. Alas, the week did not include blini-making.

I did manage, however, to photograph for you the nearby blini kiosk. They crank out blini here, fast food with yummy fillings, so popular with students. I translate the name of this place as Tasty Love and people laugh. . .

The first half of the word means  tasty, the second half means love. To me, that's Tasty Love. But locals would render it, I love (that which is) tasty! The banner hanging there posed another challenge for this language learner.Literally it's: Broad (wide) Maslenitsa!  Friend Herman says it means, Maslenitsa (is) for Everyone! Well that's so nice. . .

Not that the Tasty Love folks have any special menu items for the holiday, I checked just for you. However, fork out 300 rubles for lunch and, surprise, you earn a special maslenitsa magnet. Wonder if those are going like hot cakes?

Zoom on in: Care for Blini Fajitas? Yes, the Russian word there, фахитос is fajitas, transliterated, and it looks like the English plural is being used as singular. Well, okay. . .and for just 98 rubles, that's a bit less than $3, you can have one fresh off the skillet.
These Tasty Love blini are large, about 20-inches in diameter, and in the end, they're folded up rather like a burrito. They're for sale year 'round, of course.

Maslenitsa is only in the spring, just before the time of fasting. Here's more about Maslenitsa.

So dear blog reading friend, are you a blini pro? Have you celebrated Maslenitsa? Please do share!

No comments: