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Today is the first day of Maslenitsa! Let’s make pancakes!

Maslenitsa also known as Butter week or Chesefare week is one weeklong festival before the Great Lent.

Today is the beginning of Maslenitsa,the Cheesefare Week before the Great Lent. Let's make blinis! Maslenitsa has its origins in both pagan and Christian  traditions. In Slavic mythology, Maslenitsa is a celebration of the imminent end of the winter.

On the Christian side, Maslenitsa is the last week before the onset of Great Lent. During the week of Maslenitsa, meat is already forbidden to Orthodox Christians.

During the whole week we make blinys (pancakes). They are made from the food still allowed by the Orthodox tradition: milk, eggs butter. During the pagan times, the round shape and golden colour of blinys  symbolised the Sun.

Maslenitsa is not only about eating the blinys, there are plenty fun activities: snowball fights, sledding, sleigh rides. There is something special for each day of the week. On Friday for example sons-in-law invited their mothers-in-law for blinys, On Saturday daughters-in-low was making presents to their sisters-in-low etc. The mascot of the week is usually made of straw, dressed like a young lady. As the culmination of the celebration, on Sunday evening, mascot is put to the flames of a bonfire, symbolizing the end of the Winter and beginning of the Spring.

 

Russian Bliny Recipe

2  cups of milk or water or mixture of both, the more milk you add the tender the blinys
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup  of flour
1 tbsp of sugar (if you want your blinys to be sweeter, you can use 2tbs of sugar)
1 tsp of salt
2 tbsp of vegetable or olive oil


Directions

1. Mix the eggs, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl until thoroughly blended.
2. Add milk or water to the mixture and mix well.
3. Stir in flour, mixing well to make sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.
4. Add vegetable oil to the batter and mix well. Leave to stand for 10-15 min.
5. Oil a skillet. Pour the batter on the hot oiled skillet and cook on one side until golden then flip the blin over and brown the other side.
6. sweet crepes with jam, sour cream, honey, syrup, melted chocolate, whipped cream, and fruit.

 

If you add less sugar you can serve your blinys with caviar, smoked salmon or any other savoury filling.