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Playing Around with a Story Line in Different Literary Genres
Writing Leap #3 is the ANECDOTAL RECIPE, for those of you who associate a type of food with a story and a recipe.
Send it to a cooking magazine, a regional magazine, your local newspaper or think of writing a cookbook full of stories.
The story lines are:
My Grandmother Always Wore a Babushka
OR if you like this better
The early 1990’s.
Babushkas, pulled slightly forward and tied under the chin were walking around everywhere in St. Petersburg. On women of a certain age. The server behind the counter in a small eating place in St. Petersburg was wearing a black one with red and pink flowers. She scowled and kept her head down.
The woman splashed some soup out of a big kettle and thrust the bowl at Zhenya, my writing workshop co-leader and my Russian interpreter. Zhenya turned and rolled her eyes handing me the soup. She steadied her hands and took her own bowl. We helped ourselves to pirozhki and carried our trays to a table.
“She’s still angry,” Zhenya said as we sat down. “Nothing much has changed for her since we got rid of the communists.”
I saw the daily drudgery of long years of oppression on the woman’s face.
Zhenya and I looked at each other after the first sip of the soup. It was greasy and watery with an odd smell. Zhenya just shook her head, perhaps not wanting to criticize. We both knew it was vile. The warm, baked pirozhki, however, was feathery light and divinely delicious, fragrant with dill and yeast. Another?
“No, no, just one to a customer,” Zhenya said.
Outside the onion domes of the cathedrals glimmered gold in the sun and there were many happy young faces scurrying along the avenue. None of them were wearing babushkas.
Pirozhki recipe adapted from A Taste of Russia by Darra Goldstein, a cookbook with anecdotes from Russian Literature.
Raised Pirozhki Dough
1 pkg. active dry yeast
¾ c. warm water
1 c. milk
8 T butter cut into bits
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar (I use honey)
1 whole egg
2 egg yokes
4 ½ to 5 c flour
1 whole egg, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Heat the milk to lukewarm and add the butter to it. Stir the milk and butter mixture into the yeast. Add the salt, sugar or honey, egg and egg yokes, mixing well. Gradually stir in enough flour to make a soft dough.
Turn the dough onto a floured board and knead it lightly until smooth and elastic. Place in a buttered bowl, turning the dough to butter the top and cover with a clean towel. Let rise in a warm place (like a turned off oven) until doubled in bulk, about 1 ½ hours.
Punch down the dough and divide it into 48 balls of equal size. On a floured board roll each ball out to a 3 ½ circle. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling on each circle, then press the edges of the dough together to seal. Gently shape the pirozhki into ovals.
Place them seam side down on a buttered baking sheet. Cover and let rise again until they are doubled in bulk, about 40 minutes. Brush each pirozhki with the beaten egg. Bake until beautifully golden, about 20 minutes.
Beef filling with Dill
2 lg onions minced
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 lb lean ground beef
salt (about 2 ½ t) and pepper to taste
2 T snipped fresh dill or 2 t dried dill
2 hard-boiled eggs, minced
2 T sour cream
Sauté the onions in the butter and oil until transparent. Stir in the beef and cook it until no trace of pink remains. Then add the remaining ingredients, mixing well. Cool before using as a filling.
How about you? Do you have a story connected to a recipe?
Happy Writing everyone,
We’ll try a new story line and a different literary genre in the next post.
Linking the Arts
Good Words for Food
In Greek mythology ambrosia is the food of the gods and thought to make one immortal. What foods taste like ambrosia to you? Leave a comment. I’d love to know!