Category Archives: latvian
See my post, On Baked Milk and Slow Cookers, for how to use a slow cooker to “bake” the milk before culturing.
One night, when we still lived in Liepāja, we were at Rimi picking up food for the next day or so and my husband decided he felt like ryazhenka. He loves the caramelized taste of the milk and thought I might like it. I did, though I couldn’t drink much of it at once. (It actually wound up being my gateway to drinking kefir!)
But, I hadn’t had ryazhenka again since well before we left…
I’ve spoken in the past about Latvian biezpiens, roughly translated as “curdles.” It’s an essential part of making pankūkas, for one, and several desserts (like biezpiena maize).
We’ve been experimenting with different methods of making it. And now, we’ve finally, finally found a way to make consistent, dry, crumbly biezpiens inexpensively, thanks to an accident while making ryazhenka.
We have a brand new little Chocolate Mint plant as part of our spring planting because I quite simply could not resist the York Peppermint Patty smell of its leaves. I knew this variety existed but I wasn’t expecting to find it at the local nursery.
We figured that since we like hot peppermint tea, making an iced version should be quite tasty. Turns out we were right, it’s really good and very refreshing. It’s a lot like lemonade – great to have a tall, cold glass of this when it’s hot and you’re working in the garden. While I don’t like traditional American iced teas, this is just right to me.
Plus, it’s a good way to use up mint.
When we had them the first time, they tasted just like fantastic latkes but a little sweeter. And they’re definitely not as calorically dense as real potato latkes; the entire recipe, if you were to sit down and eat the whole batch, would cost you under 400 calories.
Last year, my husband introduced me to naturally dyeing Easter eggs using onion skins, some of which can be seen in yesterday’s photo post. I was rather curious as to how they would come out because I grew up dyeing eggs with the Paas kit like many Americans.
To my surprise, they came out beautifully: dark browns and reds, swirled and mottled where the skins had pressed or decorated with tiny imprints of leaves and flowers picked from our yard.
It seems lately that everyone is talking about Alton Brown’s Good Eats episode, “Live and Let Diet” where he espouses one of his favorite light meals, packed with heart-healthy goodies, nutrients and fats: marinated brislings over avocado mash on toasted bread.
Those of you who already eat tinned fishies like sardines, kippers, herring, anchovy and, our favorite, sprats, are probably already wondering whether or not there’s a ripe avocado in the cupboard.
Every so often, I post a recipe from Latviešu ēdieni by Ņina Masiļūne.
My husband has been jonesing for these little pastries for a while and earlier this week, he decided he’d make them for dessert on one of the nights we had a full Latvian meal. They’re not very sweet, relying primarily on the natural sweetness of carrots and the rye crust can be very difficult to cook just right, but they are interesting little pastries nonetheless.