|Kitchen Living Room Bedroom Toilet Hall|
Just after March 8th, International Woman's Day, Katrina of The Gastronomical Me brought "Soviet" food into this century - away from those naked hard-boiled eggs, that overcooked buckwheat and cutlets... My Soviet Kitchen was present and featured as a prize for the best brunch write-up.
I provided vintage saucers, cake-stands and tablecloths. Katrina laid the table with Spring mimosa and vases of daffs. Then, like a Soviet Heroine Mother, she served about 15 dishes out of her cupboard kitchen. Like those authentic Soviet-kitchen parties that we all know and love the table was repeatedly re-stacked for 7 hours...
Katrina says: "Despite its obvious political origins Soviets loved Women's Day as a sign of superiority - 'our women are the most equal women in the whole world', the day is now a curious split between Valentine's day, Mother's day and a pagan spring day - it is amorous, convivial, it's when the first spring flowers come out and Russians gingerly consider unbuttoning their winter coats. Men of all ages buy flowers, champagne (Soviet of course) and chocolates for all women in their household!"
And here are some of Katrina's reinventions of Russian food:
My favourite reinterpretations were open-sandwiched sprats with chives and cucumbers on cakestands; the Ox Tongue, served with watercress, stock jellee and horseradish was also a clever fusion; semi-salted cucumbers laced with honey and sour cream to sweeten them up, and the jug of Bloody Mary looking majestic with its celery tree growing out of it. Also inspired was the cabbage stuffed not with mincemeat but with cheesy, mushroomy buckwheat and the little pastry larks with sultana eyes.
Katrina topped it all off with a kitschy yellow hedgehog cake sprinkled with 100s and 1000s, the Soviet National anthem and a vintage Russian singalong from Andrei and his guitar.
All text and images copyright 2010-17 Amy Spurling unless otherwise noted