Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Great Blini Peace Treaty of 2013

Thank you guys for your comments and emails! I'm happy to report that all of us are alive and well, even the cat (who has been eating the [extremely, extremely well-cooked] meat).

For forty-eight hours I've been attempting to tone down my shameful super-bitch alter ego. It's like she manifests herself out of the darkest recesses of my head, making a special appearance for only 2 particular people on this planet, one of those people being D's mom. (As to the other person, sorry. Probably nothing is ever going to change there and you know why.) D's mom is really sweet- she tries so, so, SO hard and watching my evil twin treat her so poorly practically constitutes a crime against humanity. But I have learned a couple of things by now:
  • Mothers + their sons + the son's girlfriend = a combo that probably doesn't work well long-term in any culture. It's like two angry reindeer and an innocent man, all stuck inside a bottle.
  • I am the mistress of cleaning and decorating my home. If someone tries to rearrange the plants on the windowsill or clean my sink, prepare for war!!
  • Cooking, however... please step right up. Here I'll totally yield ground.
  • Guilt gifts help.
So, after buying a scarf for D and a scarf + tapochki (aka house slippers, the building block of Ukrainian society) for his mother, it came time to put part two into action: a truce cemented by the noble pancake.

We made blini together.

It was surprisingly easy to make them.
2 cups of milk, 2 eggs, 1 tsp salt, 2 tbsp sugar, and roughly 2 cups flour.

Mix gently.

Add (a shocking amount of) oil to a dry frying pan and wait for it to heat up.

Pour the heated oil into the batter, stir once, then begin frying.

The hardest part of the process was filling up all the waiting with conversation.

We were both a little wary of the sudden ceasefire, but a gradual thaw brought more and more words into the air between us. Nowadays we're using almost exclusively Russian to communicate... (This means no more funny English conversations like-
me: What would you like for breakfast?
her: Yes.
me: Oh, I see. A big bowl of yes?
her: Yes.
Or probably our conversations still sound like this, only the roles have reversed :p And hey, I warned you that I can be a bitch!)
... so she talked mainly about this and that and I tried to make some decent responses in return. D and Кит were napping in the other room, so it was just the two of us alone with the growing pile of blini.
It feels like the kind of memory you'll look back on fondly in distant future days.

Even the sky outside seemed to agree.

PS: More delicious blini pictures here, taken back in 2011 when I was just a bystander.


  1. Mmm the blini look delicious!

    And kudos to you for making an effort speaking Russian -- usually when with my boyfriend's mother/grandmother, I just try to stand really still and blend in with the awful Soviet wallpaper.

    1. Privet Polly! Haha, you crack me up :p Guess the wallpaper is the same everywhere!

      By the way, it would be really interesting to read a post of yours on what it's like to have (soon-to-be) Russian in-laws and what coping methods and tips you have.