Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Olympic Style Weekend

What better way to spend the weekend than teaching the kids new things followed by an amazing Tastebuds event??  Though I only had my iphone for our trip, when we drove up at home, my replacement lens was waiting on the porch, perfect timing for capturing food and friends.

B and I always love to watch the Olympics, and the kids have been only luke warm to the idea.  This weekend, as timing turned out, was a perfect start for the winter Olympics in our household.  We took a short trip to a local ski area and water park for a little family time.   Please understand, we live in Wisconsin, so the vertical feet at this ski area was 290 feet.  It was perfect though for teaching the kids and allowing mom to get her ski legs back.  B is a cracker jack skier.  I have skied half a dozen times, each separated by many years, so I always approach it more cautiously.  Charles it seems is much like his dad.  Once his lesson was complete, he headed to the lift with B and parallel skied all the way down, first time, no falling.  "It's fast and feels dangerous, what more could a boy ask for?"  Sid, a bit more like her mom, approached it more carefully but loved it and even has the story of spectacularly taking out her mom from behind on one of her runs!  ouch! ;)  Now, both kids are drawn to watching the downhill events on the Olympics having gained a new appreciation and interest.

After a lovely two nights, we headed home to prepare for our Tastebuds dinner group, this month's theme was Russian. We have found it remarkable that over the last five years there have been very few dishes that did not meet expectation, and I have wondered if that  great fortune has somewhat been the result of the method; cooking food with friends.  I do not know if it was the glow coming off of a great weekend, or again just the perfect timing, but the Russian meal took all of us by surprise.  It was amazing! 

One of the best parts of this group is how fluidly we work together.  Each couple may come with dishes that they are responsible for, but everyone dives in and helps wherever needed.  This is a seamless shuffle, where we just fall into place and work side by side.  Not pictured, are the Moscow Mules, that quenched our thirst throughout.  We did not do an appetizer, rather served all of the food at once so that we could experience how it would work together.  So drum roll please......Our line up was:

 Borscht (Beet Stew)

Pkhali (Spinach Walnut Salad)

Pickled Tomatoes & Peppers

Rye Piroshki (Rye bread stuffed with cheese and caramelized onions)

Syrniki (Farmers Cheese Pancakes)
 Shashlik (Lamb Kebob with Tomato-Prune Sauce)

Apple Sharlotka

We were amazed at how beautifully the blend of flavors complimented the meal.  It was another Tastebuds event hit out of the park.  There will definitely be repeat offenders on this meal!

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