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Sunday, January 24, 2010

My Day And A Treat For You


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January 25th is celebrated in Russia as Tatyana's Day. It is named after Saint Tatyana (Tatiana). She is a patroness of all Tatyanas. This is a holiday for girls and women called Tatyana. We, Tatyanas, receive cards, flowers, chocolates and other small gifts on this day. Some other names are also celebrated on certain dates. In Orthodox Christianity, these days are called Angel Days and are similar to Name Days in England.
From Wikipedia: Saint Tatiana was a Christian martyr in 3rd century Rome during the reign of Emperor Alexander Severus. She was a deaconess of the early church.
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According to legend, she was the daughter of a Roman civil servant who was secretly Christian, and raised his daughter in the faith, and she became a deaconess in the church. This was dangerous, and one day the jurist Ulpian captured Tatiana and attempted to force her to make a sacrifice to Apollo. She prayed, and miraculously, an earthquake destroyed the Apollo statue and part of the temple.
Tatiana was then blinded, and beaten for two days, before being brought to a circus and thrown into the pit with a hungry lion. But the lion did not touch her and lay at her feet. This resulted in a death sentence being pronounced, and after being tortured, Tatiana was beheaded with a sword on January 12 (Julian calendar) (January 25 in the Gregorian calendar), around AD 225 or 230.

On this very day (January 25) in 1755, Russian empress Elizabeth signed a decree establishing Moscow University. Since then, this day has also become
Students' Day.
In old Russia, it used to be the noisiest day of the year in big cities. Big groups of students walked along the streets, sang students' songs, joked, drank and played pranks. Even the police respected that day and didn't make arrests of drunk students. I read someone compared the spirit of that day with the spirit of Woodstock for rock-and-roll fans in the 60's. University professors considered Tatyana's day to be their holiday too. In the Soviet period of Russian history, Tatyana's Day was not widely celebrated, but in 1993 it was revived. It is the great event for all college students and professors nowdays.
There is a belief among Russians that if Tatyana's Day is sunny, then birds will be back from the south earlier in spring; if it's snowy, then the summer will be rainy. If one hears a woodpecker on this day, then spring will arrive, and the snow will melt in March. If Tatyana's Day is cold, then June will be dry and hot.
In old Russia, people believed that a girl born on this day would be a good cook. I do not consider myself to be one, but nevertheless, I would like to treat you, my dear Blotanical friends, to one of my favorite meals -Russian piroshki. Piroshki is multiple form of pirojok.
Since our relationship is purely virtual, the only way to do it is to share my recipe with you.
You can serve piroshki as an appetizer or as a snack.
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It can also be a main dish served with soup or salad. I can not call them real Russian piroshki, because I don't make the dough myself. It takes time (read: I am a bit lazy). I was looking for an easy, fast way of making them. I replaced the dough made from scratch with store-bought dinner roll dough. It worked! I use reduced-fat dough of any brand including grocery store brands.
Ingredients:
1/2 pound of ground beef (I use lean beef, preferably organic)
1 onion (not huge) chopped fine
Fresh chopped parsley and/or dill to your taste (I use them dry if fresh are not available)
Salt and black pepper to your taste plus your other favorite spices.(I like to use Johnny's Garlic Spread & Seasoning.)
Oil (to saute onion and to brown meat)
1 package of jumbo biscuits (16.3 oz = 462 g ; it contains 8 pieces, cut them in halfs to get 16) or 2 packages of normal size biscuits
1 egg
Flour

Method:
Saute the onion in oil until it turns golden. Add ground beef and brown it, stirring. Add the minced parsley and/or dill, salt, pepper and other spices to taste. I add parsley last, trying to keep it as green as possible to save more vitamins. Get the mixture from a pan. Add 1tbs boiled water mixed with 1/2 tbs flour slightly browned in the pan to the meat mixture to make it more moist.
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Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll dough pieces very thin. With a teaspoon, put cooled meat mixture in the center of each dough piece.
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Leave a border around the filling all the way round. Roll and pinch the pastry together in a neat ridge along the center of the piroshki.
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Put piroshki on a cookie sheet (I grease it lightly with organic PAM). Brush piroshki with a beaten egg (you can use only yolk, or yolk mixed with water, but I often use the whole beaten egg).
Bake for 14 minutes in the oven .
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Total time: about 1 hour 10 min.
There are many ways to modernize this recipe. You can add boiled chopped eggs or cooked rice, or sauted mushrooms, etc. to the meat stuffing, or just use eggs and mushrooms without meat.
Making piroshki can be a fun project for kids. My boys enjoy helping me. Your kids might like it too!
For those of you who have time to make pastry from scratch, here is a recipe from the book of Russian Princess Alexandra Kropotkina.

Quick Russian Pastry

2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 egg
Ice water

Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Work in the vegetable shortening and the butter til the flower is like very coarse meal, with some bits of the shortening the size of small peas. Beat the egg slighly and add enough ice water to make 1/2 cup of fluid. Mix this quickly into the flour and shortening, adding a little more ice water if needed. The dough must be very soft and light. Sprinkle over with flour. Roll on well floured board.
Enjoy!
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Copyright 2009 TatyanaS
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49 comments:

  1. Those look delicious! I'm Ukrainian, and we have 'pyrohy'. Usually there is no meat in them, and the dough is different. I find it interesting that so many countries have a similar, dumpling-like pastry called different things lol.
    Cool post! And happy Tatyana Day! :D

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  2. Happy St Tatyana day, my friend across the miles. I shouldn't have looked at this post before eating breakfast/lunch--I'm now starving. They look a bit like Cornish pasties, which I also am fond of.

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  3. Happy Tatyana Day! You've made me feel hungry too - I'm cooking chili this evening, so I think I may go and start it now...

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  4. Sounds like a great celebration! Yummmy.

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  5. Wonderful history and story. Instead of getting rid of Taiana all they accomplished was making her famous. A fine retribution for her. I like that.It is a pretty name.

    Your just made me hungry girl. Looks so yummy!

    Happy Tatyana Day Tatyana!

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  6. Happy Tatyana's Day!! Your recipe looks and sounds delicious, I will give it a try soon. :)

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  7. PS. Do you use a glass of cutter for the round shapes, or form them by hand?

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  8. Thank you ladies! I'm sorry this post made you hungry!
    Rebecca, they are pre-cut in a can of dinner rolls. I just separate them.

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  9. Happy Tatyana's Day to you! I love piroshki and yours look delicious! I wish I could reach into the computer and take one!

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  10. Happy Angel Day, Tatyana! I hope it is a wonderful celebration for you. :)

    These look delicious and the recipe is so simple, I'm going to have to try it soon. Maybe tonight. Thanks for sharing!

    Do you know if these are related to Pierogi? The names look so similar, I wondered. Pierogi are Polish dumplings which my husband (Romanian) loves, but I didn't know how to cook them from scratch.

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  11. boy this is not a good post when you haven't had breakfast yet and all i have is gruel :(

    what a great post, i enjoyed reading about your special day tatyana and the history of this day to russian lifestyles...thanks for sharing and

    Happy Tatyana Day to you!

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  12. What a wonderful day! I really enjoy the story of Tatiana and her trials. Truly a day of celebration with students' day. Your piroshkis look yummy. Traditions are great to keep for future generations.

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  13. The piroshki look wonderful. I had no idea there was such a thing as Tatyana's Day -- very interesting!

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  14. That was a great read - I love finding out about the culture and traditions in other countries.

    The piroshkis look lovely ...but what is PAM?!

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  15. Gee Saint Tatiana certainly had a terrible fate... I can well imagine the powers that be threatened by a free thinking woman who had earthquakes and lions at her feet. Your Piroshki and Pastry look delicious! Happy Tatyana Day! ;>)) Carol

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  16. I forgot to say what lovely photos and the icon is stunning! ;>)

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  17. Hi Tatyana! Thanks for a great post. I absolutely love piroshki, so the recipe is much appreciated.

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  18. I am so glad you liked the story of Saint Tatyana. Thank you everyone!
    Nutty Gnome, PAM is no-stick cooking spray. Now, they make it from organic olive oil, 100% natural. I use it rarely. Mostly, I don't grease a pan at all, and piroshki don't stick.

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  19. Happy T day, my friend!
    The little biscuit pastries look yummy...hope you had a great day! So, was it sunny there? What is the weather prediction for you?

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  20. What a neat story -- I had no idea. The recipes look yummy! I am anxious to give them a try. :)

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  21. Gorgeous post Tatyana..in words..images..heart and spirit! Wonderful!Gorgeous recipes..traditions and tribute to Tatyana's day! Happy T Day to you!
    Kiki~

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  22. That was very informative and interesting. So Happy Happy Birthday! May you be fully blessed!

    That recipe looks difficult, but when i read the details i realized we have it here also, called empanada or empanaditas if small. Maybe the word is from Spanish, coz we have centuries of history with them. There are variations also in ingredients, as varied as the islands we have as an archipelago. Empanadas are also eaten here as snacks. Now i learned a new term 'piroshki'. I actually have a Marushka doll, the set of 5 small dolls, everything contained in the next size. I love it very much, souvenir from a friend, now i know Piroshki. thanks.

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  23. Hi Tatyana and a happy Tatyana's day to you! That last photo is just not fair! My mouth is watering. What a yummy tradition.

    Thank you for sharing this tradition. It's like a combination of Mardi Gras and Groundhog's Day.

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  24. Great, now I'm hungry! LOL Those look and sound fantastic. I bet you make a fabulous dish of them and the house smells mouth watering when you do.
    I can't believe you have your own holiday!! I am never going to have my own holiday with a name like LeSan. Of course if getting a holiday requires the suffering the original Tatiana had to go through then I'll be plenty happy with a nice little cake on say, a Tuesday in whatever month. Great post Tatyana, very intersting and um, mouthwatering. ;-)

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  25. These look delicious! How cool to have your own day named just for you. I enjoyed reading all the history of this tradition--happy St. Tatyana Day!

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  26. It's nice to know what lies behind the lovely name Tatyana.... You really show something very tasty and delicious.. kakdah may want to try out the recipe... haha.

    ~bangchik

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  27. Happy Tatyana Day, darling !That food looks delicious!

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  28. Happy Saint's Day, Tatyana! Great recipe, and you're probably a wonderful cook, judging by your posts. :)

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  29. Тань:-) Как мы с тобой почти одновременно пирожки печем :-) Я вчера пек - с капустой и ещё с яйцами и зелёным луком - это мои любимые начинки. Правда, я дрожжевое тесто сам делаю - мне нравится процесс, да и пока тесто подходит, начинки успеваю сготовить :-) Так что я твоим мясным угощусь, а тебя своими виртуально по случаю праздничка угощаю - ещё не все приели :-)

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  30. Happy St Tatyana day what lovely thoughts....now if I could just have a little sample of your cooking.......

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  31. Of course I didn't know that about you. Happy Tatyana Day. OoOoohhh that looks so good. I think I will give this one a try. I suppose you could fill them with anything and I love chicken.

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  32. Hope your life goes more smoothly than your namesake's! My Ukranian grandmother made similar pastries for my family - thanks for the recipe!

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  33. Oh my goodness these look so delicious!! Thank you for sharing and thanks for stopping by to say hello over at the Burbs! Happy Day to you!

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  34. Hi Tatyana

    Aha, you finally did it and published the recipe.

    I love this kind of food. A bit like pasties, yum.

    I had no idea that there was a Tatiana day. I hope you enjoyed yours.

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  35. Those look delicious and I bet my boys will like those! Happy Tatyana day, as well. I wonder if there is an Amy Day. I might just need to start one. :) Thanks for sharing!

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  36. Thanks for an interesting post. I always enjoy posts that include food! I wonder why the name Tatyana is particularly popular in Russia (it is, right?), although St. Tatiana lived in Rome. Whatever, happy Tatyana Day.

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  37. A good day to you. Hope you're never asked to make a sacrifice to Apollo

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  38. Those look delicious, and your son looks to be enjoying himself in the kitchen. My kids love to cook and bake too.

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  39. Oh yum, Tatyana, Happy St. Tatyana day! I'm a huge believer in traditions .... thank you for posting this wonderful recipe ... I'm tucking it away in a special place! (Don't you love the history of the saints we're named after ... mine is Joan of Arc!)

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  40. Happy Tatyana's Day to Tatyana. And Happy Birthday too! Is it a common practise for parents to name their child Tatyana or Tatiana if their child is born on Tatyana's Day? Tatyana is a very nice name indeed. Thanks for the historical story which I enjoyed reading very much.

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  41. Happy Tatyana's Day! You have one of the prettiest sounding names I have ever heard. Your Russian Piroshski recipe looks awesome and I will try it out this weekend for sure. My boys will love it. Thanks so much for all the instructions, and the history of Tatyana Day. Beautiful prose as always.

    Kathy

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  42. A most wonderful and delicious post, Tatyana! I love the story about your namesake and all the festivities involved with it. We have a recipe for something similar, pierogies, but have never made them using biscuits. Will have to give them a try. You should be a food photographer, my mouth was watering just looking at those shots! :-)
    Frances

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  43. Very nice. It's always entertaining to see what other people cook and have a little history lesson thrown in!

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  44. Mouth watering delicious looking treats! Happy Saint's Day! gail

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  45. Happy Tatyana's Day! Thank you for the piroshki recipe. The pictures look delicious - can pictures be delicious? LOL

    My mother used to make pirogies from scratch - rolled dough with a mashed potato and cheese filling. The pierogies were boiled then fried in butter and onions. It would take her most of the day to make a batch. Now I buy them in the frozen food section - they are not even close to my mom's delicions homemade pierogies.

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  46. Happy Tatyana Day! The history behind your name is so interesting to learn and the Piroshki recipe looks easy enough and yummy too! Thanks…

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  47. Татьяна, ты умница! Репортаж о пирожках получился очень аппетитный! Прими мои наилучшие пожелания в День Ангела, хоть я и припозднилась с поздравлением, и прости, что я такая невнимательная.

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  48. Pierogi fans in the Seattle area can get it at The Polish Association's bazaars. They take place twice a year. They serve pierogi in the dining room, and they have uncooked pierogi for sale, too. The next bazaar is Palm Sunday I think.

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  49. They look fantastic. I am printing your recipe now!

    We've made homemade pierogies a number of times. I love cheese and potato w/ carmelized onions on the side but these are of course different and more hearty.
    YMU!

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