Today is Russian Orthodox Easter, so Happy Easter everyone! I celebrated it this morning at my host mom’s parent’s apartment. We had the traditional Russian cakes “Kulich” and “Paskha”, which I tried for the first time. Kulich is a light, round cake and Paskha is made from tvorog(Russian sweet cheese) and raisins and is shaped almost like a pyramid. They are quite delicious! We also had colored hard-boiled eggs. It was my first time celebrating Orthodox Easter. It was a very delicious breakfast, but I do miss my family’s traditional breakfast dish, creamed eggs on toast. My mom is saving me some Easter candy (Peeps and Cadbury eggs!) for when I get back in June. Hopefully, my brothers won’t find them!
The Neva is now only half frozen, it is Spring yet? :) The days are getting noticeably longer, I love it! Yesterday, we had all types of weather going on: sunny, snowy, rainy, icy…Most of the snow had melted by this morning, and today has been relatively warm (-1 to 4 degrees Celsius) and sunny. It would be a nice day for baseball…
Taken by Aleksander Nevsky Monastery around 8am this morning.
It’s okay, St. Petersburg. You can keep snowing if you want. In two months, I’ll have all the summer weather I could want!
My internship had me write an article about myself in Russian for their university journal. It just got published in the March edition and my boss gave me a copy of it today. Very awesome!
A very clear day and a very pretty sunset last week—but today it snowed again. I love the snow, but not when everything that just melted refreezes!
My friend gave me Valen’ki for my birthday! They are sooo warm!!! =)
Here is a description from the article on Wikipedia about what they are: “Valenki (Russian: валенки; sg valenok (Russian: валенок)) are traditional Russian winter footwear, essentially felt boots: the name valenokliterally means “made by felting”. Valenki are made of wool felt. They are not water-resistant, and are often worn with galoshes to keep water out and protect the soles from wear and tear. Valenki were once the footwear of choice for many Russians, but in the second half of the 20th century they lost most of their appeal in cities, due to their association with rustic dress.
Valenki (synonymic and semantic related expressions which mean the same – vа́lenukhi (pl.), vа́lezhki, vа́leni, vа́lentsi, kа́tanki) – warm felted highboots made from dried sheep’s wool; they are usually hard by their form, but there are soft types which are made for a corresponding footwear.”
This week is Maslenitsa (Russian Carnaval)! During this week, the custom is to cook and eat a huge amount of this dish in the picture above: bliny. They can be filled or topped with just about anything from fish or caviar to fruit or jam. The official translation is “pancake”, but I think they are more like crepes. This one is filled with tvorog (sweet farmer’s cheese), vareniye (syrupy jam) and banana chips. It was delicious!!!
The Church on the Spilled Blood (Спас-на-крови)—perhaps one of my favorite places in Petersburg. It’s so pretty no matter the season or from which side you look at it!