[Soviet cooking book]. Handwritten album, with newspaper clippings to illustrate courses. [N.p., 1970-80s]. 265 pp. 29x21 cm. Cloth folder. Fine.
An interesting and somewhat naive document of the time. Apparently the complier of this book tried to include as many ‘international’ recipes as possible, often putting the originating country in brackets. A lot of the clippings come from foreign newspapers. The ingredients however more or less match the assortment of the Soviet food stores. As a result we can see the attempt to diversify often scarce meals using the available ingredients.
The sections included in the book are salads and cold starters; starters; meat, poultry and wildfowl; garnish, potatoes, cereals; vegetables; fish; conservation of food; dough products; deserts, jams and conservations of fruits and berries; pickles and marinades; desert, beverages, cocktails; other.
The section on cocktails contains some of the simplest cocktails imaginable like ‘Cocktail with beer and tea’ which is essentially the 50% of cold tea with 50% of beer and lemon on the side (optional). Cocktail ‘Cubanito’ reminds us of Сuban-Soviet relationship, however the author of the book was not familiar with the Havana Club rum, so it was called ‘Abana club’ instead. Altogether the book gives 30 recipes for cocktails, including Campari, mulled wine, ‘Old Russian’, ‘Polar Night’, ‘Winter tale’, ‘Flaming iceberg’, etc.
The author gives us 20 coffee variations, half of which contain alcohol. There are special subsection of recipes from the stale bread (9 recipes) including the method on how to freshen up stale bread. Author included advices on table manners: if you are taking the sugar cube out of the bowl, don’t touch the cubes near it; don’t blow on the soup to cool it; at the end of the book there are the tables of the cutlery that are appropriate for different courses. It’s hard to imagine how one should obtain different types of forks in the reality of deficit.