an unorthodox christmas party

January 12, 2011

clove decorated oranges and pomegranate

First off, I cannot tke credit for the clever title, it was the name of the theme party I went to recently. My new friend, Fyodor, homesick for his mother Russia, has his second annual Unorthodox (Russian Orthodox) Christmas party that included lots of russian costuming, baba yaga (gift exchange), lots of vodka toasts, and of course, delicious russian foods.  I approached Fyodor early on to suggest that I maybe bring something vegan to nosh on, but he was extremely helpful in finding russian delicious that were already vegan or he volunteered to veganize some so that I could partake! Sadly my job prevented me from being able to make the russian tea cakes I had been hoping for

The majority of the vegan options.

The whole night was a great load of fun, the costumes were amazing, the gals from the Rhinestone Follies and Cheekie Lane were there  in full force and I didn’t end of leaving till after 4am!

One of the delicious meals Fyodor, or maybe his husband, went to get get supplies . Also, there was a good amount of burlesque saavy people around to keep queiet burlesque in case we felt threatended. If you are looking for something more,check out the pictures and recipe below!

Hazel Honeysuckle, Kita St Cyr, Medanoche, myselff, and Cheekie Lane at the party.

Fyodor’s Vegan Borscht
Alright, so it’s super easy, but there are a few tricks that make all the difference! 

Fyodor, what a sweetie!

Chop cabbage pretty thinly, and cube potatoes and onions. In your case, you would need vegetable rather than beef broth. Dump the chopped cabbage, potatoes and onions into the cold broth and put the pot on a high flame to heat while you do the rest.

Grate carrots and chop up a couple of red tomatoes and sautee them in oil on a frying pan. As they heat up, add some sugar to caramelize them, and lemon juice. Let the carrots get just a little bit soft and dump them straight into the soup pot with the other vegetables. Peel and grate the beets (the more the better!), and then sautee them as well in the same frying pan. Also add a generous amount of sugar to bring out all that beety sweetness. And here is a trick my grandmother did – while the beets sautee, sprinkle them with a generous amount of flour (couple of tablespoons) and mix it well. That adds thickness and body to the soup. Once the beets are a little soft and caramelized, add them to the pot too and stir the soup. Once the soup is boiling, you can reduce the flame to medium-low and let it cook until the potatoes are soft enough. Salt is entirely up to you. You can also add some fresh dill, though I prefer just to garnish with it.

Traditionally, borscht is eaten with a dollop of sour cream on top, so I recommend getting some vegan sour cream for it! Tofutti makes that, don’t they?


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