Sunday, December 20, 2009

Nutcracker Celebration

Tonight was Nutcracker Night. Everyone raided the costume closet and dressed in their finest ballet attire, complete with a dusting of sparkle powder to help feel beautiful. Sunshine wore a cape and a sword so she could be the nutcracker. Briz refused to wear tights and figured he was scary enough as is to be the Mouse King. Little Mother chose to be Clara, and Ladybug the Sugar Plum fairy.

As we watch the ballet unfold, it takes place in 2 dimensions on our screen and in our family room right in front of our eyes.

Little Mother pirouettes, Sunshine spins then stabs Briz as he gets too close to Clara.

At intermission, we decorate the Sugar Plum Tree with candy wrapped in plastic wrap.

Then we begin our nutcracker feast. In honor of its Russian origins and the Russian Trepak, we ate Solyanka (Russian Beef Soup)

Arabian Pita Bread (for the Arabian dance)

and Barbecued Chinese Lettuce Wraps (for the Chinese Dance).

Solianka tastes like pickle soup. Briz liked it. I thought it was very different and enjoyed the experience of trying something so totally different from what I am used to. The kids ate it but not enthusiastically. The Lettuce Wraps and Pitas were a hit. Are these like Chinese sandwiches? Ladybug asked.

The dancing continued until Clara went back to sleep, then so did my little ones. 

If anyone wants the Solianka Soup Recipe, just ask, but I will probably not make it again.  It was a great cultural experience, just not one I want to repeat.  

Arabian Pita Bread

1 T instant yeast
1 1/2 cups water
2 tsp sugar
3 cups flour (I usually use 2 cups wheat, 1 cup white)

1 T dry milk powder
1/2 tsp. salt
6 T oil
1 T toasted cumin

Mix yeast, water, and sugar.  Set aside.  In a large bowl, combine flour, dried milk and salt.  Pour in the oil and yeast/ water mixture and stir well.  You might need to add more flour or water depending on the absorbency of the flour.  Knead dough briefly, divide into 18 egg sized balls.  Place on a floured surface, cover and let rest for 15-20 minutes.  Roll one ball out and press cumin seeds on the top with the rolling pin.  Cook in a skillet until large "bubbles" form.  Flip pita over and cook the other side for a few more minutes.  Flatten with a spatula.  Keep bread warm (wrap in a towel or place in a ziploc bag) while cooking the rest of the bread.  Can freeze the dough or the cooked product.  

Sometimes I will brush the top with butter or olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of garlic and sea salt.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see more posts again! Great ideas as always.