#69: Belarus

2015 Denver Susan G. Komen Race for The Cure weekend is upon us!!

I hope you guys were able to wear pink and support an amazing cause that effects not only women worldwide of all ages but also men. It’s something that has touched all our lives in one way or another, and I’m grateful for the tradition that my mom and I have had for 17 years now. Every year (except one where I was in college in Portland) for the past 17 years we have run the Race for the Cure here in Denver. It’s one of the nationals largest races for breast cancer and research and it’s something I love doing with my mom. It’s gorgeous weather to boot, so it’s not to shabby. So whether you sleep-in-for-the-cure, walk or run — thank you for taking time to care for others. In other news, this weekend was also a nationally big one for our state as we hosted the Great American Beer Festival (GABF for all you cool kids). Not to mention, it was the Blood Super Moon as well as a Broncos victory against Detroit. It was a busy and wonderful Mile High weekend indeed.

THE DINNER: We were honestly craving some Eastern European/Nordic cuisine this week, so we picked Belarus as our culinary stopping place on AW195S! It’s a country and region that we are pretty comfortable with (Read: Brovsky Comfort Food Zone) so we didn’t have to worry too much about “exotic” food this week. As with so many Eastern European countries and Russia itself, these nations focus on root veggies and cabbage and pork. That’s pretty much the long and short of it. Beets, cabbage, potatoes round out the top veggies and then you have dumpling/pierogi and rye rounding out the top carbs. You transition into pork as their main protein followed closely by fish (but mainly seen in soups) and occasionally beef or poultry. Their all about those earthy flavor palates and then you also don’t see very much in the way of spices. It’s au-natural for these no-nonsense bunch.

For the meal we picked potato latkes that are filled with pork… and fried. You can hear the hallelujah chorus, believe me. Draniki is what this lovely concoction is called.

Draniki Recipe: https://arousingappetites.com/draniki-belarusian-sausage-stuffed-potato-pancakes/

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OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:

Ease of prep and cooking: FOUR STAR out of five this meal!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we have a potato flipping guru in our midst. My mother is like a potato whisperer. She can take potato batter and make it bend to her will… and even she had some snags in this recipe. That makes people like me, who are potato novices take a second’s pause before venturing further. The potato batter was a handful. It’s finicky, watery and the idea of getting it the right thickness to get crispy and brown while also getting the inside cooked is a nightmare of sorts. So this one is a tough recipe (as have many of our Eastern European meals thus far, now that I’m thinking about it). Apart from that, this meal called for a handful of common core ingredients and was a sound 30 minutes from start to finish. So that’s not too shabby at all.

Best dish of all time scale: THREE STARS out of five for Meal!!
We all really wanted to like this one. It has everything you want– potatoes, fried potatoes. sausage. onion. It was a good idea. I think what the problem was, for us, the texture of the pancakes. The Eastern Europeans do tend to enjoy a certain texture to their food. The best way i can describe this is “squishy”. They like doughy things. Their perogies are like this, as are their dumplings as we saw from our visit to the Ukraine week #2! I think it’s just a signature of their taste palate. That being said, this was a home run for those reasons. The pancakes were crispy but the potatoes were like mashed potato constancy. The meat and the flavors was spot on though, for that they get a five. It was  tasty, just not very edible in the texture arena. So close, Belarus… but just not quite.

Heading into the BIG 7-0 next weekend we will also be transitioning into my favorite month, October! It’s all pumpkin spice and sweaters and cute boots from here, guys! My dad picked the country out for this go around, so will see you in India for country #70! 

Good tidings of great meals for you all!
– L & K

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