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Me with a pancake, Crimea, Russia

Pancakes are the most special breakfast/food in my childhood home. When I was little, my father worked in a hospital with shifts and all the family-friendly aspects that this job environment entails. Everyday life was routine and maintained in ninety-nine percent of the time by my mum. Only two or three times a year my dad made pancakes (not necessarily for breakfast). My mother is a master cook and the dominant force in the kitchen. My father can handle her dominance at least as masterfully. She cooks what she likes, and pancakes are not on her list of favourites. He, however, has a sweet tooth. So, occasionally he put himself to good use and produced pancakes for his four children. My dad made them like no other. They were (and still are) thin, gold brown and just big enough for our largest plates. He made them incorporating a pancake throwing show.

Here in Russia, we eat pancakes almost every morning. That's right: EVERY MORNING! You can imagine my face when I arrived, and pancakes stood on the table. My eyes fell out of my head when I thought of the workload, the hours I. had to spend in the kitchen to make all these pancakes. At first, I thought it might be something like a Sunday breakfast and cooked in my honour. After all, balloons were hanging in my room and garlands above the window upon my arrival. It turned out that this was nothing special. I., like many Russian women, is a routined pancake maker. You have heard correctly. The magic word is routine. With pride, I am letting everyone know that I am well on my way to mastering this new routine. (Without having to follow the impulse, to throw food in the air.) I feel so grown up.

Here are the knowledgeable cultural facts about eating pancakes in Russia:

  • There is no pancake throwing show
  • They are as big as breakfast plates and three millimetres thin
  • Each gets three or four pieces, depending on your appetite
  • During the week you take the pancakes out of the fridge
  • They are folded in different ways, depending on the filling
  • Although the pancakes are sweet, they are served with both salty and sweet spreads
  • Spreads: caviar, cheese, sausage, sugar, honey, jam, cream, o natural, to be continued...
  • They are eaten with the hands except in restaurants

How is it possible that this jewel of Russian culture doesn't find its way to the brunch and breakfast menus of European cafes? (Under that name, please!) What's wrong with us?

Russian Breakfast during one of my Russian lessons, Samara, Russia


2 eggs

3 cups of milk

2 cups of flour

1 pinch of salt

1 tablespoon of sugar

2 tablespoons sunflower oil


* I once had the exact measurements saved in my phone, but since I have thrown it in the washing machine, I have to report this information as missing, unfortunately.

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