The story of Maslenitsa goes back to Ancient Russia, it’s a sacrificial ritual when a scarecrow representing Winter gets burned down in front of people, and symbolizes the arrival of spring. It is celebrated everywhere in Russia,
and is one of the favorite holidays of many. There is a Maslenitsa celebration in a city about 15 miles away from my hometown in Russia called Suzdal. Unfortunately my last experience there wasn’t as pleasant as I hoped, but it was an experience which helped me make a decision never to attend public Maslenitsa celebrations anywhere in Russia.
Another Maslenitsa tradition is similar to a catholic one on Ash Wednesday. After the scarecrow is burned down, it’s ashes are distributed among people and some chose to put those ashes on their faces, not just the forehead, but the nose, the cheeks, and the chin as well. It is supposed to bring you good luck and prosperity.
But my favorite part of Maslenitsa are the pancakes, though you can only eat so many. And, as Sam said, when he was in Russia – You guys have pancakes on every corner.
Today I want to share my favorite pancake recipes with you.
1. Dutch babies, also known as Seattle Dutch babies, are the baked pancakes, that are probably my favorite pancakes of all times.
There are many recipes for Dutch babies on line, so I will let you find the one you like. I have tried many of them, and they all turn out very well. There is also a great variety of toppings you can decorate yours with. So good luck.
2. Healthified pancakes with yogurt, oatmeal and banana.
I have learned to make these while living on the UWS in NYC. And again, there are many recipes for these out on the Internet, and when I make those I seriously wing it. But here is my approximate recipe:
2 eggs, 1 cup milk, mashed banana, 1 cup oats, 2 cups whole wheat flour, cinnamon, some Splenda or Agave, one yogurt (any flavor). First you make the oats, I usually stick mine in the microwave for about 2 min with some water. Meanwhile mash up the banana. Once the oats are done mix them in. Mix eggs, milk, and sugar separately, then combine with oats and banana, add yogurt and flour. Make sure it’s all mixed well, once you are done start pouring the mix on the pan. These pancakes turn out thick, and filling, so two are usually enough for me. And you can always freeze them too!
3. And the last one is the Crepe recipe, that is used in Russia and the rest of the Eastern Europe. Crepes are what people call pancakes there! So make sure you are aware of that fact! I also have to admit that I have no idea how to make those, in spite of my Russian background, but here is my aunts recipe for you (sorry it’s in metric)