Russian Blini and Polish Zubrowka Vodka

Last night we combined our mammoth Russian culinary skills LOL to make, at least to us, a wonderful winter meal here in Leeming. Basically Diane did the frying and I did most of the prep.
The Russians have a unique presentation of their hors d’oeuvres that they call zakuski and now in Post–Soviet Russia it is often served at its own table from which the guests serve themselves from a large number of various cold and warm items such as: salted herrings, caviar, radishes in sour cream, red cabbage, cucumbers in sour cream, corned beef tongue plus many others. In old pre-revolutionary times when the aristocracy controlled everything that happened to the poor peasants these aristocrats had entire small rooms off the dining room that were there just for plates and plates of zakuski. Ours, however, were limited to five that dear Diane put together: sliced and fried field mushrooms on heated rye bread (delicious), shredded red cabbage slowly cooked, sliced cucumber in sour cream, cherry tomatoes halved with dill and Polish pickles.
Following the Russian tradition vodka is served as the libation. Our absolute favourite vodka is a unique one from Poland; Russian vodkas are not as good as exports I guess. This vodka is called Bison Grass because the grass is eaten by a small herd of the few remaining European Bison in Europe. These bison only exist in the national park called Bialowieza. This vodka has a stalk of the grass in each bottle: it is mellow, smooth and too easy to imbibe.
The Russian meal we prepared is always saved for the winter months, preferably when it is raining outside. It is a Blini meal, blini being small buckwheat pancakes, two to a plate, that are covered initially with sour cream. After this initial preparation the sour cream we covered it with: caviar, canned salmon, green onion tops, chopped dill, small Riga Sprats or many other toppings that fit the spirit.
We find that about five pancakes are enough.

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