Sõrnikud made its way to Estonian cuisine from Russia.
As these fluffy quark fritters are very delicious Sõrnikud were quickly adapted by Estonian sweet teeth.
Sõr /сыр means in Russian cheese and/or quark. So, these are small cheesecakes 🙂 🙂
I’m not a big fan of frying these cakes as I barely have time, plus I get my sufficient amount of fat from other sources anyway.
Therefore, I’ve adapted from the original recipe to make Sõrnikud suitable for baking in the oven.
This January, I would like to introduce you to a foreign dish that throughout the years has become more and more popular in Estonia to the point where me and my fellow estonians consider it being part of our national cuisine.
Last year I wrote a lot of about Estonian Christmas customs. But New Year eve NÄÄRID is very important as well. During Soviet times (1945- 1987) Christmas was prohibited and was only New year eve.
Today we have two amazing holiday 🙂
New year eve was as was Christmas perfect time for predictions.
What is maybe interesting and different:
On 31 December there are special (humor) TV shows on all Estonian TV channels, causing a lot of discussion afterwards (Which program was better? Why? etc.).
One more tradition is, that The President of the Republic delivers a speech on radio and TV during the last minutes of the old year.
As probably everywhere New Year is greeted with fireworks and drinking sparkling wine. People wish a Happy New Year (Head uut aastat!) to each other. And it is a good sign when the first New Year wishes are said by a man with dark hair 🙂
Aspic or Meat jelly is a savoury jelly made from meat.
Meat Jelly, Sült is very good example, how time changes the meaning of some food. In old times Sült was winter time food. Because it takes 4-6 hours to cook it and this will heat up the kitchen. Because in old times for winter was left only pork legs and heads, which are suitable for cooking Sült. It was “poor” food. And food for poor. Today all ladies know, how important is collagen…:)
Today, for me, this is perfect summer dish. Sült is served cold and with cold cottage cheese sauce and boiled fresh potatoes.. yummy 🙂
Sült is a dish traditionally made from a mixture of meat, trotters, hocks, rind and other ingredients that have been cooked for several hours and cooled afterwards, forming a jelly. A traditional Christmas and wedding food, served as an appetizer or as a meal itself.
My father still cooking Sült himself. It is very complicated to cook Sült only for 2 persons and still you need very large pot. So, I buy Sült in summer time from culinary. And in winter time, I get it from my father. This is my father recipe.
Long long time ago. Poor Soldier came from War.
He was tired and hungry.
Knocked on the door and asked for food. The hostess was stingy and said that she is poor herself and have not any food.
Ok, said Soldier. But do you have an axe? Lets cook an ax soup, then.
This sounded interesting, the hostess heard for the first time about ax soup and agreed.
Soldier put cattle on the stove and added water and an ax. Let it simmer, tasted and said: it is too strong. To make this lighter, we have to add something. Do you have some meat?
Yes, agreed hostess and went to the pantry for meat. During this time soldier hid an ax and changed water.
Hostess brought meat, soldier added this in to the cattle. Let simmer, tasted and asked. This is still too strong. You have very strong ax,.. To make this lighter, please bring some barley…
then they added some vegetable to make soup ” lighter”.
Finally was soup ready. Look, said Soldier: we cooked this so long, that ax is just dissolved!
Hostess tasted soup and was amazed: so delicious, who might have known that ax is so delicious!
This is story about envy, greed and deceit. And how to cook something about nothing 🙂
Now you probably already know, that I prefer dishes which take time max 30 minutes. And this soup is the same. You can cook it in a decent manner: prepare stock and use meat and spend hours to have perfect dish.
But at the afternoon, you have not time. And this is the simplest version to prepare soup. In my opinion cabbage suits with sausages. But you can cook vegan version, or use minced meat or bacon or…. whatever you like.
For some reason we have three different foods: meat balls, served usually in sauce. Small meat balls: frikadellid, we are using in soup. And ” kotlet”- what is flat shape minced meat “ball”. Kotlet is served as main dish with potato and sauce and salad.
Today I will share recipe, which you probably will never do. Kama.
Kama is Estonian traditional finely milled flour mixture. Estonians buying Kama mixture from shop.. and the easiest way is to try this, probably visit Estonia. But I still give you the recipe.
Historically kama was a non-perishable, easy-to-carry food that could be quickly fashioned into a stomach-filling snack by rolling it into butter or lard; it didn’t require baking, as it was already roasted. Today Kama is perfect summer dish. Just add some fresh or fermented milk and sugar or salt, mix, and ready!
Today Kama is used for making cakes, mousse, desserts and salty snacks..
My father was born in 1943. So, he was child after war. This was terrible time. Estonia was occupied by Soviet Union, Hunger and poverty. In March 1949, 20,722 people (2.5% of the population) were deported to Siberia.
Started collectivization. Forcibly was established collective farms, which means that all farmers must give all animals to collective farms. All over the countryside, the establishment of kolkhozes was announced and the majority of the peasants joined ‘voluntarily’, fearing that they would be deported if they did not sign up. During the 1950s, masses of farm animals would starve to death in late winter or early spring because of a lack of fodder. Collective farmer’s did not get first years any salary.
Because was lack of eggs and everything, children invented ” bread”, to have something to eat. They mixed potatoes, flour and oil and baked this on to the wood burning stove iron.
Sõir, Estonian Quark Cheese with caraway seeds is very known in South Estonia. And this is my father recipe.
Traditionally was it dish for Midsummer and Pentecost.
Do you know, that in Latvian is cheese – Siers and in Russian сыр. And even in English, cheese sound very similar. So, all these cheeses are related 🙂
quark must be as dry, as possible. And better is fat-free quark
Ricotta is not alternative to use. Make your quark yourself
Be sure your quark is natural and Do NOT consist gelatine or whatever.
Which and who is the right Mom?
In Estonia Mother’s Day (emadepäev in Estonian) is celebrated on the second Sunday of May.
The Mother of the Year is award given annually by the Estonian Womens Union, already more than 25 years.
This year suddenly rose up question. Does nominee of this award, the Mother of the Year, must be officially married.
Because nowadays, in the 21st of century there are a lot of single mothers, divorced mothers, gay mothers…..