Kitchen Trotter had been teasing us all for weeks, promising an extra pretty limited edition box for Christmas (Sophie was suitably impressed and has snaffled it for storing her prized possessions in her room !) and an exotic location to have our tastebuds dancing in delight. I was over the moon to discover that this month's culinary voyage is to Russia, a country I was hoping to see featured at some point. The enclosed guidebook was full of fascinating facts - did you know, for example, that Russia is only 3km away from the USA at its closest point, that it's bigger than the planet Pluto and that the coldest recorded temperature is -67.8°C ? Brrr !
So what's in the box? It seemed extra heavy this month which is always a good sign ! First of all, I pulled out a caddy of black tea flavoured with bergamot, sweet orange and lemon essential oils, followed by a tin of sprats. I always love the truly authentic products so this packaging got a squeal of excitement !
On to the spices - stroganoff mix and powdered horseradish.
A box of Kasha - toasted buckwheat.
Some Russian biscuits, possibly containing poppy seeds, judging by the picture on the bag.
Some more sweet delicacies - peanut-flavoured Sushkis
Some dried cranberries, which surprised me, as I wouldn't have associated them with Russian cuisine.
So on to the recipes.
The starter is for beetroot salad with horseradish. I love beetroot but I really don't think I'll like horseradish. Time will tell !
The main course is beef stroganoff with toasted buckwheat.
The dessert is kissel, which looks like a sweet fruity syrup with whipped cream.
There's also a tapas-style appetiser caled Zakouskis - sprats, tomato and onion on bread.
The gift was a gorgeous matriochka oven glove.
This is undoubtedly what we'll be eating once the turkey has all been used up after Christmas! I'll tell you how we get on once I've tried out the recipes.