Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Happy Independence Day Belarus!

Z Dniom Niezalieznasci!!

That's Belarusian for Happy Independence Day!  Today, July 3rd, is the day that Belarus (near Poland and Russia) celebrates it's independence.  They are not celebrating their freedom from the Soviet Union though, they celebrate their liberation from Nazi occupation in 1944. 
The day is celebrated with military parades, concerts, festivals and fireworks over the capital city, Minsk. 

Another fun tradition (although I don't see what it has to do with independence) is a parade of newlywed couples, dressed in their wedding finery, waving to the crowds.  At least the brides get some extra wear out of their dresses!!

The culture of the region is very similar to that of Russia, and one of my favorite memories of our week about Russia was our field trip to the Russian grocer where I discovered Half- Sour pickles.  So I found a recipe for those wonderful pickles that I am sharing with you.  The pickles take 3 days to brine so I won't know the results as this goes to post, but let's keep our fingers crossed that they are as good as the ones I found in the Russian grocer!!

Half Sour Deli Style Pickles
For the recipe you will need:
  • clean wide mouthed container
  • pickling cucumbers (as many as will fit in container)
  • 4 cups cool water
  • 1/4 cup kosher or pickling salt
  • 4 cloves of garlic- peeled and smashed
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
1.  Wash the cucumbers and remove any bits of stem.  Place them in the container.
2.  Add the garlic and peppercorns.
3.  Mix the water and the salt and let the salt dissolve completely.
4.  Pour the salty water over the cucumbers making sure that they are completely covered.  Any part of the cucumber that is not covered will get rotten so weigh them down if you need to.
5.  Cover them loosely and let them sit out on the counter in a dark, cool corner for 3 days.  When little bubbles start to form on the surface of the water they are fermented and ready to go into the refrigerator. Enjoy your crunchy fresh pickles!!

Have a great Independence Day Belarus!!!

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