Salmon Creamed With Apples


We are adding a terrific new recipe to the Mendeleyev Journal culinary pages:

Salmon Creamed With Apples

Salmon fillets without skin and bones – 600 g Russian Food
Green apples – 2
Onions – 2
Cream – 2 cups
Salt, pepper, cayenne pepper – to taste.

Cut the salmon into fillets.
Apples should be cleaned, then cut in half, cored and cut into slices.
Chop onion into half rings.
Create boat or bowl of foil with high edges – like a small bowl.
Place the fish inside and then position the apple slices between the fillets
Spread the onion evenly
Add salt and pepper
Pour cream over the salmon
Cover with foil
Place on the grill and cook 6-7 minutes until the apple slices are soft

Serve with salad.

Russian Children Meet new Polite Alphabet

Russian Children Meet new Polite Alphabet

The Russian attitude seems to be that if they can’t win the Ukrainians over, then we’ll make sure they hate us and one example of this thinking is in Russian schools as children are meeting the new “polite alphabet” meant to simultaneously engender Russian patriotism and denigrate anything Ukrainian while teaching the Russian Cyrillic letters. The Russian Cyrillic letters remain the same but the word examples for each letter now inject a healthy dose of propaganda, patriotism or both.

The new alphabet is being introduced to Russian school children in the Irkutsk region by Project Network, a pro-Kremlin group with plans to roll the new alphabet learning tools to more schools across Russia next year. They group is part of the “togetherness” project and say they are tasked to teach young Russian children that Russia, Crimea and parts of Eastern Ukraine are meant to be together.

For example the new alphabet primer and accompanying charts teach students that “A” stands for “Anti-Maidan,” the letter “Ya” is for “Yalta,” and as any good propagandist would hope, “P” is for “Putin.” Naturally “R” is for “Russia” and the face of Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is matched to the term for “firmness” while the letter B represents the “berkut” Ukrainian riot police who defected to Crimea. Some older alphabet charts had the golden eagle (berkut) with the letter and a photo of the golden eagle.

Some will question why the letter “D” stands for Donetsk, a Ukrainian city instead of the more common word for “dom”  (home) as on existing charts. Organizers are quick to point out that Donetsk should and will be a part of Russia and thus school children should learn to think of Donetsk as Russian instead of Ukrainian. Some of the letter equivalents are a bit of a stretch.

To make the point about Ukraine, the chart assigns the letter ы for Крым, spoken as “Krem” (Crimea). No Russian words begin with the letter ы so Russian school children will meet the new polite alphabet with Крым for Crimea. To make the point that Crimea has been annexed into Russia the Ukrainian term for Crimea, Крим, has been circled with an arrow drawn through it.

Two letters within Russian Cyrillic, ь and ъ, have no sound themselves but serve to modify letters adjacent to them. The new “polite alphabet” did find patriotic words which included those letters and for example they assigned ь, the letter which serves to soften other sounds, to мягкость which is a term commonly used to express the idea of gentle or soft in relation to a mother and her baby. Some Ukrainian groups have responded on social mean with an alternate “war alphabet” that mocks the Russian attempt at indoctrination.

It is no accident that Project Network calls it the “Polite Alphabet,” as it is named for the so-called “polite” but armed forces that forced Russia’s annexation of Crimea earlier this year. The Project Network website claims that as Russian school children meet the new polite alphabet they “…will be taught to love the motherland, respect its people and culture.”

border green palead chai b border green blue

Happy birthday, Barbie dolls!

Barbie is 55 years old. She is still younger than some of us at the Mendeleyev Journal but 55 is a recognition of the staying power of the world’s most famous doll from generation to generation of little girls. Very impressive!

Barbie anniversary RBTH

Six Russian designers have come up with new Russian style fashions for Barbie; Kira Plastinina, Alena Ahmadullina, Alexander Arutyunov, Anastasia Romantsova , Oleg Ovsiev and Natasha Goldenberg.

Several of the Russian Barbie dolls were outfitted with the famous Orenburg shawls accompanied with fur headbands, pearl earrings and shoes with silk laces.

According to Russia Beyond the Headlines, the new doll collection will be available for sale during the International Charity Bazaar, with money raised from the sale of Barbie dolls in Russian designer outfits benefiting Russian charities.

Popular Russian singer Alla Pugacheva has agreed to model for a new series of Barbie dolls.

Barbie anniversary doll based on singer Alla Pugacheva.
Barbie’s new Russian line will be based on pop singer Alla Pugacheva.

Our Russian speaking subscribers can


Today’s edition of the Mendeleyev Journal is sponsored by Smooth Favorites, the 24 hour online radio station for today’s best Smooth Jazz songs Click to listen.

The memory of Marina Tsvetaeva

Everything about Marina Tsvetaeva, one of Russia’s most celebrated poets, is complicated; even the day she was born in 1892, on 26 September Old Calendar corresponding to 08 October New Calendar, is confusing. Her life, her loves, her family and her writing reflected the confusing times in which she lived.

A first-hand witness to the Bolshevik revolution, she was no Communist and hated the deceit and confusion spawned by the Soviet system. Her young husband, Sergei Efron, fought on the side of the White Army during the civil war that followed.

Artist: Aida Hanemaayer
Artist: Aida Lisenkova-Hanemaayer

As to her deep connection to her writing, Tsvetaeva expressed that “every verse was a child of love” and it showed.

Every verse is a child of love, A destitute bastard slip,
A firstling – the winds above – Left by the road asleep.
Heart has a gulf, and a bridge, Heart has a bless, and a grief.
Who is his father? A liege?
Maybe a liege, or a thief.

Not widely known outside Russia is that the Bolshevik revolution ushered in a long five year famine in Russia and one of her daughters, Irina, died of starvation in 1919. She fled to Europe for several years and received her formal education at the Sorbonne (University of Paris) and the Charles University in Prague. She was the mother of three children; Irina, Ariadna, and Georgy.

Her father, Ivan Vladimirovich Tsvetaev, was the founder of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts and her allegiance to Russia was strong but she hated Communism with an even stronger passion.

O, tears that in eyes freeze!
The cry of love and pain!
My Chekhia’s in tears!
In blood is all my Spain!

O, mountain of black,
You shaded all the world!
It’s time to return back
My ticket to the God.

Yes, I refuse to be
In Bedlam of non-men.
Yes, I refuse to see
How wolves of squares do slain.

Yes, I refuse to wail
With field sharks of all ranks.
Yes, I refuse to sail
Down the stream of backs.

My ears I need more not,
My eyes I needn’t to use,
To all your crazy world
One answer – ‘I refuse.’

After returning to Russia her husband Sergei and daughter Ariadna were arrested in 1941 and Efron was executed on charges of espionage although unbeknownst to Marina he had been recruited by the NKVD. Marina Tsvetaeva committed suicide later that same year.

In Moscow visit her home, the Marina Tsvetaeva Museum and Cultural Centre at 6, Borisoglebsky Lane. For hours, telephone the museum at 495-695-35-43 or 495-697-53-69.

English: House-Museum of Marina Tsvetaeva. Mos...
English: House-Museum of Marina Tsvetaeva. Moscow, Borisoglebsky Lane, 6. Русский: Дом-музей Марины Цветаевой. Москва, Борисоглебский переулок, 6 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Click this link for our highly recommended site to learn more about the life and writings of Marina Tsvetaeva.

Summer preparations for winter: firewood

When you have very cold winter temperatures, unless your home is in a city with central steam heat boilers every few blocks to pipe in some warmth, one needs a very large firewood supply.

Firewood stacks.

Scenes like these are common in the countryside as farms and villagers stock up wood which will be needed in the coming winter months for heating and cooking.

Orthodox nuns stacking firewood.

Monasteries and Convents often provide their own winter heat fuel by gathering and cutting wood from nearby forests.

Alexander-Svirsky Monastery, Leningrad region (near St. Petersburg)

Founded in 1487, the Alexander-Svirsky Monastery is a Russian Orthodox monastery situated deep in the woods of the Leningrad Oblast (Saint Petersburg area), just south from its border with the Republic of Karelia.

Holy Trinity Свято-Троицкий Алексадра Свирского монастырь

From Wikipedia: During the Time of Troubles, the Swedes sacked and burnt both hermitages on three occasions, yet the monastery continued to prosper. After the Russian-Swedish war the border was delineated west of the Svir River.

In 1644, when the five-domed Transfiguration Cathedral was finished, Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich presented to the monks a golden arc for keeping St Alexander’s relics there. A belfry of the Trinity cloister was built in three tiers and crowned with three tents in 1649. Most of the monastic cells date back to the 1670s. The roomy Trinity Cathedral was completed by 1695. The last structure to be erected within monastery walls was the hospital chapel of St John of Damascus (1718).

Following the Russian Revolution of 1917, the brethren were executed or deported, while the relics of St Alexander were desecrated and put on a public display in Leningrad. The medieval monastery buildings housed an infamous gulag known as Svirlag. They were further damaged during World War II. Restoration did not commence until the 1970s.

Currently, the Transfiguration Cloister is the home to the local monastic community, while the Trinity Cloister still houses a mental asylum instituted in 1953.