Archive for June 21, 2013

US Space and Rocket Center – A Place For Learning and Fun

What fun my friends and I had at the US Space and Rocket Center!  Our minds were also filled with lots of new knowledge about space flight.  Check out our pictures from our time at the Number One Tourist Attraction in Alabama!



Nina’s Golden Delicious Potato Pancakes, or as they say in Russian…Kartofelniye Blini

Today we traveled to Chattanooga to visit the Tennessee Aquariam.  Nina’s children, Katia, Viktor, Nick,  and myself were ravenous when we got back to Huntsville.  Once again, Nina came to the rescue at suppertime with her DEELICIOUS and DEELIGHTFUL potato pancakes.  Here is the recipe:


5 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into eighths (To make it easier for the blender or food processor to puree them)

1/2 cup diced onion

Put the above ingredients in a blender.  Also crack 2 eggs into this mixture and add 1/2 Tablespoon salt.

Puree these ingredients until there are no potato and onion lumps.

Pour this mixture into a bowl and add 3 level Tablespoons of flour and mix all the ingredients together.

Cover the bottom of the pan with vegetable oil, just enought to coat the pan, and heat the oil.

Ladle 1 Tablespoon of the potato pancake mixture into the pan.  When edges of the pancakes are brown, turn and flip over the pancakes until the other side is golden brown.

Recoat the pan with vegetable oil, between batches of pancakes.

Nina’s family tradition is to always eat potato pancakes with sour cream.  Pour maple syrup on my pancakes.  My husband loves them with plum butter or jam.  A very fun part of the evening was sampling the Kartofelniye Blini with different toppings that we had never tried and expanding our culinary repertoire.

Adam and I thank Nina from the bottom of our hearts for the tasty meals she lovingly prepares for us.  Bon Appetit indeed!






Nina’s Yummy Holodnick Soup

Adam and I are blessed to have our dear friend, Nina Blinkova and her three children, visiting us from Federal Way, Washington this week.  Today we had a very busy and fun day at the US Space and Rocket Center – the number one tourist attraction in Alabama.  We were practically the last people to leave the site, so we were really hungry at suppertime.   Hurray!  Nina came to the rescue!  She made a very delicious soup that did not take long to make and was very nutritious and our appetite was deeply satisfied.

Byelorussians, like Nina, are known for their supreme storytelling abilities.  There is a story behind the soup recipe I am about to share with you.  When Nina lived in a small village in Latvia, her family would make this cold soup in the summer with whatever vegetables they had in the garden.  One of Nina’s duties was to milk the cows.  Milk would be left out in the warm sun and would become buttermilk, and used in this soup.  Nina reminisced, “There was this ‘weird cow’ I had to milk….she would put her back hoof in the pail of milk just as we finished milking her.  Well, my Dad solved this problem.  Dad tied-up the cow’s front hoof, so if she put her back hoof in the pail, she would fall.  My Dad’s cleverness stopped her from the bad back hoof behavior!”

Enjoy Nina’s Holodnick Soup during these hot summer days!

Nina’s Holodnick Soup

5 hard-boiled eggs, chopped with knife or egg cutter

10 shredded radishes

10 oz canned beets, drained and shredded

3 peeled and shredded small cucumbers

(Per Nina – she used the bigger holes on the shredder to shred the above veggies)

1 Tablespoon finely chopped dill

1/2 bunch chopped parsley

4 cups buttermilk

Salt to taste

Put all the above ingredients in a bowl.  Mix up all together, so it become pink.  If you like a thicker soup, you can eat as is.  If you want a thinner soup, add one to two cups cold water.  You can also add ice cubes, which Nina says is a really great addition on a hot day.  Chill.

“Holodnick” means cold soup in Russian!

Eat!  Prepare to give your tastebuds a terrific treat!








Good health and nutrition begin on the farm.  Get inspired by the life of this Black Farmer who dedicated his life to feeding Alabama!



What an honor to meet Mr. Perry Caudle who “grew the best vegetables in the world!”


His daughter, Youlanda, holding her adorable granddaughter, Breilynn!