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					Harrowing of Hell

The Harrowing of Hell, depicted in the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, 14th c. illuminated

The Harrowing of Hell (lat. Descensus Christi ad Inferos) is a doctrine in Christian theology
referenced in the Apostles' Creed and the Athanasian Creed (Quicumque vult) that states that
Jesus Christ "descended into Hell". The lack of explicit scriptural references to Christ's descent
to the underworld has given rise to controversy and differing interpretations.[1] As an image in
Christian art, the harrowing is also known as the Anastasis (a Greek word for "resurrection"),
considered a creation of Byzantine culture and first appearing in the West in the early 8th
century.[2]Contents [hide]


The Greek wording in the Apostles' Creed is κατελθόντα εἰς τὰ κατώτατα, ("katelthonta eis ta
katôtata"), and in Latin descendit ad inferos. The Greek τὰ κατώτατα ("the lowest") and the
Latin inferos ("those below") may also be translated as "underworld", "netherworld", or as
"abode of the dead." The phrase then becomes Christ "descended to the dead."

The word "harrow" comes from the Old English hergian meaning to harry or despoil and is seen
in the homilies of Aelfric, ca. 1000.[3] The term Harrowing of Hell refers not merely to the idea t

hat Christ descended into Hell, as in the Creed, but to the rich tradition that developed later,
asserting that he triumphed over inferos, releasing Hell's captives, particularly Adam and Eve,
and the righteous men and women of Old Testament times.

Andrei Rublev Trinity c.1400

The use and making of icons entered Kievan Rus' following its conversion to Orthodox
Christianity in 988 AD. As a general rule, these icons strictly followed models and formulas
hallowed by Byzantine art, led from the capital in Constantinople. As time passed, the Russians
widened the vocabulary of types and styles far beyond anything found elsewhere in the
Orthodox world.

The personal, innovative and creative traditions of Western European religious art were largely
lacking in Russia before the 17th century, when Russian icon painting became strongly
influenced by religious paintings and engravings from both Protestant and Catholic Europe. In
the mid-17th century changes in liturgy and practice instituted by Patriarch Nikon resulted in a
split in the Russian Orthodox Church. The traditionalists, the persecuted "Old Ritualists" or "Old
Believers", continued the traditional stylization of icons, while the State Church modified its
practice. From that time icons began to be painted not only in the traditional stylized and non-
realistic mode, but also in a mixture of Russian stylization and Western European realism, and
in a Western European manner very much like that of Catholic religious art of the time. These
types of icons, while found the Russian Orthodox churches, are also sometimes found in various
sui juris rites of the Catholic Church.

Russian icons are typically paintings on wood, often small, though some in churches and
monasteries may be much larger. Some Russian icons were made of copper.[1] Many religious
homes in Russia have icons hanging on the wall in the krasny ugol, the "red" or "beautiful"

There is a rich history and elaborate religious symbolism associated with icons. In Russian
churches, the nave is typically separated from the sanctuary by an iconostasis (Russian
ikonostas, иконостас), or icon-screen, a wall of icons with double doors in the centre.

Russians sometimes speak of an icon as having been "written", because in the Russian language
(like Greek, but unlike English) the same word (pisat', писать in Russian) means both to paint
and to write. Icons are considered to be the Gospel in paint, and therefore careful attention is
paid to ensure that the Gospel is faithfully and accurately conveyed.

Icons considered miraculous were said to "appear." The "appearance" (Russian: yavlenie,
явление) of an icon is its supposedly miraculous discovery. "A true icon is one that has
'appeared', a gift from above, one opening the way to the Prototype and able to perform

Music icon

Gusli (Russian: Гусли) is the oldest Russian multi-string plucked instrument. Its exact history is
unknown, but it may have derived from a Byzantine form of the Greek kythare, which in turn
derived from the ancient lyre. It has its relatives throughout the world - kantele in Finland,
kannel in Estonia, kankles and kokle in Lithuania and Latvia. Furthermore, we can find kanun in
Arabic countries and the autoharp in the USA. It is also related to such ancient instruments as
Chinese gu zheng which has a thousand year history and its Japanese relative koto.


Pelmeni pel’men’ are dumplings consisting of a filling wrapped in thin, unleavened dough that
originated in Siberia and is Russian national cuisine. Pelmeni have similar names in other
languages: Belarusian:pyal’meni; Tatar:pilmän, Ukrainian:pel’meni; Latvian: pelmeņi; Estonian:

Russian cuisine

Plates of vareniki, a type of dumpling, with smetana (sour cream) and onion

Russian cuisine derives its rich and varied character from the vast and multi-cultural expanse of
Russia. Its foundations were laid by the peasant food of the rural population in an often harsh
climate, with a combination of plentiful fish, poultry, game, mushrooms, berries, and honey.
Crops of rye, wheat, barley, and millet provided the ingredients for a plethora of breads,
pancakes, cereals, kvass, beer, and vodka. Soups and stews full of flavor are centered on
seasonal or storable produce, fish, and meats. This wholly native food remained the staple for
the vast majority of Russians well into the 20th century.

Russia's great expansions of territory, influence, and interest during the 16th–18th centuries
brought more refined foods and culinary techniques. It was during this period that smoked
meats and fish, pastry cooking, salads and green vegetables, chocolate, ice cream, wines, and
liquor were imported from abroad. At least for the urban aristocracy and provincial gentry, this
opened the doors for the creative integration of these new foodstuffs with traditional Russian
dishes. The result is extremely varied in technique, seasoning, and combination.

From the time of Catherine the Great, every family of influence imported both the products and
personnel — mainly French and Austrian — to bring the finest, rarest, and most creative foods
to their table. This is nowhere more evident than in the exciting, elegant, highly nuanced, and
decadent repertoire of the Franco-Russian chef. Many of the foods that are considered in the
West to be traditionally Russian actually come from the Franco-Russian cuisine of the 18th and
19th centuries, and include such widespread dishes as Veal Orloff, Beef Stroganoff, and Chicken

Salad Olivier
An Olivier salad

Salade Olivier (салат Оливье in Russian) is a salad composed of diced potatoes, vegetables and
meats bound in mayonnaise.[1] The salad is usually called Russian salad in Western European
and Latin American countries, and Salad Olivieh in Iranian cooking.Contents [hide]

The original version of the salad was invented in the 1860s by Lucien Olivier, the chef of the
Hermitage restaurant, one of Moscow's most celebrated restaurants. Olivier's salad quickly
became immensely popular with Hermitage regulars, and became the restaurant's signature
dish. The exact recipe — particularly that of the dressing — was a jealously guarded secret, but
it is known that the salad contained grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers,
smoked duck, although it is possible that the recipe was varied seasonally.

The original Olivier dressing was a type of mayonnaise, made with French wine vinegar,
mustard, and Provençal olive oil; its exact recipe, however, remains unknown.

At the turn of the 20th century, one of Olivier's sous-chefs, Ivan Ivanov, attempted to steal the
recipe. While preparing the dressing one evening, in solitude as was his custom, Olivier was
suddenly called away on some emergency. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Ivanov
sneaked into Olivier's private kitchen and observed his mise en place, which allowed him to
make reasonable assumptions about the recipe of Olivier's famed dressing. Ivanov then left
Olivier's employ and went to work as a chef for Moskva, a somewhat inferior restaurant, where
he began to serve a suspiciously similar salad under the name "The Capital Salad," (Russian:
Столичный, "Stolichny"). It was reported by gourmands of the time, however, that the dressing
on the Stolichny salad was of a lower quality than Olivier's meaning that it was "missing

Later, Ivanov sold the recipe for the salad to various publishing houses, which further
contributed to its popularization. Due to the closure of the Hermitage restaurant in 1905 and
the Olivier family's departure from Russia, the salad could now be referred to as "Olivier."

One of the first printed recipes for the Olivier salad, by Aleksandrova, appearing in 1894, called
for half a hazel grouse, two potatoes, one small cucumber (or a large cornichon), 3-4 lettuce
leaves, 3 large crawfish tails, 1/4 cup cubed aspic, 1 teaspoon of capers and 3-5 olives and 1 1/2
tablespoon Provençal dressing (mayonnaise).

As inevitably happens with gourmet recipes which become popularized, those of the salad's
ingredients that were rare, expensive, seasonal, or difficult to prepare were gradually replaced
with cheaper and more readily available foods, until it evolved into the dish we know today.

Ukha (Russian: Уха) is a clear Russian soup, made of fish like salmon or cod, root vegetables,
parsley root, leek, potato, bay leaf, lime, dill, green parsley and spiced with black pepper,
cinnamon and cloves. Fishes like perch, tenches, sheatfish and burbots were used to add
flavour to the soup.

Ukha is a fish dish, made with broth. However calling it a fish soup would not be absolutely
correct. "Ukha" as a name in the Russian cuisine for fish broth was established only in the late
17th to early 18th centuries. In earlier times this name was first given to thick meat broths, and
then later chicken. Beginning from the 15th century, fish was more and more often used to
prepare ukha, thus creating a dish that had a distinctive taste among soups.[1]

A minimum of vegetables is added in preparation, and in classical cooking ukha was simply a
rich fish broth served to accompany fish pies (rasstegai, kuliebiaka, etc.). These days it is more
often a fish soup, cooked with potatoes and other vegetables. A wide variety of freshwater fish
can be used. There is an opinion that you can not make a good ukha from seafish. Fresh fish is
best to be cooked, so if it is frozen it is better not to defrost it. Preference is given to smaller,
younger fish, with the tail part of bigger fish discarded.

Blini with Smetana and red caviar

Plates of vareniki with smetana and onion

Home-made oladji with sour cream, roe and chopped onion, and Russian pickled cucumber
with honey. Smetana is a Slavic loanword in English for a dairy product that is produced by
souring heavy cream. Smetana is from Central and Eastern Europe, sometimes perceived to be
specifically of Russian origin.[1] It is a soured cream product like crème fraîche (28%), but
nowadays mainly sold with 15% to 30% milkfat,[2] more sour in taste than crème fraîche.[1] It
will not curdle when cooked or added to hot dishes.[1] Its cooking properties are different from
crème fraîche and the lighter sour creams sold in the U.S., which contain 12 to 16 percent

Pirozhki (plural form of pirozhok, Russian: пирожок, пирожки), sometimes transliterated as
piroshki (or pyrizhky from Ukrainian: пиріжки), is a generic word for individual-sized baked or
fried buns stuffed with a variety of fillings. The stress in pirozhki is properly placed on the last
syllable: [pʲiroʂˈkʲi+. Pirozhok (Russian: пирожок, singular) is the diminutive form of the
Russian cognate pirog (Russian: пирог), which refers to a full-sized pie. The Russian plural of
this word, pirogi (Russian: пироги, with the stress on the last syllable *pʲiroˈ  ɡʲi][dubious –
discuss]), is not to be confused with pierogi (stress on "o" in English) in other East European
cuisines, which are similar to the Russian pelmeni or Ukrainian vareniki.

A common variety of pirozhki are baked stuffed buns made from yeast dough and often glazed
with egg to produce the common golden colour. They may contain sweet-based fillings such as
stewed or fresh fruit (apples, cherries, apricots, chopped lemon, etc), jam, or cottage cheese; a
vegetable filling (mashed potatoes, mushrooms, onions and egg, cabbage); meat or fish; an
oatmeal filling mixed with meat or giblets. The buns may be plain and stuffed with the filling, or
else be made in a free-form style with strips of dough decoratively encasing the filling.

Potatoes among American crops became very popular when the vegetable was brought and
adopted to the Eurasian climate. Before then, the ingredient was not available as it took more
time to acclimatize to continental regions like Russia and Ukraine. Before then, the ingredients
would contain more vegetables and fruits, as well as duck, goose and rabbit meat, uncommon

The English word blintz comes from the Yiddish ‫"( בלינצע‬blintze), which in turn comes from blin.
"Blin" comes from Old Slavic mlin, which means "to mill" (compare the Ukrainian word for blin
млинець, mlynets’).

Blini had a somewhat ritual significance for early Slavic peoples in pre-Christian times since they
were a symbol of the sun, due to their round form. They were traditionally prepared at the end
of winter to honor the rebirth of the new sun (Butter Week, or Maslenitsa). This tradition was
adopted by the Orthodox church and is carried on to the present day. Blini are also served at
wakes to commemorate the recently deceased.

Traditional Russian blini are made with yeasted batter, which is left to rise and then diluted
with cold or boiling water or milk. When diluted with boiling water, they are referred to as
zavarniye blini. The blini are then baked in a traditional Russian oven. In fact, the process of
cooking blini is still referred to as baking in Russian, even though these days they are almost
universally pan-fried, like pancakes. French crêpes made from unyeasted batter (usually made
of flour, milk, and eggs) are also not uncommon in Russia, where they are called blinchiki and
considered to be a borrowed dish. All kinds of flour may be used for making blini: from wheat
and buckwheat to oatmeal and millet, although wheat is currently the most popular by far.

Blintzes were popularized in the United States by Jewish immigrants who used them in Jewish
cuisine. While not part of any specific religious rite in Judaism, blintzes that are stuffed with a
cheese filling and then fried in oil are served on holidays such as Chanukah (as oil played a
pivotal role in the miracle of the Chanukah story) and Shavuot (when dairy dishes are
traditionally served within the Ashkenazi minhag).

Blini may be prepared and served in three basic ways.

They may be eaten as they are. In this case, the batter may contain various add-ins, from grated
potato or apple to raisins. These blini are quite common in Eastern Europe and are more solidly
filled than the spongy pancakes usually eaten in North America.

They may be smeared with butter, sour cream, jam, honey, or caviar (whitefish, salmon, or
traditional sturgeon caviar, although the latter is not kosher and therefore not used in Jewish
cuisine) and then they might be folded or rolled into a tube. In rolled form they are similar to
French crêpes. The caviar filling is popular during Russian-style cocktail parties.

A filling such as jam, fruit, potato, cottage cheese or farmer cheese, cooked ground meat,
cooked chicken, and even chopped mushrooms, bean sprouts, cabbage, and onions (for a
Chinese eggroll-type blintz) is rolled or enveloped into a pre-fried blintz and then the blintz is
lightly re-fried, sautéed, or baked. Such blintzes are also called nalysnyky (Ukrainian:
налисники) or blinchiki (Russian: блинчики).It is the traditional meal in Lithuania during Lent.

Buckwheat blini are part of traditional Russian cuisine. They are also widespread in Ukraine
where they are known as hrechanyky (Ukrainian: гречаники), and Lithuania's Dzūkija region,
the only region in the country where buckwheat is grown, where they are called Grikių blynai.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia        This   article   needs   additional   citations   for

Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be
challenged and removed. (August 2009)

Russian Syrniki with Kissel.

In Russian, Belarusian, Lithuanian, Polish, and Ukrainian cuisines, syrniki (Russian: сырник*и+;
Ukrainian: сирники; Belarusian: сырнікі) are fried quark cheese pancakes, garnished with sour
cream, jam, honey, or apple sauce. The cheese mixture may contain raisins for extra flavor. In
Russia they are also known as tvorozhniki (творожники).
Syrniki are made from creamy quark cheese, mixed with flour, egg, and sugar, sometimes
adding vanilla essence. The soft mixture is shaped into cakes, which are fried, generally in
vegetable oil. The outsides become crispy, and the center is warm and creamy. They are sweet
and served for breakfast or dessert. Their simplicity and relative lack of expensive ingredients
makes them very popular in Eastern Europe.

The name syrniki is derived from the word сыр in Russian or сир in Ukrainian (transliteration:
syr), meaning "cheese" in both languages. Although the modern meaning of the word сыр (syr)
in Russian is hard yellow cheese, the original word in Slavic languages stood for soft white
cheese (similar to today's quark cheese, which is still called сир in Ukrainian but
metamorphosed into творог, tvorog in Russian).*1+ Thus, the word syrniki, derived from the old
meaning of syr, came to designate pancakes made from soft white cheese.

Red currant kissel ,Kissel or kisel (Russian: кисель kisél’, Ukrainian: кисiль, Polish: kisiel,
Lithuanian: kisielius, Latvian: ķīselis, Finnish: kiisseli, Estonian: kissell) is a fruit soup, popular as
a dessert in Eastern and Northern Europe. It consists of sweetened juice, thickened with
arrowroot, cornstarch or potato starch, and sometimes red wine or dried fruits are added. It is
similar to the Danish rødgrød or German Rote Grütze.

Kissel can be served either hot or cold, also together with sweetened quark or semolina
pudding. Kissel can also be served on pancakes or with ice cream. If the kissel is made using less
thickening starch, it can be drunk - this is common in Russia. Swedish blåbärssoppa is a bilberry
kisel similarly prepared and consumed, although fresh or frozen bilberries, not dried berries is
used to prepare it.

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