Harrowing of Hell The Harrowing of Hell, depicted in the Petites Heures de Jean de Berry, 14th c. illuminated manuscript. 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. 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.Contents [hide] Terminology 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. 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. Many religious homes in Russia have icons hanging on the wall in the krasny ugol, the "red" or "beautiful" corner. 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 miracles". Music icon Gusli 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. FOODS Pelmeni 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: pelmeenid. 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 Kiev. Salad Olivier An Olivier salad Salade Olivier (салат Оливье in Russian) is a salad composed of diced potatoes, vegetables and meats bound in mayonnaise. The salad is usually called Russian salad in Western European and Latin American countries, and Salad Olivieh in Iranian cooking.Contents [hide] History 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 something." 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 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. 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. Smetana 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. It is a soured cream product like crème fraîche (28%), but nowadays mainly sold with 15% to 30% milkfat, more sour in taste than crème fraîche. It will not curdle when cooked or added to hot dishes. Its cooking properties are different from crème fraîche and the lighter sour creams sold in the U.S., which contain 12 to 16 percent butterfat. Pirozhki 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 today. blintz 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. Syrniki From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding reliable references. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (August 2009) Syrniki 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. Kissel 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.