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Topic: Food, Wine and Meals  (Read 21295 times)
« on: January 23, 2004, 12:30:37 PM »
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Velikye Knyaz
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Use this thread to talk about or ask questions about meals, banquets, the wine cellar or related topics.
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Reply #1
« on: January 26, 2004, 05:48:30 PM »
pers Offline
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Does anyone know how one could find the daily menus of meals served at the palace.  I am sure there must be some kind of archive somewhere (probably in Russia) to which someone on this earth might have access.  It would be especially interesting to see whether the Orthodox fast periods during the year were reflected in the menus, or whether the Imperial Family did not strictly adhere to it despite the Empress' religeousness.  Then again I have read in quite a few places that Alexandra Feodorovna mostly ate her meals separately or specially prepared for her.
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Reply #2
« on: January 26, 2004, 07:03:42 PM »
BobAtchison Offline
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All of the gala menus are in the archives of the palace in St. Petersburg.  Each day all of the events that took place in the palace were recorded in beautiful script in a huge book.  The personal meals that were served to the family in their private quarters are recorded as well.  That's where we found the recipes we have on the site.

They followed all of the fasts very carefully.
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Reply #3
« on: January 27, 2004, 10:25:27 AM »
JD Offline
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Sorry, could someone point me to these menus/recipes? I've looked but can't find them.
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Reply #4
« on: January 27, 2004, 10:33:39 AM »
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JD,
Go to the Alexander Palace mainpage, in the section on Imperial Dining, the links to "Alexandra's Names Day" and "Tatiana's Birthday" are where the menus and recipes are located.
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Reply #5
« on: January 27, 2004, 04:46:54 PM »
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Do you think you could post these menus?  Or is it too daunting a task.  Examples of breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus as well as the famous afternoon teas that Robert Massie says Alexandra complained about as it was dull compared to the teas held by others.  I think it is Anna Vyrubova that indicated in her book that every day at the same time the same tables draped in white would appear with hot bread, butter and biscuits.  I would love to get hold of the recipes..
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« on: January 27, 2004, 04:48:48 PM »
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Forgot to ask Bob, what happened to that section you used to have on the website of the palace kitchen along with the detailed plan of the kitchen building?
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Reply #7
« on: February 02, 2004, 01:53:57 PM »
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I am curious about the kitchens as well. I think they were in a seperate building, connected by a tunnel to the palace. Was there a "private" one for the family as well as one for the formal functions?
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Reply #8
« on: February 02, 2004, 07:37:44 PM »
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The kitchens were in a separate building from the palace.  This building was modifued over the years and new innovations installed.

Within the palace were small buffets and kitchens where things could be heated up and dishes like blinis could be made quickly.  Nicholas I used one of these small kitchens a lot when he stayed at the palace.

The tunnel was built so that food could be moved quickly from the kitchens to the palace.
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Reply #9
« on: February 14, 2004, 02:25:39 PM »
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This is an interesting article regarding the menu at Tsar Alexander III's coronation, which I found at this link:
http://www.russianfoods.com/cuisine/article00011/default.asp

"Here is the menu of the dinner at tsar coronation May, 20-23, 1883 when the czar of the Rus Alexander the Third came to the throne:

1. Pearl-barley soup. Pechony pirozhki (baked pies)
2. Sterlets with pickles
3. Crayfish in aspic (holodets)
4. Ruffs in aspic (zalivnoe)
5. Quails with mashed peas. Boiled beef.
6. Hazel-hens with sour cream.
7. Appetizers with roast – pickled cucumbers, pickled mushrooms, pickled cranberries and cowberries. Pickled apples.
8. Sweets: peas in the pod. “Tsaregradskie” pods. Babashki with poppy seeds, pryaniki vyazemskie, and gorodetskie
9. Tea
And wines were served to all tastes – French, Spanish, Italian, German and Hungarian (Tokay) ones."
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Reply #10
« on: March 08, 2004, 01:59:53 PM »
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I have found several websites each claiming to have a recipe for a "favorite" food of Tsar Nicholas II. These claims may or may not be true, but I thought it would be interesting to link to these sites so that those who are curious can recreate some of these dishes:

Russian Palace Vegetable Borscht
Definition: "Originally from Russia and Poland, borscht is a soup made with fresh beets. It can be prepared using an assortment of vegetables, or with meat and meat stock, or with a combination of both. Borscht can be served hot or cold; it should always be garnished with a dollop of sour cream." [Foodnetwork.com]
This particular recipe is actually from a former cook of Nicholas II:
http://www.ichef.com/recipe.cfm/smocid/164/recipe/Russian%20Palace%20Vegetable%20Borscht/category/Radio%20Kitchen/itemid/342040/task/display/recipeid/117512/recipecategoryid/178

Blinis with Caviar
Definition: "Hailing from Russia, blini (singular, blin) are small, yeast-raised buckwheat pancakes that are classically served with sour cream and caviar or smoked salmon." [Foodnetwork.com]
This site says that this recipe was a favourite of the Tsar's:
http://www.stratsplace.com/rogov/ultimate_food.html

Shchi (Russian cabbage soup)
A soup touted by this site to be a favorite of the Tsar's, as well as of a diverse group of characters including Ivan the Terrible, Lenin, and Stalin:
http://www.soupsong.com/rshchi.html

Salade Olivier a.k.a. Salade a la Russe (Russian salad)
Said to be a favorite hors d'oevre of Nicholas II, named after his French chef. The chef survived the Revolution and became a successful restauranteur, where he re-named the salad "salade a la Russe" in honour of his former employer:
http://www.stratsplace.com/rogov/salade_russe.html

Here are links to a couple of the foods that I found mentioned on the Alexander Palace's main site, for the Imperial luncheon served on "Tatiana's Birthday 1905." These may not necessarily be the exact recipes used for that occasion, but they are probably close in taste:

Botvinia (Cold green vegetable soup with fish)
http://www.ruscuisine.com/cooking-recipes/index.php/soups/cold/?recipe=201&offset=0

Potage Bonne Femme (Potato-Leek soup; a classic French soup)
http://www.recipesource.com/soups/soups/vegetable-soup1.html

Here are some more foods that I read were mentioned in the family's diaries. Again, these may not necessarily be exactly like what the family ate, but they are probably very close, as they are traditional Russian dishes. Also, these recipes are just a starting point, and if they are not to one's liking, one can find variations in their style and complexity simply by searching for them on Google:

Blini (see definition above)http://www.foodtv.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_26200,00.html

Pirozhki (small turnovers/dumplings, baked or fried)
http://www.ruscuisine.com/cooking-recipes/index.php/breads-and-pastry/pies/?recipe=354&offset=0

Paskha
Definition: "Russian sweet cheese mold traditionally served at Easter. It consists of a combination of sweetened pot cheese (or cottage cheese), nuts (usually almonds) and candied or dried fruit. Classically, this mixture is molded into the shape of a four-sided pyramid. The paskha is decorated with nuts or candy to form the letters XB, which stands for "Christ is risen." Paskha is the traditional accompaniment for the sweet yeast bread kulich." [Foodnetwork.com]
http://www.ruscuisine.com/cooking-recipes/index.php/breads-and-pastry/other/?recipe=204&offset=0A

Kulich
Definition: "A tall cylindrical Russian Easter cake that's traditionally served with pashka (a creamy cheese mold). Kulich is yeast-raised and flavored with raisins, candied fruit and saffron. It's usually crowned with a white confectioners' sugar icing, sprinkled with chopped candied fruits and almonds and sometimes embellished with a rose." [Foodnetwork.com]
http://www.ruscuisine.com/recipes-by-email/archive/030425.html

Kutia  
Definition: Primary dish in the Russian Christmas Eve meal. It is a type of porridge and is very symbolic, with its ingredients being various grains for hope, and honey and poppy seed for happiness and peace.[Russian-crafts.com]
http://www.ruscuisine.com/recipes-by-email/archive/000824.html
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Reply #11
« on: March 10, 2004, 07:39:42 AM »
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Thanks for this amazing list.

One slight detail: I have read three books stating that Nicholas II. did not like caviar since he had fallen ill eating spoilt goods. Roman Romanov remembered that on the other hand the tsar loved "canard en daube" (duck stew).
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Reply #12
« on: March 14, 2004, 07:48:10 PM »
Antonio_P.Caballer Offline
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Quote
All of the gala menus are in the archives of the palace in St. Petersburg.  Each day all of the events that took place in the palace were recorded in beautiful script in a huge book.  The personal meals that were served to the family in their private quarters are recorded as well.  That's where we found the recipes we have on the site.

They followed all of the fasts very carefully.



Hello Bob,
Last time i was in Tsarskoe i asked the present curator of the Alexander Palace about the palace archives but she told me they had nothing of the kind, and so told me the vicedirector of the Catherine Palace, Iraida Kurtovna Bott. However they shew me a box of mounted photographs of the interiors preserved in the latter palace archive.  I asked too about the fragments of palace curtains and wall hangings you wrote that Anatoly Kuchumov have shown to you and the A. P. curator told me that she had only seen an album of photographs assembled by Kuchumov in which some tiny samples of these fabrics were pasted that is now preserved in Pavlovsk....
Is perhaps the palace archive in the Senate building???
Could you tell us more about the present state of these archives and where could be found?

THANKS SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Reply #13
« on: March 14, 2004, 08:20:27 PM »
BobAtchison Offline
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Antonio:

The palace archives are in the central historical archive of St. Petersburg, not at the palace. I cannot give you any details on the current situation of the archive or where it is now housed.  I have read some postings about the archive in various news groups over the last 5-6 years and I know they had plans for upgrading their facilities.

Kuchumov had loose samples of fabrics that were not in his albums.  He had a box full of them.  He offered me the whole box, but I refused saying they should stay in Russia for the future restoration of the palace.  He insisted I take a fabric sample from the Mauve Room and Suzanne Massie, who was with me, take a fabric sample from the Imperial Train and from the carriage of Alexander III - the one in which he was traveling when he was blown up.

My piece of fabric comes from the upholstry of one of the chairs or divans in the room.  Kuchumov explained to me that there were two types of fabric in the Mauve Room - the French Lampas Violette from France that was of a richer hue and the paler Russian silk that was used on the furniture.  That's what I have - it is about 4 x 3 inches in size.  I have always felt very privileged to have this fragment.

I don't know what happened to the other fabric samples he had.... I am afraid some things must have vanished after his death.

Bob
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« on: March 14, 2004, 08:52:01 PM »
Antonio_P.Caballer Offline
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THANKS BOB!!!
You must feel of course very privileged, not only for having such a piece and the possibility to see its actual colour but specially for having met A. Kuchumov... I would be fascinated to hear MORE of that conversations you had and the things he told you.
The others things he had may be now in Pavlovsk, what do you think? It´s really a matter of great importance for the future restoration. Besides, Natasha(the curator) told me that the relations betwen the two palaces, i mean Pavlovsk and Tsarskoe, is somehow difficult......
 I saw in one of the former of Nicholas´rooms( i think it was the bathroom) a recreation of the bookcases from the second library of the palace.
I will try with the Petersburg archive the next time i am in Russia, thanks again!!!!
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