Delicacies of the Russian Aristocracy: Mac ‘N’ Cheese Tolstoy-Style
Tolstoy bequeathed us a magnificent recipe book featuring this delicatessen, as it was prepared in the houses of aristocrats at that time.
It may be hard to believe, but saucepans of pasta with cheese were first mentioned in the 14th century in the Liber de Coquina, one of the oldest medieval cookbooks. The famous dish of mac ‘n’ cheese, such a staple of US culture, started out in Italy as pasta with Parmesan cheese. That led to a kind of sandwich made of pasta, butter and cheese that became, and still is, a favorite English dish, the dinner of many people around the world who like something tasty but don’t have the time or the energy to cook.
But before it became fast food, macaroni and cheese was an aristocratic dish. It was part of the family menu of the aristocratic ruling class of late czarist Russia, to be precise, and who better to share the recipe than Leo Tolstoy? A magnificent and recently translated work, published as Leo Tolstoy’s family recipe book, compiles the recipes that him and his family wrote down for posterity. Tartar sauce, pretzels, plum pudding, chocolate kissel, beef stew, macaroni and cheese, among many other recipes make up this book that will surely inspire anyone who likes Russian literature (or even just eccentricity) to cook.
The texts come with a translation of the Russian weights and measures used at the time. The following is a curious recipe that is the combination of Russian aristocratic and US fast food, which sounds spectacular, and goes more or less like this:
Bring water to the boil, add salt, then add macaroni and leave boiling on low heat until half tender; drain water through a colander, add butter and start putting macaroni back into the pot in layers – layer of macaroni, some grated Parmesan and some vegetable sauce, macaroni again and so on until you run out of macaroni. Put the pot on the edge of the stove, cover with a lid and let it rest on low heat until the macaroni are soft and tender. Shake the pot occasionally to prevent them from burning.
Pictorial spiritism (a woman's drawings guided by a spirit)
There are numerous examples in the history of self-taught artists which suggest an interrogation of that which we take for granted within the universe of art. Such was the case with figures like
Astounding fairytale illustrations from Japan
Fairy tales tribal stories— are more than childish tales. Such fictions, the characters of which inhabit our earliest memories, aren’t just literary works with an aesthetic and pleasant purpose. They
A cinematic poem and an ode to water: its rhythms, shapes and textures
Here lies One Whose Name was writ in Water. - John Keats Without water the equation of life, at least life as we know it, would be impossible. A growing hypothesis holds that water, including the
Watch beauty unfold through science in this "ode to a flower" (video)
The study of the microscopic is one of the richest, most aesthetic methods of understanding the world. Lucky is the scientist who, upon seeing something beautiful, is able to see all of the tiny
To invent those we love or to see them as they are? Love in two of the movies' favorite scenes
So much has been said already, of “love” that it’s difficult to add anything, much less something new. It’s possible, though, perhaps because even if you try to pass through the sieve of all our
This app allows you to find and preserve ancient typographies
Most people, even those who are far removed from the world of design, are familiar with some type of typography and its ability to transform any text, help out dyslexics or stretch an eight page paper
The secrets of the mind-body connection
For decades medical research has recognized the existence of the placebo effect — in which the assumption that a medication will help produces actual physical improvements. In addition to this, a
The sea as infinite laboratory
Much of our thinking on the shape of the world and the universe derives from the way scientists and artists have approached these topics over time. Our fascination with the mysteries of the
Sharing and collaborating - natural movements of the creative being
We might sometimes think that artistic or creative activity is, in essence, individualistic. The Genesis of Judeo-Christian tradition portrays a God whose decision to create the world is as vehement
John Malkovich becomes David Lynch (and other characters)
John Malkovich and David Lynch are, respectively, the actor and film director who’ve implicitly or explicitly addressed the issues of identity and its porous barriers through numerous projects. Now