What was served during the severest 40 days of Great Lent at ancient times of Russian cuisine?
The most popular dishes were pohlebki (vegetable soups), polevki (corn soups), soloduha, kulaga, tolokno, oat kisel with oil, baked potatos, sauerkraut, pickled mushrooms, porridges and different vegetables.
It seems that the most prevalent and easiest to make was turia, a cold meal made from lightly salted water, bread slices and chopped onion.
Tolokno was made from oats, baked during the night in a warm Russian oven. At such baking, grains swoll quickly in lightly salted cooled water. That was a real treat for kids that mould fish, cocks and hare toys from densed tolokno - tasty and filling.
Tolokno was usually served as afternonn snack and before going to bed.
Polevka is a watery soup from rye flour, to say exactly from sour rye dough - raschina, that was made the day before.
To make polevka, water was boiled, salted, bay leaf, chopped onion and raschina were added into a pot. Polevka could be dressed with mushrooms or cured fish. Of course, these dishes are impossible to cook now at electric ovens.
By Olga Timokhina