Cover image for A year of Russian feasts
A year of Russian feasts
Jones, Catherine Cheremeteff.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Bethesda, Md. : Jellyroll Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
192 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes bibliographical references (p. 183-186) and index.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TX723.3 .J66 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Equal parts travel memoir and cookbook, Catherine Jones's critically acclaimed and award-winning book, A Year of Russian Feasts, combines her warm, insightful writing style with her sensitive approach to discovering her family's Russian cultural heritage and its cuisine.

Author Notes

Catherine Jones, an award-winning cookbook author and freelance writer, began her cooking career twenty years ago at La Varenne Cooking School in Paris. She is the author of Eating for Pregnancy: The Essential Nutrition Guide and Cookbook for Today's Mothers-to-Be, Eating for Lower Cholesterol: A Balanced Approach to Heart Health with Recipes Everyone Will Love, and A Year of Russian Feasts. Born in India, Jones has spent more than two decades living overseas, first as a diplomat's daughter, then as a diplomat's spouse. She and her husband have two children. When she's not on a distant shore, she calls Bethesda, Maryland home.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Summer's approach means that trees and bushes will soon sprout with all manner of fruits and berries. That not a one of these gifts goes to waste is a goal of Waters' Chez Panisse Fruit. The doyenne of California cuisine has long recognized the key role of fruits in her quest for the best, freshest foods. Here she presents a listing of common and uncommon fruits that have passed through her restaurant's kitchen. Recipes accompany a description of each fruit's cultivation and culinary uses. Figs, cherries, grapes, lemons, raspberries, all turn into tantalizing dishes, both sweet and savory. Grapefruit and wine combine for a bracing aperitif. Pomegranates make a great salad with arugula and hazelnuts. This is a reliable and comprehensive book that belongs in every cookery reference collection. The cooking of Provence clearly inspired Waters and a host of other successful contemporary chefs. Geography and human ingenuity meet here to produce the highest quality meats, vegetables, cheeses, and wines. Yet the cuisine of this tiny part of southern France is known chiefly for its aromatic herbs. In Herbes de Provence, Gardiner has asked six of the region's most notable young chefs to prepare recipes featuring one of seven herbs: thyme, rosemary, bay, sage, marjoram, fennel, and winter savory. Robert Lalleman, third-generation chef at the fabulous Auberge de Noves, uses thyme to flavor lobster and sweetens poached pears with thyme honey. Just to the south in spectacular Les Baux, Jean-AndreCharial scents coconut soup with rosemary and uses it again in a stew of chestnuts and Jerusalem artichokes. John Freeman's photographs capture the region's unique light and intense colors as well as the chefs' creativity. Jones spent the first part of the turbulent decades of the nineties in Russia where she witnessed the collapse of Soviet Communism. There she began to appreciate the old Russia, which resurfaced in public religious and cultural expression. In A Year of Russian Feasts, Jones explains to Western readers the regularly recurring Russian Orthodox feasts, those traditional dishes associated with them, and the holidays' significance in the life of the church and the people. In Orthodoxy, prior to feasting comes fasting, so Jones' first recipes exemplify ascetic vegetarian dishes. Then it's on to the celebrations. There are simple and hearty beet soups, meat-stuffed dumplings, sweetly spiced and aromatic Easter bread, and many variations on potatoes. Rich and hearty, the recipes evoke a strong sense of the Russian landscape. Recipes require only generally available ingredients, so they are readily duplicated. Only a careful statistician could actually say which chain has more successfully come to conquer a market: Starbucks or McDonald's. Each started from humble single-outlet origins to become dominant in its own industry. And each in its own way wrought revolutionary change in the way Americans consume food. Antol sets out not just to tell the story of Starbucks, but to talk about the role of coffee throughout its relatively brief history in the world. Confessions of a Coffee Bean covers vast ground as Antol moves from the bean's origins to its spread throughout Europe. She addresses the physiological and cultural effects the bean has exerted over all segments of humanity. Recipes to supplement the text include both coffee-flavored items and assorted accompaniments to a cup of coffee. An index helps make all this information accessible for school reports on one of the world's most desired commodities. Ever since Raichlen published his paean to the "world's best chicken" in the New York Times, the barbecue world has taken to heart his technique of roasting a whole chicken with an open beer can indelicately shoved up its behind. Raichlen assures cooks that this method, outrageous though it may appear, produces a bird with both crisp skin and startlingly moist meat. Now Raichlen devotes an entire book, Beer-Can Chicken, to this unseemly cooking method, expanding it to duck, turkey, and other fowl. As if that weren't enough to keep backyard grills sizzling, Raichlen presents a grilled sausage fattened up with cheese and bacon and aptly named Cardiologist's Nightmare. He even has a breakfast in which scrambled eggs are grilled and biscuits baked in orange rind halves. Keep the Weber fired up for dessert items including grilled pound cake and barbecued peaches. Beer-Can Chicken will prove very popular with backyard cooks. Back in the 1950s, every smart hostess had her own recipe for icebox pie to wow bridge-club ladies or dinner guests. Chattman has resurrected Icebox Pies, crumb crusts filled with ice creams or chilled mousses, and brought them into the twenty-first century. These pies make ideal summer desserts because they can be made well ahead and provide a pleasant, cooling end to dinner. Chattman encourages every cook to express individual creativity by varying the type of crust and combining different fillings into multiple layers of flavors. Who can resist Black Bottom Butterscotch Pie, layers of chocolate and butterscotch puddings in a graham-cracker and nut crust? These pies make good use of seasonal fruits and berries as well, blueberries and raspberries combining with enough jam to bind them atop an amaretto-cookie crust. Chattman's cookbook will undoubtedly convert a new generation of cooks to a retro dessert. Melons figure rarely in cooking, since most of them are eaten raw with little garnishing. Americans adore their watermelons, and they frequently consume honeydew melons as part of mixed-fruit plates. But if Goldman has her way, the American palate will soon learn what the rest of the world already seems to know: melons exist in dozens of varieties and are among the premier gastronomic delights. In Melons: A Passionate Grower's Guide, Goldman outlines her search for uncommon, heirloom varieties of melons that have threatened to disappear into banal supermarket hybrids. These distinctive melons, illustrated in full-color photographs, also bear singular names such as Noir Des Carmes, Hero of Lockinge, and Petit Gris de Rennes. Goldman describes this last one's merits so voluptuously that any gourmet who's not tasted it will spend the summer searching for one. Goldman offers advice on picking a market's best, perfectly ripe melons and notes the exacting Japanese have turned to MRI technology to find their prime specimens at their peak ripeness. The uninitiated also learn the differences between cantaloupes and muskmelons. A few recipes guide cooks to showing off melons' best characteristics. Goldman provides an exhaustive list of sources for seeds and a bibliography to help her readers locate more melon lore. If it's true that there's nothing more genuinely American than pie, then Pascale Le Draoulec is the gastronomic version of Alexis de Tocqueville. Cruising the U.S. in her Volvo, food critic Le Draoulec searched for the best pies, both homemade and commercially produced, and for the histories of those who make them. Collecting her memoirs of these trips in American Pie, she found a lot of truths about America's diversity. She sampled huckleberry pie in Montana and cherry pie in Michigan. Pies from the South abound, many of them old family recipes rarely seen outside the places they originated. Oddly enough, Le Draoulec doesn't record any expeditions to New England, reputedly home to some of the country's best pies. Nevertheless, the pie recipes she has collected make for a good cross section of contemporary pastry making in America. Americans living far away from the seashore chow down on clam chowder, unaware of the labor and skill that go into catching these well-camouflaged bivalves for their bowl of soup. Badger's Clams: How to Find, Catch, and Cook Them tells the story of the skill and experience required for successful

Library Journal Review

Jones, a descendant of the Sheremetev clan of the Romanov dynasty, lived in Russia from 1991 to 1994. During this time of glasnost and perestroika, she became friends with many Russian people and was able to explore their culture and food. Her culinary journey through Russia resulted in a book that is part travel memoir and part cookbook. Arranged by season ("Russian Summers") and occasion ("A Birthday Party at Viktor's"), the book chronicles her stay in Russia through recipes and essays about Russian cuisine, customs, and traditions. Leaving out European-inspired fare such as Beef Stroganov and Chicken Kiev, she instead includes the home cooking that is often inspired by the Russian Orthodox Church. Each chapter contains recipes such as Cheese Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce, Russian Easter Bread, and Individual Mushroom Casseroles and is accompanied by the often-poignant stories behind them. Not just a mere recollection of events, Jones's book includes cultural information such as a description of a typical Russian wedding as well as traditional techniques such as dying eggs with onion skins and the art of brewing tea, Russian-style. Recommended for larger travel and cookery collections. Pauline Baughman, Multnomah Cty. Lib., Portland, OR (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.