Какой сегодня праздник? (What’s today’s holiday?)

I’m not going to bother commenting at length on the Navalny case. We all knew it was coming. Mass protests happened last night in Moscow and other cities and will probably continue this weekend. If the Kremlin wanted to choose the path that makes them look the worst and Navalny look like some martyr, they did a good job. (NB: In the middle of writing this post, Navalny and Ofitserov were released on bail. The Russian justice system occasionally works when they’re afraid a mob will burn down their building…)

Looking to keep occupied while listening to the various live videos from the Navalny courtroom, I decided I needed to get busy and write a blog post.

lemon cake and raspberry jam

I always ask the Russky for advice on what to write (and have indeed tried multiple times to get him to write something here — “but in English?!” he always whines). Usually nothing comes of this, but today he was quite inspired! He told me to Google “Какой сегодня праздник?” and write about one of the weird holidays that Russia technically celebrates today. I think all countries have really weird holidays every day of the year — why not pick a random day and celebrate it?!

So today we have three choices: “Day of Legal Services of the Internal Ministry of the Russian Federations” (thrilling, I’m sure), “Cakes with Raspberry Jam Day”, and “No Swimsuit Day”.

Well I’m not really in the mood to celebrate the Russian government and I just bought a lovely new swimsuit (and it’s a bit chilly outside to go swimming), so I decided to go with the more family-friendly “Cakes with Raspberry Jam Day” so have a look and see what I created!

First I made an easy jam recipe. I’m not sure if it can really be called jam since it doesn’t have pectin, but oh well — it’s jam to me. Then I made a lovely little lemon cake which promptly fell apart but tasted delicious with a nice dollop of the raspberry jam. Happy holidays!

boiling raspberry jam

Raspberry Jam

I used half a kilo of berries (about 3.5 cups I’d guess for my American readers). Put the raspberries in a large pot over medium heat. Smoosh them up a little bit to release the juices and then let them sit until the mixture comes to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes and then pour in about 1 cup of sugar. Mix well and then raise the heat so the mixture boils (not too high though!). Let the raspberries boil, and mix it every five minutes so it doesn’t burn. I just eyeball it (not scientific at all) — when it looks just slightly more liquid than you want it, take it off the heat. This will probably be at about 40-50 minutes. Scoop it into a jar and use within a week or so.

Lemon Cake

I used this recipe. I halved the ingredients and substituted more lemon juice and zest for the orange. It was delish!

OK, take to the internet, oh readers! What strange holiday is it in your neck of the woods? What should you be eating/doing on this special day?

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  • Reply ladyofthecakes July 19, 2013 at 5:17 pm

    I’ve just abandoned work for the rest of the day. This holiday has my name all over it :)

  • Reply gkm2011 July 19, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I will have to check! Very good idea.

  • Reply Mama Celeste July 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    No Swimsuit Day! Sounds like my kind of holiday.

  • Reply Expat Eye July 19, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Nothing until November 11 in Latvia. Miserable lot. ;)

    • Reply pollyheath July 20, 2013 at 10:04 am

      No fun! Russia has something stupid every day. I guess that gives them an excuse to shoot off fireworks every night.

      • Reply Expat Eye July 20, 2013 at 10:41 am

        I’d go with the Russian approach! From June until November is a long time to wait for any sort of celebration!

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