; Films & Pies

Monday, 18 September 2017

Best Blueberry Meringue Pie


    Autumn is a pie season. There's nothing better hot cup of tea or coffee with a big piece of your favourite pastry. I remember my very first pie I made. It was lemon meringue pie for 'The Toast' movie. Since then my cooking and baking skills improved, I became more confident, but also more demanding towards myself.
    Last year I had no time and no desire to do anything for my cosy blog. Now I'm cured. Today I'm blooming from the inside, I have enough energy, enough time, many ideas and a huge passion. I know where I'm going and I know it's my way. So more films and more pies are coming up:)
    So today I'm gonna share a very simple, but totally delicious blueberry pie recipe, which I could technically regard to 'My Blueberry Nights' movie. I don't like the film, but I'm a big fan of all kinds of berry pies. By the way, I found the recipe in a cookbook 'Good Old-Fashioned Puddings' by Sara Paston Williams. That's one of my first cookbooks I've ever bought. And it's really really good one. Highly recommend to get it in your collection.

Ok, it's time to preheat your ovens and get ready for baking!

Dough:
70 g cold butter
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cups sugar or sugar powder
salt
2 Tbs cold water

Filling:
600-700 g blueberries (or other berries)
1 cup sugar
20 g butter

Meringue:
3 egg whites (very fresh and cold)
1 cup sugar or sugar powder

Preparation time:
2 hours

Baking time:
1 hour

Hard?
No, but I included some tips below


    First things first: wash berries, put them into a bowl, add sugar, mix and put aside.
Then we start to prepare the dough. In one bowl, mix all dry ingredients: flour, sugar, salt. in my opinion, it's better to use sugar-powder, because all ingredients incorporate better then. But for sure you may use white or brown sugar, or make the dough sugar-free at all.
    Cut butter with a knife or smash it a bit with a fork, then add it to the mixture. Use your fingers to mix the dough. Separate egg yolks from egg whites, put the second in a fridge. Be very careful while separating: don't let even a tiny yolk droplet get into egg whites.
   Add yolks in the dough. Add some water and flour if needed. Mix until all ingredients are very well incorporated. Then cover with a cling film and put it in a fridge for about 30 minutes. 


Monday, 4 September 2017

Raw (2016)


'Raw', directed by Julia Ducournau, is definitely one of the must-watch movies this year, especially if you like horror/drama at the same time on your plate (giggles). 
Usually, it's hard to write about horror movies. Because they're often filmed according to the known pattern (mysterious place, mysterious creature/human/doll, murder) and are concentrated more to cause fear, sweat and bad dreams. Somehow we manage to get pleasure from that. Nevertheless, 'Raw' is different, because the primer feeling you get is abomination. Especially if you ate something before. So, don't eat. And continue reading:)


'Raw' is about two lifelong vegetarian sisters, studying in a vet school. Justine, the younger sister, is a 'fresh meat', just started her first year, while her older sister Alexia already experienced all pleasures from being a new come. 
In the beginning, Justine struggles with a long, rough and humiliating initiation rite in the school. For example, once she has to eat raw meat in front of everyone  and there's no way she can refuse that. After this ritual Justine changes not only her regular behaviour, but also her gastronomic preferences...


At first, I would like to warn you: 'Raw' is a pretty graphic movie. So if you have sensitive stomach - better leave this movie for another day. But if you like to watch something on a border between beautiful and incredibly disgusting - be my guest, get a blanket and watch 'Raw' now:)


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

A Thread In Need Is A Thread Indeed


Winter 2017 was a time, when I finally found my borderline and started to change step by step. When I think about that period of time now, I can't believe that so many things have changed since January. I'll come back and tell, what exactly changed during the last 8 months, but now I want to throw back to the late winter/early spring period. Exactly then I found my new hobby, that, in the end, cured lots of  my problematic issues. 
And that's embroidery.
(Here should be a comment from random hater, that embroidery is for grannies;).


I should start from the beginning. As a kid - I hated those tiny little miserable stitches with all fibres of my soul. I was into clay and polymer clay later (was even creating some accessories and selling them), but never-ever into embroidery or, for god sakes, knitting. I couldn't even finish a tiny 10x15 picture with cute sheep and a dog on it. I left it after months and months of trying. But then, in my late 25's, I discovered, what is modern embroidery and fell in love with it. And that was my stage one: the observation. 
I started to follow embroidery artists on Instagram. I was thirsty, amazed and totally inspired by them. Especially by Teresa Lim. Teresa blew up my mind once and for all. That brought me to stage two: obsession. 
Then I was horrified. I started to have a big problems with concentration. I literally couldn't read 20 solid pages without pulling my hair, look on my cats, or just daydreaming. At work I couldn't do only one thing at time. If I was on a phone - I had to draw some doodles or just senseless stuff and switch between tabs while working with data. Everything was in chaos. I imagined my mind as a big fragmented room. Nothing was in order there. And that was my stage three: despair.
And then I found my old hoop. That one, that I hated so much. Actually, there was still a messy picture in that hoop regarded to Mother's Day. I could see that I did that in a hurry, I could see how much impatient I was. And then I understood, that this is going to help me somehow. That I'm going to stitch millions of times and finally get those fragments in my head together. So I just took a piece of fabric, hoop, random threads, that I've found at home and draw a leaf that I saw on my IKEA curtains. And just started to stitch. Stage four: trial.
Then I decided to start a set of local birds, that live all over Ukraine. I was fascinated. I still am.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

High-Rise (2015)


Your know what are  the most irritating things with getting older?! 1. It's harder to be impressed about something, 2 - I expect less - therefore I dream less. I feel it in every single part of my life. And if no.2 is basically a very positive thing, no.1 is a terrible feeling, which brings to a kingdom of boredom in the end. And boredom is the worst. Meaningless, bitter and sticky feeling of your own 
misery, feeling as if you're watching on a tiny spot on the wall, while quiet sound of running b&w dots on the screen is eating a hole in your brain. Boredom is the worst.
That is why I constantly search for new things, it can be a new hobby, a new language to learn, a new habit etc. And I'm always seeking for something good to watch. New movies, old movies. My life is to short to watch all of them, but I'm so thirsty about good stories, that make my heart jump, and my head - think. 
One of those stories is 'High-Rise' by Ben Wheatley, with gorgeous Tom Hiddlestone, Jeremy Irons, Elizabeth Moss, Sienna Miller and others. 
And here's what I'm gonna say about it...


'High-Rise' is a story about a luxury block-building, created by talented and very ambitious architect as a small Utopian (dystopian!) place for living. High-rise has everything you need to feel few stairs higher, than people living somewhere else. A supermarket, swimming pool and wellness, expensive parties, good neighbours. Simplicity and design. The only and the biggest issue is to actually leave this heaven on Earth, stop being filthy, greedy, aggressive and to keep everything under control.
Can the high rise inhabitants do that? No, they completely failed in that and that's the point.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

One Sunday in Groningen

I broke my personal record: not even a single word here since April 2016. Almost a year of silence, 12 drafts laying on the background...Pictures, gifs...but no words. 2016 was a massive roller coaster for me, ups and downs were dramatic, emotional and weird. The biggest struggle, that we possible can ever have, is struggle with ourselves. I went through that and feel, probably, the biggest relief since a while. I woke up and finally started to do. Back to writing, back to baking, back to do all the things, that make me happy and calm. And I thank all of you, who were coming here for a short or a longer visit, because statistics was really encouraging and even made me feel guilty for my silence:)

My first entry this year is about my small trip to Groningen, Netherlands, about how and why I fell in love with it. 



We, my best friend and I, have planned a trip to Netherlands already for quite a while. None of us have never been there, so while having a bit adventurous mood, we decided to finally do that during my winter holidays in Bremen, Germany. It's super easy to get from Bremen to Groningen: it takes 3 hours bus ride, tickets are cheap (30 Euros two ways if you book them before on FlixBus). Easy and decent.
Sunday was a perfect day for a travel. Everything is much more relaxed and peaceful on a weekend. And when you're on vacations and don't need to go to work on Monday morning - that's one of the greatest feelings in world:)


Groningen at 9 am was completely empty. Empty streets, closed shops and restaurants, no people on bicycles...Only cats and silence. Isn't that magical?!
In my hometown I got used, that streets are more or less crowdy 24/7. So appreciated that rare hours of complete privacy in the middle of Groningen.


Friday, 22 April 2016

Game of Thrones: Quails Drowned in Butter (King's Landing Menu)

Brace yourself..The new season of Game of Thrones is coming!
I bet you were waiting for this the whole year, torturing yourself with guessing what will happen with characters next (who will die in the new season!), is Jon Snow alive or dead, how bloody will be the war and who will get revenge. I'm singing the intro melody already for a week, I can't wait to finally see the first episode, find some answers and for sure, confuse myself even more. 
I decided to open Game of Thrones season 6 in the right way: to cook something from the beautiful and complicated world of Westeros. Today I suggest you to celebrate the new season like one would do it in King's Landing. Let's travel to the capital of Seven Kingdoms and taste delicate, elegant, light and delicious meal - quails, drowned in butter sauce. And have a glass of wine with Cersei:).


For 1 person we need:

2 quails
1/2 small apple
butter
salt, pepper
1 tbsp honey
butter sauce

For the butter sauce:
1 boiled egg yolk
1/2 glass white wine
50 g butter
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
salt

Preparation time:
from 2 hours

Baking time:
up to 25 minutes

Hard?
Not at all



For this post, I used the original recipe from A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook, Russian edition, which I got as a gift from a friend (thank you SO much for it;). This book is absolutely great! First of all there are original medieval recipes and the modern version of those, second - the book got sections with recipes from The Wall, The North, King's Landing, The South, Dorn and Narrow Sea, third - gorgeous and rich text.


Thursday, 31 March 2016

Togetherness (TV Series 2015-present)


It's been a while since I posted about some films or series, or anything else for the last time here.  Today I'm going to tell you about one of my favourite TV series of the last year Togetherness (created by Mark and Jay Duplass and Steve Zissis). Second season of the series is nearly finished on HBO, so we're gonna follow it while it's still running:)
The show is telling us a story about Pierson family. Michelle and Brett (performed by great Melanie Lynskey and Mark Duplass) are living normal busy life, raising kids and having some unfulfilled hopes and dreams. 
This couple shares their daily life with Michelle's sister Tina (Amanda Peet) and Brett's best friend Alex (Steve Zissis). Every single character in this story is written absolutely brilliant, and played better, than you can expect.


It's very spotable, that Togetherness is made with love and that creators had invest their hearts and souls in it. Basically, it's a very simple life stories about relationships, friendship, love, laugh, crisis, mistakes, doubts etc, but somehow the show gave me unforgettable feeling of being present in it, being a part of the story. 


It has everything, that good TV series must have: humour, wisdom and life. I'm a big fan of dramedies, because I'm pretty sure they're  closest to life and bring you tons of different thoughts.
Intelligent, elegant humour is not that easy to find nowadays, wisdom is like a rare animal and lifelike stories in TV series industry are like fresh air in the outer space. On the other side, Togetherness can be really hard to watch, because of that effect of presence. Science season one I felt like it's not just  about the next door  family, they all are about all of us
It's genuine, it's fresh, it's beautiful.


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