My Midsummer Baltic brunch.

We dined on ham in hay, drank fermented rye liquid, jumped over fires built of candles and searched for a non-existent flowering plant…

Our secret Baltic Midsummer Brunchclub has gone well.

A flower girl with Estonian goodies.

The idea (on which you can read more here) was to celebrate this ancient, pagan festival of summer solstice – known as Jaanipaev in Estonia or Ivan Kupala in Russia. And so I wanted to cook up dishes either associated with this time of the year (end of the farming cycle, collection of hay) or with the Baltic region, then get traditionally tipsy and dance khorovods. well, almost.

I had planned a couple of naughty rituals for people to follow – well, not that naughty, although some guests were quite up for all sorts! But the great British weather has interfered, of course, and so we settled on more salubrious jumping over fire and looking for (a phantom) flowering fern.

Occasional showers just added a tone of frivolity to the Baltic feast, they said.

For the next couple of weeks I’ll be posting recipes of the dishes I made for this Baltic-Nordic-Russian brunch/dinner, but here’s the menu that 13 (yes, 13) lucky guests were sampling:

My Baltic Midsummer Brunch

Vodka and elderflower cocktail

Home-pickled herring

Sweet and sour home-cured herring with allspice (the picture shows the fish still in curing process)

Poached eggs lashed with dill hollandaise
My own Borodinsky bread

My own Borodinsky (rye sourdough) bread. Bakin in the sun.

Ham baked in hay

Ham in hay (cooked in kvass and beer).

Cucumber and dill salad

Cucumber, dill and sourcream salad. with spring onions meshed to oblivion.

Sea buckthorn cheesecake

Seabuckthorn (oblepikha) cheesecake. The biggest surprise of all.


Ryebread icecream
Kama truffles with Old Tallinn tipple…

Kama (Estonian flour of roasted grains) and mascapone truffles.

Which recipe should I start with, my dear reader?

Posted in Courses: lunch, Cuisine: Estonian, Feast, Russian Brunchclub, Seasons: summer | Tagged as: , , , , , | 5 Comments

5 Responses to My Midsummer Baltic brunch.

  1. Karina Baldry says:

    Lovely pictures which reflect your wonderful cooking! I would vote for the recipe for Borodinsky Bread and Rye Bread ice cream please!! Well done once again! I hope my jump over an improvised fire was duly noted and i will be invited again:-)) Love, Karina XXX

  2. Прокопий Потапович Велодронников says:

    Признавайся где облепихи срубила? В июне!!!

  3. Joel says:

    Thanks for the wonderful afternoon Katrina. Food was beautiful and whole thing was a real event. Rain wasn’t a major issue as, being Londoners, we were all prepared with our colourful assortment of umbrellas. Can’t wait for the next one.

  4. The Gastronomical Me says:

    […] have been known to sing praice to herring, the food I crave on many mornings, but in particular after a successful night of drinking and […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • About The Author

    A Russian, living in London, writing about Soviet kitsch, sex in food and fat' - this would be the headliner, the reality of this blog is, I hope, more delicate’ [....]

  • Subscribe by RSS
    Subscribe by Email:
    Delivered by FeedBurner
  • Recent Comments

  • Archives

  • Categories